Russian Investigators Give Details Of Scale Of Embezzlement By Officials In 2010

Hands of Woman Holding Cash At Opening of PurseMoscow, 3 February: Embezzlement is the main type of corruption-related crimes probed by investigators from internal affairs bodies, the Investigations Committee under the Ministry of Internal Affairs says.

"Investigators from Russian internal affairs bodies investigate a large number of corruption-related crimes, and embezzlement by officials still constitutes the bulk of these crimes," says a press release circulated at the news conference of the chief of the Investigations Committee under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Aleksey Anichin, at the Interfax office on Thursday (3 February).

Thus in the first 11 months of 2010, operational subdivisions of internal affairs bodies brought to light over 22,000 crimes covered by Article 160 of the Russian Criminal Code (embezzlement or misuse of funds), over 4,000 of them on a large or extra large scale.

One of the examples, the Investigations Committee under the Interior Ministry recalls, is the criminal prosecution of a deputy prime minister of the Republic of Karelia, health care and social development minister Valeriy Boynich, charged with receiving a bribe through an intermediary with elements of extortion, and with abuse of office.

"The investigation in this criminal case has now been completed. The official was under the surveillance of the FSB (Federal Security Service) and Interior Ministry directorates for the republic for eight months," the press release says.

It also says that in January-November 2010, law-enforcement bodies brought to light over 275,000 economic crimes, one in five of them on a large or extra large scale. The investigations into 193,000 of these crimes have been completed. Criminal cases on 161,500 have been sent to courts, more that 96,000 people who committed the crimes have been identified, and criminal charges have been brought against 73,000 of them.

"Material damage from economic crimes totalled over R176bn (5.9bn dollars at the current rate of exchange). Assets have been sequestered and objects related to criminal activities seized, worth about R105bn. This means that 60 per cent of the damage has been recovered," the press release says.

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