MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) – Police have arrested a top official at Russia’s state construction committee for making a fraudulent deal worth around a million dollars, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.
Andrei Shishkin, the deputy head of Russia’s federal construction agency Gosstroi, was arrested on October 30 on suspicion of major fraud.
Police said that in 2012, while he was the deputy director of the state non-profit Housing Development Foundation, Shishkin promised to help obtain the required approval documents for a project to expand a construction site for a residential complex in western Moscow.
Shishkin was paid 30 million rubles ($935,000) for the deal, but “in reality, [he] had no real opportunity to ability to decide such issues,” the Interior Ministry statement said.
Corruption continues to be a major problem for Russia, with the government campaigning for years to punish dishonest officials, but with little apparent success. Russia was ranked 133rd of 174 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index last year.