“Manna from heaven” for Vladimir Burkanov,
or why and How a high-treason was concealed from justice

 

“As for the KRUís (the Central Auditing Department) report made up after inspectorship of Kamchatrybvod in the early 1999 during my leave (for a singe purpose to dismiss the chief), I have to tell you that FAIR conclusion can be reached only by considering this report together with the deed of discord (with the copies of the DOCUMENT enclosed) and decisions of Kamchatka Environmental Prosecutor and the Courtís sat to try the case based on the report (which reminds Vakhrinís article).
It is necessary to take into account an INDEPENDENT auditorsí report about Kamchatrybvod financing activities covering the same items that KRU examined; two deeds of the Clearing House of the Russian Federation as well as revisions of taxation authorities and checks-up by the State Fisheries Committee.
A rear chief has so many checks fallen to his lot as Iíve had.
When I was in office EACH bill paid by Kamchatrybvod was checked many times!”
 
Vladimir Burkanov.
10/09/2001

When a war is waged attacks repeatedly follow each other — some more, other less fierce, growing and dying. But if these wars are epistolary, vivid metaphors, derogative assessments and sarcastic expressions flow from emotions. Well, they also have a terrible in its destructiveness power — the power of public opinion.
A regular reply of Vladimir Burkanov, ex-chief executive of Kamchatrybvod, to our article “Curiosity is not a sin… ” — is quite the same story with derogative assessments and similes. Consider this passage: “In spite of all difficulties and hazard of working with wild animals, I realized that it is easier and more pleasant to deal with them than with some sensible haematherms bearing clothe and looking like a man”.
But another figure amused us even more: Having eaten enough “manna from heaven” for five years of state service (I had never aspired to, but took it accidentally) I returned to the job of a field biologist.
Vladimir Burkanov speaks about “manna from heaven” with obvious irony, you, reader, cannot even imagine what a disgusting thing this “manna from heaven” or state service is. For all that Yuri Yakovlevís look in the film “Hope You Enjoyed Your Bath!” is automatically recalled when he says: What a muck your jellied fish is! (The word jellied in Russian “zalivnaya” is a derivative of “zalivat” which has a homonym — a slang word for “to lie overtly; to lie to the max”). And you will have a chance to make sure that the same refers to Vladimir Nokolayevich saying about manna. Although, as we found out there is nothing for Burkanov, but “zalivat”.
Weíve got some facts that had been ready to go to press long before establishment of our newspaper but which have not been published yet. They concern currency and financial activity of the present field biologist. The speech is about a group trespassing of the RFís state border by the Japanese fishermen. To be precise, about financial reasons for concealing the treason and a logical development of a series of violations of the Russian fishery protection legislation.
In 1999, the local newspaper Vesty published an article with the headline “Eleven million dollars vanished in the depths of Kamchatrybvod”.
On July, 22 Rybak Kamchatki (“Kamchatkaís Fisherman”) issued news-release of the Kamchatrybvod press-center: “It astonishes why…”; its staff didnít take any part in the release and had heard nothing about it before it was published. The author of that forgery, no doubt, was Burkanov. Vladimir Nikolayevich was packing his boxes that time getting ready to departure to the USA and when the article was completed he had already gone to the States, so we took no attempt to explain why he spoke on behalf of us, though kept to opposite opinion. Why give reason for one more check-up of Kamchatrybvod if the causer is on a long business trip abroad, and the man who took his place hadnít worked a single day in Fishery Protection Agencies. The article remained unpublished.
The false news release of the press-center alleged all facts from the article “Kamchatrybvodís bowels swallowed US $ 11 million up” to have been groundless. Therefore the authors rely exclusively on specific documents in their reply.
The reason for publications in Vesty was an old and still open argument about illegal bargain on transfer of currency for a new building of Kamchatrybvod. The author of the false release had quite specific point of view about it: “the transfer of US 422 thousand dollars from abroad to finance construction of a new building is legal and is confirmed by auditors from the Clearing House”.
