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08:40 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russia

Two Oboronservis Case Suspects Arrested

Russia
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Moscow’s Khamovniki Court sanctioned the arrest of two suspects in the embezzlement case against managers of the defense ministry’s property services holding company Oboronservis.

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow’s Khamovniki Court sanctioned the arrest of two suspects in the embezzlement case against managers of the defense ministry’s property services holding company Oboronservis.

Maxim Zakutailo, the former head of a Moscow air force depot, and his wife Yekaterina Smetanova are suspected of a large-scale fraud. They will be kept in custody until December 10.

Smetanova is suspected of involvement into five episodes within the Oboronservis case. She is also suspected of destroying documents that could have served as evidence in the case.

The woman argued that she and her husband voluntarily came to investigators for testimony once they were summoned.

She also asked not to put her in custody because she has to care for two underage children.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said last Thursday Oboronservis managers were under investigation for alleged embezzlement of up to $100 million, by selling off properties at below market value. Some of the properties were in Moscow, which has some of Europe’s most expensive real estate.

They are also suspected of using ministry funds to renovate some of the most lucrative properties, and then illegally selling them or renting them out for commercial purposes.

Officers of the Investigative Committee’s Main Military Investigation Directorate seized documents from the Defense Ministry’s property department and questioned its officials last week.