Nuclear scientists caught embezzling millions

The former head of Russia’s Nuclear Agency has been arrested on suspicion of masterminding a scam to embezzle €1.25 million in research funding.

The Interior Ministry says while the man embezzled about half of the sum for personal gain, even more funding may turn out to have been stolen by agency workers.

The stolen money was expected to be spent on improving safety at nuclear facilities in Russia – something vitally important, as the recent Fukushima disaster demonstrated.

Another part of the money was allocated for actually developing new technologies. The scientists even presented those, but later the “findings” turned out to be simply downloaded from the internet. This was the leak that helped the Interior Ministry to charge the offenders.

“These were very basic scientific projects open to everyone,” Colonel Andrey Pilipchuk, from the Economic Security Department of the Interior Ministry, told RT. “You can easily find them on the internet. They were all connected with nuclear energy. They were being used to hide the crimes.”

The agency’s site states that the organization is fighting corruption on a daily basis. In 2011 alone, three criminal cases were launched into employees’ corrupt wrongdoings. Twelve top managers were sacked for “having poor resistance to corruption,” and 35 bosses were fired in 2010 for the same reasons.

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