Police Reveal $1 Mln Caspian Highway Fraud

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – Police have detained four suspects accused of embezzling 31 million rubles ($1 million) of budget funds allocated for the maintenance of the Caspian Highway, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Volga construction company won a 680 million ruble tender in March 2012 to repair the M-6 highway, a major trunk road linking Moscow to the Caspian Sea, the ministry said in a statement.

Investigators found that managers from the Volga construction company then paid 31 million rubles to a fictional subsidiary to resurface the highway, but this had in fact already been done by the prime contractor.

The money was later shared between the officials managing the highway, the Volga construction company and a number of businessmen, according to the police.

Investigators have conducted more than 20 searches at the offices of the officials and affiliated firms in Moscow, Tambov and Volgograd. Two fake IDs of a Russian investigator and prosecutor were found during the searches.

Earlier this month, the Russian Investigative Committee opened several criminal cases against a group in central Russia’s Veliky Novgorod Region suspected of misappropriating half a billion rubles ($16 million) of budget funds allocated for road maintenance.


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