Below we give word to the authors of this article.
It is obviously not valid to say so as questions of legality or illegality are vested in the Prosecutorís Office. In this connection we quote a man who has great authority in it. Quote from letter # 7/80 of the regional prosecutor V.N. Myshkin dated on March 15, 1996.
“The check-up established that payment between Kamchatrybvod and “Proteks, Ltd.” on purchase and sale of the building was made in US dollars on instruction of V.N Burkanov. This bargain should be considered illegal as neither Kamchatrybvod nor “Proteks, Ltd” had license of the RFís Central Bank to settle with foreign currency.
At present all money transferred has been recovered to the transit account of Kamchatrybvod in Kamchatprombank according to the Export and Import Supervising Serviceís direction. The offenders of the currency legislation in the persons of Kamchatrybvod, “Proteks, Ltd” and Promradtechbank were penalized. The Office of Public Prosecutor issued writ to the name of V.N. Burkanov, head of Kamchatrybvod. (As far as we know the law provides penalty for such actions amounting to the sum of illegal transaction. I wonder, who paid it. Whatever you may say, but 422 thousand “bucks” is a big pretty sum of money.)
Is there anyone who doubts in honesty and impartiality of the regional prosecutor, who in spite of his strong friendship with Vladimir Burkanov established the fact of violation of law by the latter? Besides, eyewitnesses state they saw them together almost everyday, especially when Burkanov had difficulties with law enforcement agencies. They saw either Myshkin in rybvod, or Burkanov in the prosecutorís office. In spite of their friendship the writ was issued.
The second argument: Burkanov offered to pay for the building “…at the expense of Kamchatrybvodís funds from inspectorship of foreign vessels”. Itís just another lie. We quote from a fax of the president of the Japanese firm “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” (remember this name as it will be mentioned more than once).
Tokyo: November 17, 1995. Source # L/A-580
Dear Mr. Burkanov,
We confirm credit relations between “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” and Kamchatrybvod on your inquiry. These relations were established by exchanging letters on June 1 and 10, 1995. According to the agreement reached “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” transferred US $ 422 thousand dollars as a credit to an account of “Proteks, Ltd” given to Kamchatrybvod. The date of repayment expires on December 12, 1995; Kamchatrybvod may pay the credit back either by transferring money on the account of “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” or by offsetting claims or by some other methods stipulated by the RFís legislation and agreed with the parties.
We inform you that the money transferred on the account of “Proteks, Ltd” stands in no relation to the mutual clearing against contract #AR-4/95, dated on January 15, 1995.
The final clearing against contract #AR-4/95 will be made later due to order provided by the law after this contract expires.
Securely yours,
Mr. N. Azumai, president (signature)
Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd
As you can see nothing is said about Kamchatrybvodís funds. The money was taken on credit from “Morikava” against vague commitments.
Why did the foreign commercial business borrow money in June to the Russian public enterprise? For a simple reason.
Firstly, April is marked with the following events. Below we quote from the article of Mr. Volynets written completely from S.P. Denisenkovís words, a chief of Kamchatrybvod, who was dismissed for illegal carriage of currency from abroad. The article is called “The borderline is locked. The key is lost”. Vesty (68), April 18, 1995.
“One of Akrosís seiners observed on 12 peacefully poaching boats in Vestnik Bay near the Isle of Utashud at 10 a.m. Two of them were Russian with names and numbers concealed, the rest ten ships were Japanese”… The essence of the offence follows it with names of the Japanese ships, etc. “On Sunday the staff of rybvod found out that all Japanese ships operated according to contract # 98-120(1) 21-94, made between “Sovrybflot” (Vladivostok) and the Japanese company “Morikava Shoidzi”. The contract period — January 1 — April 31 this year. The contract provided fisheries in Russian economic zone only but not in its territorial waters”.
