MOSCOW, April 22 (RAPSI) - A contractor working at Vostochny Cosmodrome construction site in Russia's Far East where mass labor violations were revealed is suspected of embezzling 50.5 million rubles ($940,000), Russia’s Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday.
An inspection revealed that the contractor received an advance payment of 50.5 million rubles but failed to finish work and provide a report, the statement reads.
Vostochny Cosmodrome has been plagued by payment delays and corruption scandals.
Deputy Prime Ministry Dmitry Rogozin visited the construction site earlier this month after its workers went on a hunger strike.
Stroyindustriya-S became the first construction company against which a criminal case was opened. Its CEO, Sergei Terentyev, was detained over salary delays. Investigators claim that Terentyev was aware that the company had the necessary funds but intentionally did not pay the staff. The debt was estimated to have exceeded 14 million rubles ($260,000).
The Prosecutor General’s Office announced earlier this week that over 100 complaints had been submitted over labor law violations. Over 170 individuals were fined or disciplined, according to prosecutors.
Three criminal cases into the alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds allocated for the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome facilities have been opened so far.
The construction of the cosmodrome, which is intended to become Russia's main launch site for space missions, began in 2012. The facility is planned to be completed by by November 30, and the first manned mission is scheduled for 2018.