Leadership: Russian Thieves Target MiG-31s

Archives

August 12, 2009: Russian prosecutors are trying to find out who ordered the sale (as government surplus) of four MiG-31 fighters for $5 each. Even though the aircraft were being sold without engines or weapons, they were still worth nearly $4 million each. While the sale was ordered (by a government agency that disposes of surplus equipment) two years ago, it was never completed. All the prosecutors and their investigators have is paperwork ordering the transfer of the four aircraft to what appears to be a shell corporation. The four MiG-31s are still sitting at the plant where they were manufactured, and left in limbo. No one wanted the MiG-31s when the Cold War ended nearly 20 years ago, and Russia could not afford to equip them with engines and weapons.

There's more to this mystery. The paperwork ordering the low cost transfer, cannot be traced back to an individual. Or at least not traced back to anyone who will admit they authorized the $5 sales. What the prosecutors do know is that the Russian military, and defense industries, have lost billions of dollars worth of weapons, equipment and even cash, since the Cold War ended, in similar scams. The problem is that there are no accounting controls on such thefts, which are usually not discovered until after the thieves had got away, and covered their tracks.

 

 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close