Secondly, the State Fisheries Committee issued order # 68 on May 17, 1995 on this matter. The order covers official investigation and its results, the instruction part rebukes all involved in this matter, moreover it includes the following items.
“I order:
3. Glavrybvod, (V.A. Izmaylov) (the Central Office of the Federal Department for Protection and Reproduction of Fish Resources and Fisheries Regulations)
3.1. to prepare diplomatic note together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within five days to hand it to the embassy of Japan in Moscow concerning violation of fisheries in the territorial waters of Russia by the Japanese ships.”
This order was received by Kamchatrybvod on June 2, 1995, that is in 9 days after this note had been sent; it means Kamchatrybvod has no relation to this note. Besides the order obliges particular structures to work out measures, to toughen exactingness, to impose a penalty on the captains of the Japanese ships in accordance with established procedure (set off in bold by the author), etc.
Thirdly, the Kamchatka regional administration of FSB (Federal Security Bureau) brought criminal action # 676 against Japanese ships for illegal fishing in Russian territorial waters under clause 83 of the RSFSRís criminal code (providing criminal liability for trespassing state border, in this case territorial waters). Similarly they had to bring charges of a crime stipulated by clause 163 of the RSFSRís criminal code (poaching), though this could be available only in case if Kamchatrybvod provided investigators with documents it had to submit within three days.
All this promised “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” a gloomy outlook of separating from the “rich Russian pie” — fish resources. I believe that thoughts about criminal persecution, dreadful KGB, sever Siberia and terrible Russian winter flittered across minds of the Japanese poachers. With such prospects one could allow credit not only to a Russian enterprise but to anyone. So, there is nothing strange in giving the credit, it was merely an oriental precaution.
Then it was followed by repeated visits of owners of the poaching ships to Kamchatrybvod, tÍte-ŗ-tÍte talks with its managers, long and multiple changes in documents concerning the offence and at last on November 17, on the day when the aforementioned fax (# L/A — 580), which hinted in clear term at repayment of the credit and “offsetting of claim” among them, was received the chief executive of Kamchatrybvod Vladimir Burkanov endorsed “The office investigation act on violation of fisheries regulations by the Japanese trawlers on April 15, 1995”. The act points to “insufficient evidence on illegal fishery in territorial waters of the Russian Federation”. Thus the criminal offence of the Japanese poachers turned into a trivial violation of fisheries with one stroke of the pen (in 1995 the Criminal Code did not provide criminal responsibility for offences committed outside territorial waters under article 163). It is not difficult to understand Vladimir Burkanov — he had no way out — debts in 422 thousand “bucks” could make declare black be white and white be black. As for the statement that fisheries were carried out by these vessels in the economic zone, i.e. outside territorial waters — itís absolute untrue. The fact of poaching in territorial waters of Russia is corroborated by witnesses — crews of Akrosís vessels, extracts from the logs of these vessels, pieces of evidence in criminal case # 676 instituted for trespassing the borderline of territorial waters, by office investigation conducted by the staff of Sakhalinrybvod, by records of transgression made up by inspectors of Kamchatrybvod and at last by annual report of the Marine Department of Kamchatrybvod where pages 22-23 contain “illegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia” in the column “nature of transgression” across names of each of the eight ships in the table of transgressions made by foreign vessels.

