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Russian Defense Researchers Arrested for $15.7M Embezzlement

© RIA Novosti . Anton Denisov / Go to the photo bankRussian Defence Ministry
Russian Defence Ministry - Sputnik International
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A former Russian Defense Ministry research institute director and his deputy have been arrested on suspicion of embezzling 500 million rubles ($15.7 million) in state funds, the Investigative Committee said Tuesday.

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – A former Russian Defense Ministry research institute director and his deputy have been arrested on suspicion of embezzling 500 million rubles ($15.7 million) in state funds, the Investigative Committee said Tuesday.

Andrei Beltov, who headed the Central Research Institute of Economics, IT and Management Systems, and his deputy, Dmitry Ostrovsky, are suspected of siphoning off the funds by using a government defense contract, investigators said in a statement.

Russia’s defense establishment has been rocked over the past year by a series of high-profile corruption scandals.

Investigators said that during a two-month period this year, Beltov and Ostrovsky carried out a fraudulent scheme to embezzle money by forging documents while implementing a state order to develop aircraft communication systems.

The illegally obtained funds were transferred to affiliated legal entities, some of which were in the United States, investigators said.

Investigators say they found documentary evidence and more than 20 million rubles in cash during searches. Beltov and Ostrovsky worked with a group of other people in the scam, investigators said, without identifying them.

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