By Azamat Maitanov
A year ago the Governor of Atyrau Oblast Baktykozha Izmukhambetov during briefing at the Central Communications Service in Astana announced that crime-solving rate in our oil region is as high as 97%.
Generally speaking, not a single police in the world can boast with such high records. Except ours, of course. But we won't go deep into the issue of what methods some zealous law-enforcement employees use during investigations to get "confessions". We had many publications about that. But we'd better imagine a picture how recently the management of Internal affairs has reported to the head of the region that Atyrau Oblast became the leader … in crime rise! Only during 10 months of 2015 the quantity of criminal offenses grew by 40% compared to the same period in 2014. And this is taking into account the fact that in 2012-2014 the local budget allocated nearly 9,2 billion tenge for the material support of the local police. How effectively were these considerable funds used?
THEY WERE BUILDING POLICE HQ IN NURSAYA DISTRICT …
In 2013 the Police management approached the Governor's Office to build them a complex – a spacious building designed for 700 employees and hangar type parking place for 150 units of special transport. In September, 2014 the police deputy chief Abilseit Amirov informed our newspaper that in Nursaya residential district the construction of new building for police officers is coming to an end. The commissioning of that facility was scheduled for December, 2014, the contractor was “Kalak" LLP (see our publication “Police will move to Nursaya"). Besides, the colonel Amirov also said: "We don't know the details of the project, its cost and the name of the contractor. The old building of GNHS trust (the current Police HQ building) where we moved in 1997 is on the books of the regional financial adminstration, and we are obliged to return the building". According to our information 6 billion tenge were allocated from the state budget for the construction of the new Police HQ building and housing for police officers. In order to avoid any mistakes, we sent an editorial inquiry to the chief of police Arman Dzhalmoukhanbetov, the police major general, and received the following answer: “The regional Governor's Office supported our proposal. The client for the construction and engineering design is the construction department of the regional government and in that connection it is not possible to answer your questions about the cost, the characteristics of the facility and the terms of it construction and commissioning".
Actually it is a run-around reply – meaning that we have only proposed, and Governor's Office built it. But it appeared that in the regional construction department they know nothing about the construction of this facility for which billions of budgetary money has been allocated. During the telephone conversation with one of the deputy heads of construction department of Atyrau Oblast, he had a difficulty in recollecting what building we are talking about, then he suggested to us to approach the Mayor's construction department, since it was them who did the financing of the facility, by way of transfer from the republican budget to the city budget. Soon this was confirmed with the written answer signed by his boss – the chief of regional construction department Eltai Galymzhanov.
But whom should we address in Mayor's office, if quite recently the chief of this construction department and his deputy were arrested on suspicion in embezzlement of budget funds in especially large sizes? Therefore we sent our inquiry to the Mayor of Atyrau Nurlybek Ozhaev, however we received no answer.
… AND BUILT APARTMENTS FOR THE BOSSES?
So what have they built for the police? The building that you can see on the photo. The reader can clearly see that this low-rise new building with glass balconies doesn't look like (except for its brick fencing) a strategic facility designed for 700 stout military officers with a hangar for 150 vehicles. However for some reason this architectural masterpiece was persistently called the new police headquarters under construction. Possibly, they tried to hide from the people as long as they could the fact that in Nursaya residential district instead of new police headquarters for some reason they built 12-apartment elite house with its own territory, each apartment having 250 sq.m space? Perhaps they are intended for accommodation of police management board and some officials? Or is it a new hotel? After all, in the engineering design this facility is called "The Guest House". Oh, those construction departments, they completely confused us all...
So, what actually will be in this building? Judging by yellow gas pipes that engirdled the building, there should be about a dozen of kitchens and dining rooms. But it is hard to believe that police management experiences housing difficulties and leads a homeless life. Majority of them, despite their modest salary, live in luxury cottages, as a rule, registered on the names of their relatives. But you can't say the same thing about ordinary police officers. As we were informed by the police department, currently 330 police officers need housing, out of that number over 150 officers need housing very badly and 45 officers receive compensation for house renting from the republican budget.
MOTOR BOAT FROM FABIO BUZZI
In 2013 the regional police department purchased from FB Design company belonging to the famous Italian racer and engineer Fabio Buzzi a high-speed patrol boat FS-38 Stab. Generally speaking, the boat is intended for warm Mediterranean waters, and not for severe Caspian climate. But we were more interested in the cost of the product of the leading Italian boat builder. In the Internet the price for the minimum set starts from one million dollars. According to our information, Atyrau police officers went for full option set and, therefore, for the most expensive one. Concerning this purchase the press service of police department replied the following: "On our books we have one unit of FS-38 Stab patrol boat produced by FB Design Italian company. This floatation device has two-engines, it is a high-speed boat with a passenger capacity up to 8 people. It was purchased for patrolling and inspection purposes. The tasks to be carried out: patrolling, interception of violators of established rules of navigation and fishing, detention of ships violating rules of navigation, and their convoy to the naval bases of authorized bodies. This boat was purchased with the money from local budget allocated by the regional Governor's Office for strengthening of the material base of the regional BPPRZ department (BPPRZ meaning the department for fighting against criminal infringement of fish stocks, in other words - the water police. – Comment by the author). The cost of the boat is 198 million tenge (at the exchange rate in 2013 it is about 1,3 million dollars. – Comment by the author). At the moment the funds for boat maintenance have not been allocated, because it is still under the guarantee of the supplier firm".
There is a question: why our poor police officers buy such an expensive imported equipment? For this money they could have ordered several patrol boats in Uralsk shipbuilding plant. At the same time they could have supported domestic producer as it was recommended by Nursultan Abishevich during participation in the ceremony of launching of powerful coast guard ships. And moreover, the performance of our water police officers didn't improve at all since the purchase of the speed boat. One example: in August of 2015 my colleague Zulfiya Bainekeeva recorded a video with kilometers of illegal poachers' nets stretched out under the nose of the “fighters" against the infringement to fish stocks of the country (see "Whose trap nets fishery inspection is guarding?").
THEY DON'T INVITE TO DISTRICT POLICE STATION BECAUSE IT IS IN DANGEROUS CONDITION
So the following picture is outlined. Using billions of budgetary funds the police buy a very expensive Italian boat, receives instead of an office building an unclear facility, and crime rate both on water and land is only increasing. And in the last few years not a single police station has been built in rural areas, in villages! Recently, in December, in Kurmangazy District located on the border with Russia during an interregional meeting with their colleagues from Astrakhan our police officers accepted them in the local district government building. They were simply ashamed to invite their colleagues to an old building of the District police that was in dangerous condition...