Quote:


DatePosition dataShipís name, countryNature of transgressionFine, damages
16.04.9551.27 — 158.00Daitoku Maru 11, JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.202.812
16.04.9551.26 — 158.00Daian Maru 128, JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$898.345
16.04.9551.29 — 158.06Daito Maru 68,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.629.292
16.04.9551.27 — 158.00Seio Maru,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.508.537
15.04.9551.29 — 158.06Yoshi Maru 38,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$887.760
16.04.9551.29 — 158.06Eiku Maru 75,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.149.248
15.04.9551.29 — 158.06Daikiti Maru 5,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.932.275
15.04.9551.29 — 158.06Kashima Maru 8,JapanIllegal trawling in territorial waters of Russia$1.359.802
 
What did the Japanese benefit from the commutation of criminal responsibility to managerial one? According to the law this case had to be tried by the court, which, as a rule, seizes ships (each ship is estimated at US $1-1,2 million) as well as illegal harvest. Simultaneously the firm-transgressor recovers damages and its vessels have no license to fish until it pays in full. It had to be but what happened actually? It didnít go too far as to the court. Instead of confiscation, each ship was fined at $15, 358 dollars, the damages have not yet been recovered in full (judging by the KRUís report reflecting excessively free usage of foreign currency that Kamchatrybvod receives to its accounts the outlook of repayment seems too unreal). They (damages) could not have been paid as Vladimir Burkanov without any evident reason let them pay in installments for several years (there is no legal basis for it). Why did he do it? We guess to let them keep on their dirty business after receiving a license — ravaging fish resources of Russia under disguise of raising money to indemnify for losses. It happened all this way. Next year all poaching ships were licensed to fish in the economic zone of Russia. And from that year their names began to appear in reports on violation of fishery regulations, some names appeared repeatedly. On February 11, 1997 “Daikiti Maru 5” recorded as a transgressor in 1996 was caught once more while catching fish in a restricted area in southeast off Kamchatka peninsular near Vestnik Bay almost in the same position as in 1995. The offender was fined at 15,383 dollars and they had to pay damages at 39,399 dollars for fishing in restricted area and preventing an inspector from his lawful duties. After such an “exposure” not a single man of sense would have dared to dispatch an expensive boat to the Russian economic zone. Three offenses during two years, two of them are gross providing forfeiting of a vessel. But “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” is not that sort of firms that yields to troubles, especially when Kamchatrybvod is a reliable financial partner. In April according to a regular contract of “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” there appears “Taiko Maru 63”, the renamed “Daikiti Maru 5” in the Russian economic zone near Kamchatka. “Taiko Maru 63” has still been operating in our economic zone. They keep on ravaging us.
One more quote. This time from the letter of A. Rakhmanov, head of KRU at the RFís Ministry of Finance in Kamchatka province, to L. Chaika, the regional prosecutor, written after inspection of Kamchatrybvod. “I inform you that Kamchatrybvod hasnít received US $ 42,250 dollars at its dollar account for the work of inspectors on foreign vessels in 1997-1998.
Neither in the period of auditing nor in the course of reasoning on the act the management of Kamchatrybvod gave any invoice copies to KRUís officials put forward to the debtor “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd” (Japan) at US $ 42,250 dollars under contracts AR-48/97 and AR-5/97, confirming its posting or receiving by the Japanese party. No documents verifying bankruptcy of the firm mentioned above were given either.”
The firm in its turn did not plan go bankrupt at all. What if Kamchatrybvod lied about it? The offender “Dzuiho Maru 88”, the “hero” of the article “Japanese knelt before chekisty” (Vesty, September 9, 1999) held a contract with “Morikava Shoidzi Kaisha, Ltd”. This name is printed on the photos of documents published in this issue of Vesty. So, speaking about false facts turned into essential function for the ex-chief executive of Kamchatrybvod and the present field biologist V. Burkanov.
His personal “interest” in activities of such kind remains a secret.
Many readers know that a group of inspectors from KRU were examining Kamchatrybvod for 4 months. The examination revealed gross violation of financial discipline, among it was misuse of funds from state support and that of confiscated seafoods along with other illegal actions done by some officials.
In this connection the chief of Kamchatrybvod Vladimir Burkanov resorted to some measures to avoid responsibility. Kamchatrybvod took on a group of “independent auditors” to challenge the examination. Why do we call them “independent”? Because nothing depends upon them. Auditors are, as a rule, specialists in finance to be hired to assist in preparation of financial documents for auditing by supervising, particularly, by taxation bodies. They can assist in a different way, but one should pay for it. And he who pays the piper calls the tune. In this case it was Kamchatrybvod, i.e. it misused budgetary funds again that was confirmed by the examination.
