The Russian Federal Security Service is investigating the embezzlement of billions of rubles from the construction of the GLONASS center in Korolyov, a town outside Moscow, the Izvestia newspaper reports.
According to information shared by the Russian Legal Information Agency, the Investigative Committee’s department for the Moscow Region has launched a preliminary probe into the case.
Construction of the GLONASS satellite navigation system control and support center began in June 2010 on the site used by TsNIImash, the head research company of Russia’s federal space agency. The center was supposed to hold equipment for collecting and processing the data supplied by the GLONASS global network.
The construction was financed by a federal program, with 1.050 billion ($33.22 million) allocated for the project. By the end of 2010, it came to light that construction costs had been overstated, Izvestia reports. An expert appraisal revealed that the contractor had rigged the costs. The government did not allocate additional funds, so construction was suspended in December 2011 when the Federal GLONASS Program for 2002-2011 ended. The construction of the building has never been completed.
In November 2012, the general designer of GLONASS, Yuri Urlichich, was dismissed from his post as a result of the scandal.