A number of appointments were made by the President of Belarus on 27 January. During a meeting with the newly appointed leaders, Alexander Lukashenko touched upon the important subject of the detention of one of Belarusian entrepreneurs.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
His surname is Knyrovich. Right now, I was reported by the Chairman of the Committee. There is nowhere to put a stigma on that businessman. Together with the other ten, who were also arrested. I now have a document. I was previously reported on the issue of housing and communal services, we controlled it. I ordered to sort out these issues without any delay or fear.
They plunged into it and found that hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved. We found his illegal accounting. But most importantly, he is now lamenting, asking for clemency. It turns out he's ready to come to me and seek a pardon and he is ready to compensate for the damage, admitting his guilt. Some online sources write about something in his defense. How can they? These men are full of sins.
We won't show any indulgence to the crooks. A thief must sit in jail! This is my resolution on the report of the Chairman of the KGB.
Everyone involved in this, intermediaries who paid bribes and so on... They will go to jail. Bring it up to your subordinates and remember it yourself.
Now we need to look at the chiefs of districts: why did they allow this? Why did they purchase products at inflated prices? The essence of this crime: they bought products for utilities at inflated prices. This high price was distributed between those who bought, who was a mediator, and so on. Dozens of people were involved in those bribes. They opened accounts in Russia, Lithuania, Latvia. There put there their money, then, already in cash, in suitcases, they took it into Belarus. This was a whole criminal scheme. How can I pardon them? What pardon? They robbed our people, because it was people who paid higher prices. Here is why we had high utility tariffs.
Therefore I order to control this case and show everyone that the thief will be put in prison. No leniency or mercy. Look, guys, you are face to face with people. Our people are accustomed to the fact that we look for justice everywhere. It's good. Our people are the fairest and are very keen in everything that has something to do with justice. Our people see everything, even things they should not see. And thank God. Such is our society, with a keen sense of justice. So I ask you: do not take something if it's not yours, especially if this belongs to the state.