Several senior government officials in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria have been arrested on suspicion of theft of state property worth millions of rubles, Russia’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
According to preliminary investigations, businesswoman Madina Khatsukova, using family ties with officials in the local government, attempted to obtain property rights on a building of a philharmonic society in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, Nalchik.
Vladimir Zhamborov, head of Kabardino-Balkaria presidential administration and Ruslan Zhamborov, deputy minister on state property and land resources, authorized the sale of the building to Khatsukova without an auction for 1 million rubles (about $30,000).
The market value of the building is estimated at over 20 million rubles (over $620,000).
Police raided the houses and offices of the suspects, and seized evidence of their involvement in the scheme.
The suspects could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.