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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

KamAZ Exec in Probe Vanishes


WWW.EVENING-KAZAN.RU

Viktor Faber

The disappearance of one of KamAZ's top executives and its possible connection to a wide-scale probe of the truckmaker's finances is causing a stir in Tatarstan.

Company officials said Wednesday that deputy general director Viktor Faber, who heads the KamAZ foundry, the largest in Europe, left company headquarters in Naberezhniye Chelny for the regional capital of Kazan on May 27 and has not been heard from since.

Faber reportedly telephoned colleagues to tell them he was leaving on a business trip on the same day a local newspaper published the results of a Finance Ministry investigation into his company's finances.

News of Faber's disappearance surfaced only on Tuesday after an "information leak" from the Interior Ministry, Kazan's evening daily Vechernyaya Kazan reported.

The newspaper quoted local investigators as saying they believe Faber may have been kidnapped and that they have been combing the forests around Naberezhniye Chelny with sniffer dogs for the past few days.

When reached by telephone, neither police nor prosecutors would officially comment on the case.

Khamza Yemdaliyev, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's inspection and monitoring department, said by telephone that he was unfamiliar with the details of the KamAZ investigation, but he did confirm that his ministry had carried out an "in-depth" probe of the company in the third quarter of 2002, in conjunction with the Economic Development and Trade Ministry and the State Property Fund.

"The financial policies of KamAZ have resulted in an unending growth of losses that cannot be accounted for," Vechernyaya Kazan quoted the Finance Ministry as saying in its summation of the investigation.

The newspaper said Faber was responsible for writing off $1 million in debt to his foundry from a German company called Profuna in 2002, a sum equal to half of the KamAZ group's profit for the year. Faber's division sold parts through Profuna to major Western automakers such as Daimler-Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Ford.

During the probe, inspectors found a letter in Faber's office from Profuna that said, according to Vechernyaya Kazan:

"Dear Mr. Faber, we are sorry to say on this day, [Sept. 10, 1999] that the Profuna company must officially declare itself bankrupt and cease all trading. ... We wish you and your colleagues all the best in your personal and professional lives. Respectfully, Profuna."

No other documents were found that would indicate Faber made any attempts to retrieve the $1 million debt, according to the newspaper. Last year Faber wrote off the debt as a company loss.

An Internet search for Profuna found a legal affairs web site, www.rws-verlag.de, which listed a company called Profuna Leichtmetalle Handels GmbH in its section on bankruptcy proceedings for the year 2000. No contact information was provided.