Investigators Seize Over $20M from Defense Ministry Fraud Suspects

MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russian law enforcers have confiscated over 750 million rubles ($23.3 million) from the managers of a Defense Ministry services company they suspect were involved in a military real-estate fraud, the Investigative Committee spokesman said.

The cash “has been seized as evidence in the criminal case” against Alexander Yelkin, former general director of the Slavyanka company, and seven other employees charged with 17 offenses involving embezzlement of over 85 million rubles ($2.6 million) in state funds, spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement. 

Yelkin, who was detained in November last year, has been accused of embezzling 53 million rubles ($1.6 million) of the cash allocated by the Defense Ministry for military maintenance contracts, the Committee said.

Markin said it has been also confirmed that managers at the Slavyanka company, a subsidiary of the Defense Ministry’s Oboronservis property service company, received a 130 million ($4 million) ruble bribe.

Russian law enforcers have also seized 40 items of property, including apartments, houses, land plots and luxury cars, the statement said. An investigation into another five offenses is ongoing.

An investigation into the scandal around Oboronservis was the official reason given for the sacking of then Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov late last year. He has been questioned on two occasions by investigators and remains a witness in the case, the Investigative Committee said earlier this year.

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