Dmitry Smirnov, the head of research team, says that on March 22 a group of sporty people led by Viktor Petrik broke into the laboratory. They made a search, disassembled the process installation and drew the catalyst from it. The scientists use the catalyst to elaborate the technology of processing liquid carbon from combustion gases in the oil production.
According to Smirnov, Petrik took with him not only the catalyst, but also the mobile phones and car keys of the employees. As well as one of them (against his will). The abductors drove the kidnapped person around the city before throwing him out of the car.
On March 23 from the early morning some employees began to receive emails with threats. The mail came from Petrik's personal address, but it may well have been a third person who used Petrik's account for ill purposes.
The scientists did not go to the police for fear that Petrik would carry out his threat. Dmitry Smirnov, the head of the laboratory, was the only one who wrote a written request to the prosecutor.
Viktor Petrik commented upon the situation in a telephone conversation, saying: «It is sheer nonsence, which is made up against me by someone» (and hung up). Half an hour later he called back and said that his company, Goldformula, appealed to law-enforcement agencies because Smirnov's laboratory illegally kept hold of the equipment owned by Goldformula. Smirnov says: «It is absolutely clear that having learned about it [the request to prosecutor] they are trying to reverse the situation».
Viktor Petrik graduated from Leningrad State University in 1975, where he received a degree in Psycology. Nine years later he was found guilty of committing 13 crimes, including robbery, extortion, attempted robbery and compulsion of evidence. He faced 11 years in prison, but in 1989 he received early discharge and was freed.
Petrik's ground-breaking research has received much publicity. He has learned how to make Stradivarius violin, developed technology of growing up gems and engraving them artfully, found a formula of lossless gambling and built a perpetuum mobile… But his most famous invention is a miraculous water-filter. In 2007 Petrik's Goldformula Company won the right to participate in the federal programme «Fresh water». This programme stipulated the provision of special water-filters to all state-run establishments. The state initially planned to spend $ 15 billion for the programme. The initiator of the programme was Borys Gryzlov - the speaker of Russia's parliament and United Russia party leader.
But when the controversy spiked, the state target-programme “Fresh water” was excluded from the list of programme, the federal government was going to fund.