APEC Summit Organizer’s Office Searched

VLADIVOSTOK, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators carried out a search Thursday morning at the eastern directorate of the Regional Development Ministry as part of an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of nearly $6 million, a source in local law enforcement told RIA Novosti.

“The search began on Thursday morning and has been active for several hours. It is part of a crimininal investigation into the theft of 178 million rubles,” the source said.

The Regional Development Ministry’s Far East Directorate was the state coordinator and client for construction projects during the APEC 2012 summit in Vladivostok in September.

Preparations for the summit came under heavy criticism from the government. A 29 billion ruble (about $1 billion) highway built for the event was forced to undergo repairs after weather and landslides caused sections of it to collapse.

The Primorye Territory Federal Migration Service, meanwhile, fined a number of construction companies involved in the preparations for the summit for having illegally hired 12,000 foreign workers, including about 8,700 from neighboring countries.

The law enforcement source said investigators had taken documents and information storage items from computers at the ministry’s local office.

Telephone calls to the directorate went unanswered.

The regional Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry (MVD) declined to comment on the situation.


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