A scandal around Junda oil refinery, which is situated near the capital - in the town of Kara-Balta- is picking up steam.
Background is as follows: the State Service for Combating Economic Crimes (SSCEC) - or, simply, the financial police - started checking the plant on a tip from the Tax Service (the company has not paid more than 54 million soms in taxes). In addition to the voiced cash shortage, it detected even larger violations - a shortage of 1,000 tons of AI 95 gasoline at 26 million soms and the lack of $ 2.6 million at the cash office of the company (there were only 600,000 soms).
Speaking at a session of the Parliament, the head of SSCEC Baktybek Ashirov stressed several times that the work of the enterprise was not stopped. Employees of the financial police only confiscated accounting records and a chip from the server, which records the entry and exit of vehicles. The rest of the equipment and, most importantly, the desk which maintains operation of the entire plant, are working. This information was confirmed by one of the deputies of the Parliament, who has visited the company, but prefers to remain anonymous.
Moreover, the deputies, in the face of the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Fuel, Energy Complex and Subsurface Management Kozhobek Ryspaev, acknowledged that if the management of Junda oil refinery forcedly stopped the production, they must be liable for it.
Right on cue
However, there were also "defenders" (but of what and whom - decide for yourself), as they claim, of "ordinary Kyrgyz citizens," who urged the authorities "to change the working methods and not to nightmarize the business." Political scientists (yes, you heard right: not economists) Bakyt Baketaev, Kairat Osmonaliev and suddenly joined them a hero of the April revolution Kairat Medetbaev along with the social activist of April people's movement Zhyldyzbek Turganov held a press conference the day before, calling it a round table discussion even though the event was not attended by a single representative of the parties, directly involved in the matter: neither Junda oil refinery, SSCEC nor even the Parliament.
So they talked: experts thundered against the authorities, who, allegedly, deterred investors while the puzzled journalists tried to get at least some of the facts and evidence, and the keynote of the speeches was "why to detain and arrest a man?" This man is a deputy director of the plant - a Chinese citizen Yu Shan Lin.
Moreover, experts flatly refused to admit that they actually came to defend the interests of the foreigner. "We speak in defense of the plant workers, who wonder why the plant was stopped," Bakyt Baketaev told to the journalists. "You know, we are interested in it too. So would you be kind enough to tell us about the situation at the plant and what of the equipment has been sealed off?" the journalists asked the speakers. Oops ... As it turned out, they have not visited the plant yet! Well, they at least sent the requests to SSCEC and deputies of the Parliament.
Never too much of a good thing
But as it turned out, the experts had a lot of information that, for example, the company has paid more than a billion soms in taxes and social contributions since 2009 till 2014 and other 830,000,000 in 2015. It also trains 88 students from Kyrgyzstan (nearly $ 415,000 have been spent on it). And the average salary of an employee at Junda is 20-25 thousand soms per month. For a complete understanding of the situation we note that the plant employs 878 people, 552 of them are Kyrgyz citizens, and the rest (369) - the citizens of China.
But the most interesting is that the data on the processed raw materials and manufactured products are available just ... for the first five months of 2015. From January 1 till May 30, 2015 the plant has received 95,000 tons of raw materials and it has produced 56,000 tons. What the company was doing all the rest of the time? According to Bakyt Baketaev, it was switching from Euro 4 to Euro 2. Apparently, it's really time-consuming process that takes seven months.
Discussion of the economic aspects which, in fact, imply the lion's share of the refinery problems, was over at this point and all the attention was focused on the fact that Kyrgyzstan must change the approach to solving problems with unscrupulous taxpayers, especially if they are foreign investors. Bakyt Baketaev cited an example from his own experience when being a member of the Anti-Corruption Council. "Many of the issues, when there were complaints, we have resolved through calls and asked: what are you doing? Put things in order," expert told. It is, probably, a really effective method.
The spokesmen also frightened by the fact that closure of oil refinery in Kara- Balta is worth noting for such an oil giant as China Petrol Company, which will suffer relatively small losses. "And if they file a lawsuit? And there are plenty of arguments in their favor," Kairat Osmonaliyev frightened. But the answer to the question, why then representatives of such a reputable company needed this headache with tax evasion of 54 million soms along with the concealment of $ 2.6 million and 1000 tons of fuel, also remained unanswered.
Only one thing is clear: someone plays, and plays for high stakes, and those, who are able to "strike while the iron is hot," are cashing in on it.