Below we cite A. Rakhmanov, the head of KRU, who wrote in his covering letter to the Prosecutorís Office:
“The examination of some fiscal and economic activities of Kamchatrybvod over 1997-1998 and special items over 1996 by KRU at the RFís Ministry of Finance in Kamchatka province established gross violation of financial discipline in the part of misuse of funds from the federal budget, employing supernumeraries, unlawful accounting, salary and holiday payments, extra charges to salaries, completeness and due receipt and spending of foreign exchange received for the work of the Russian inspectors on foreign vessels; facts concealing penalties, forfeits and damage caused to natural resources of Russia. Besides it didnít ensure safety of funds and wealth, and committed other violations in fiscal and economic activities”.
The final part of this letter says: “From clause about KRU # 888 “About auditing bodies of the RFís Ministry of Finance” endorsed by resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation on August 6, 1998”,
I insist on:
1. Instituting criminal proceedings in accordance with the present legislation against management of Kamchatrybvod in the person of V. Burkanov for misfeasance, embezzlement, misuse of funds from the federal budget and from state support of fish industry; for squandering funds of environmental organizations as well as other fiscal offences along with people who permitted misappropriation of these funds and wealth.
2. Obliging management of Kamchatrybvod to take measures to repair damage to the state caused by unlawful salary and premiums payment, by writing off sums paid out on account having been included into total return; to recompense for extra written-off fuel which write-off rate for diesel oil was set high at 1 gram/kilocalorie and to impose a penalty on the managing staff for misappropriation and misuse of funds”. (The complete copy of this document is at the editorial office of PR).
As a result of it Vladimir Burkanov reprimanded many employees of Kamchatrybvod to make semblance of response to offences and disperse his responsibility among average executives. On September 7, “Kamchatrybvodís labor disputes committee found his order illicit and decreed to cancel all rebukes. Thus results of the six-month examination made by the Central Auditing Committee and printed on 700 pages were thrown into a waste paper bin.
As for poaching boats they go on laboring in our economic zone, poaching systematically.
P.S.
In the end I want to say that even after Vladimir Nikolayevichís departure Kamchatka has still been gathering fruits of his activities. There may seem no connection between Burkanov who is in the U.S.A. now and poisoning of more than 11 million fries of salmon at the fish hatchery “Ozerky” this spring that caused damage to the state in general and to Kamchatka fish industry in particular at the cost exceeding 12 billion rubles?
But there is! And it is obvious!
Contrary to Kamchatrybvod provisions prohibiting alienation of any state property run by Kamchatrybvod, Burkanov illegally concluded an operating agreement with a private business providing leasing of some working areas at the state fish hatchery “Ozerky” for 5 years, i.e. till July 1, 2003. The most paradoxical thing in it is that the business is being given considerable free limits to fish sock-eye salmon in Ust-Kamchatsk for several years instead of charging a rent for exploitation of the state property. But it was not over and the double-cheated state is still in trouble: two years on end some malefactors poison young salmon at the hatchery. In 2000 the sabotage was partially “successful” — there died ten thousand fries, but in 2001 ichthyo-terrorists did it one hundred per cent — they killed all fries there.
There may be many motives behind it. Relevant authorities are establishing now who is squaring accounts. Itís a home truth but these motives arose after the agreement had been concluded and the sabotage occurred at one hatchery only, where fries belonging to the private business were grown together with public ones.
Itís left to the reader to define what aims the present field biologist pursued while concluding the contract — selfish or it was inexcusable thoughtlessness, or even something worse, but the agreement expires in eighteen months only and no one knows what else will happen during this time. Moreover the present field biologist might have concluded more than one similar contract for which the nation paid too much during six years of his administrative-scientific-commercial activity (it turns out, that there is even such kind of work).
It remains to be seen.
Kamchatrybvodís press-center (now ex-center)
 

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