ESPO: Four Billion Dollar Theft


Official documents submitted by Russia’s state-owned pipeline monopoly, Transneft, to the Audit Chamber in 2008 reveal large-scale fraud committed by Transneft management, its subsidiaries and contractors in connection with the construction of the Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. Anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny, who is a minority shareholder of Transneft, said all facts of theft and fraud were confirmed by Transneft management.

According to Mr Navalny’s rough estimate, the illegalities in connection with the ESPO project resulted in total losses of around USD 4 billion to Transneft. Mr Navalny said he intended to pursue criminal prosecution through all legal means both within and outside Russia, in countries where those responsible for the crimes may reside. Mr Navalny has called on Russia’s law enforcement agencies to investigate the crimes and vows to draw public attention to the case.

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