Former Aeroflot President Yevgeny Shaposhnikov testified in court on Wednesday that he had made "conscious decisions" as to the transfer of corporate funds to the bank account of the Swiss-based firm Andava. Shaposhnikov is a witness in the Aeroflot embezzlement case.
May 1996 through November 1997, seventy-seven of Aeroflot's foreign offices transferred to Andava's account a total 252.4 million dollars, with most of the sum subsequently diverted to private accounts. Aeroflot then initiated a civil suit for 214 million roubles in damages.
Shaposhnikov said at the court hearing that such close attention to Andava, where 80 percent of Aeroflot's foreign-currency receipts were diverted, had been caused by the dishonest chiefs of some of Aeroflot's foreign offices.
According to the witness, the idea to accumulate all of the company's hard-currency receipts in a single center was suggested even before Nikolai Glushkov's appointment as Vice President for Finance.
Glushkov is one of those charged in the Aeroflot case. There are six more defendants, including former Vice President for Commerce and Marketing Alexander Krasnenker, former Chief Accountant Lidia Kryzhevskaya, and Roman Sheinin, President of the Finansovaya Obyedinennaya Korporatsia insurance company.
The Prosecutor General's Office accuses these officials of embezzlement by misleading Shaposhnikov as to the feasibility of accumulating Aeroflot funds in Andava.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969