In Ukraine, there is a unique company - Dnipropetrovsk Pointwork Plant producing turnouts for the railroad. They need to be repaired, and 5-7% have to be replaced for new ones every year. However, the rail update, and pointworks in particular, will be dramatically reduced in 2013! And the reasons for the reduction of switches procurement - corruption and unfair competition. But the resonance of the story makes the fact that in the center of controversy is one of the heads of the Cabinet - Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Vilkul, reports Censor.NET.
How competition of the two companies ended in "raids" by government bodies we learn from witness No. 1 - one of the shareholders of the Dnipropetrovsk Pointwork Plant Oleh Levin:
"We have a positive attitude to competition from Kerch Pointwork Plant included in the sphere of influence of SCM. Our relationship with SCM has always been polite and cooperative, as we were one of the largest customers of their products. Special rails for our switches have been purchased at Azovstal for over 20 years. In addition, two years the Ministry of Infrastructure was headed by Vice Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov, who, I hear, is a close friend of the SCM shareholder Rinat Akhmetov. And during the course of his work Kolesnikov did not how a single case when these personal relationships affected the state's attitude to issues of competition between Dnipropetrovsk and Kerch plants. On the contrary, there was a professional approach to business, and no hint of conflict of interest. But the appointment on December 24 of the former governor of Dnipropetrovsk oblast Oleksandr Vilkul as Deputy Prime Minister initiated the attack on our company.
"In December 2012, right after the appointment of Mr. Vilkul as Deputy Prime Minister, we suddenly started having problems with the supply of rails from Azovstal. Shipments stopped without explanation, and we do not have products that are already paid for. Supply gap with Azovstal created serious problems for us. We soon realized that this action was not accidental. Following a hostile action against our plant was the cessation of payment for already delivered Ukrzaliznytsia turnouts. All purchases were stopped. As of today the debt reached 91 million hryvnia. The reasons were not explained to us. In January 2013 we were approached by Director General of Transinvest holding Oleksandr Shpylka and Volodymyr Mezentsev, General Director of Lemtrans. The negotiations were short - these gentlemen offered the shareholders to sell our company. We immediately refused. For managers of Dnipropetrovsk plant it is the business of their lives, we are actively investing in the plant, developing new directions. However, once again in a rigid form we were offered to sell it, and for a specific price - defiantly ridiculous. They say, you will do it anyway, you still have to sell. Shortly after the meeting several Internet sites published fraudulent material that supposedly one of the shareholders of the plant sold its shares.
Immediately after our refusal, since January of this year, the Dnepropetrovsk plant came under siege by this regulatory authorities. Initially the State Financial Inspection came to us. Then the State Tax Service began checking some past periods. Then - the fire inspection. Reviewers suffer, trying to dig up dirt, which is not there, because we are completely legitimate and we are already checked all the year round by everyone.
It was made clear that the customer of this "attack" is Oleksandr Vilkul and the cause of the inspections is our intransigence in the negotiations. Vilkul fully retained influence in the oblast, there are still his people working here. We turned to Shpilka saying that we are outraged by this shameless "attack", and no negotiations will take place under pressure. We also demanded to stop unwarranted inspections by regulatory authorities, to restore normal relations with the Azovstal, and to resume payments for delivered products. Shpilka replied the following: "What gurantees do we have that once we stop it, you will sell us the plant? Sell us plant and get rid of the inspections, and other problems that you may have." We understand that the next step by Vilkul group may be bogus criminal charges against the company's management.