Finance official arrest linked to Soviet debt settlement -source

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The arrest of Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak is linked to the settlement of the former Soviet debt to commercial firm Sodexim, a source in the Russian Finance Ministry said on Sunday.
MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - The arrest of Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak is linked to the settlement of the former Soviet debt to commercial firm Sodexim, a source in the Russian Finance Ministry said on Sunday.

Storchak, who was supposed to accompany Russia's finance minister on a trip to South Africa, and two businessmen were detained late Thursday in Moscow on suspicion of attempted large-scale fraud. The Basmanny District Court issued an arrest warrant on Friday.

"The case is about the expediency of that deal. Under the documents, which are currently under consideration at the government, we have a debt to that company," the source said, adding that, possibly, the scope of obligations under the transaction was questioned.

Sergei Storchak assumed his current post in November 2005. In 2004, when he was still head of the international finance and foreign debt department in the ministry, his deputy was arrested on graft charges.

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