A top executive of Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot was found guilty of major fraud and was sentenced to imprisonment.
On July 8, 2022, Vladimir Alexandrov, the deputy general director at Aeroflot was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment by the Gagarinsky District Court of Moscow. The senior executive of the Russian airline was found guilty of a large-scale multi-million-ruble fraud, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
“The court ruled to find Alexandrov guilty of the crime under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code [large-scale fraud – ed. note] and sentence him to imprisonment for seven years in a high-security penitentiary,” the court’s judge Olga Arbuzova was cited by local media as saying.
Following the court’s ruling, the deputy general director was also fined 900,000 rubles ($14,343).
Alexandrov was arrested in October 2019, after Russian authorities suspected him of having signed four contracts with two lawyers, Alexander Slivko and Dina Kibets, on behalf of Aeroflot. At the time, the senior executive of the airline made a deal for the provision of legal aid to Aeroflot in various civil and criminal proceedings. However, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the air carrier did not need such services as it has its internal legal department for such cases.
Alexandrov is not the first top executive of Aeroflot who has caught the attention of Russian authorities recently.
On June 15, 2022, Mikhail Minayev, director of Aeroflot’s fleet planning and aircraft procurement, was placed under arrest by Moscow’s Khoroshevsky court as he was charged as a defendant “within the framework of investigative actions carried out by authorized bodies,” Aeroflot’s press department confirmed to Interfax at the time.
If found guilty, Minaev could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to a million rubles ($17,637).
Earlier in May 2022, the Khoroshevsky court arrested Andrey Panov, another senior member of Aeroflot’s management team. At the time, the former deputy CEO was accused of being involved in a similar major fraud case.
In April 2022, just before the arrest, agents from the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia raided the Aeroflot office in Moscow and seized hard drives and documents belonging to the marketing and strategy department.
The raid took place after Panov published an opinion column about Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in the Financial Times, where it called on his former colleagues who currently stay in Russia to “sabotage the war effort”. Immediately after the raid, local police questioned employees working in Aeroflot’s marketing and strategy department.