$35.5 mn embezzled by Russian ex-minister?
Moscow: A former deputy agriculture minister in Russia and two suspected accomplices have been detained over the alleged embezzlement of 1.1 billion ruble ($35.5 million) from a ministry-owned firm, the interior ministry said.
Alexei Bazhanov and two former agriculture company heads were held in Voronezh region in connection with a fraud they allegedly organised in 2008-2009, police said.
According to the investigation, Russia`s largest state-owned agro-industrial leasing company Rosagrolizing loaned the money to an agricultural company for leasing sunflower oil refining equipment but the funds were stolen instead.
Police said they will seek the formal arrest of the three on embezzlement charges.
Investigators began a major probe into corruption in the ministry last year, accusing the ministry`s Oleg Donskikh, who headed Rosagrolizing in the Central Federal District, of organising large-scale embezzlement between 2007 and 2009 with two accomplices.
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