Russian officials from the Federal State Reserve Agency sold four interceptor aircraft for 612 rubles (about $20). The Police Department in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod filed investigation into the illegal sale of the four MiG-31 aircraft.
In recent years the illegal sales of decommissioned military equipment have increased considerably. Quirky dealers from military organizations sell military equipment of every kind: decommissioned tanks, main guns, helicopters and ships (including aircraft carriers equipped with secret hardware).
Recently this list has been supplemented with four MiG-31 interceptor fighter jets. The inspection, held in cooperation with Federal Security Service of Russia, showed that the quirky officials from the Federal State Reserve Agency had sold the four jets (only the hulls without engines and electronic equipment). The airframes were stored at the Sokol Aircraft Construction plant. The interceptor aircraft were purchased by Metalsnab (Metal Supplies). The firm, the police said, did not have a right to purchase military hardware.
The auditing company, which the sellers invited, evaluated one jet at 153 rubles ($4.9), though actually it costs around 116 million rubles ($3.7 million).
As a result of this fraud transaction, the federal budget suffered damages of 466 million rubles (more than $15 million).
Military experts claim that a special committee must have been organized prior to the deal. The committee should have taken a decision what type of equipment was subject to selling.
Unfortunately, there is almost no system to control such deals in Russia. The Russian authorities have failed to arrange a state inspection agency to control the utilization of the decommissioned military equipment.