MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – Prosecutors in northwestern Russia have upheld charges against a group of former officials from the Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN) accused of committing 149 crimes over a three-year period, the Prosecutor General's Office said Thursday.
Alexei Sovetov, the former deputy head of the FSKN in Russia’s Vologda Region, is alleged to have headed a criminal gang of 11 other officials in the city of Cherepovets between 2009 and 2011, according to a statement on the Prosecutor General’s website.
“The accused falsified evidence in criminal cases, planted drugs on people, stole property and drugs from prisoners, took and gave bribes, exceeded their authority and beat up prisoners,” said the statement.
Sovetov and three junior former FSKN officials are currently in pre-trial detention, while the other suspects have been released on condition they do not leave the area, prosecutors said.
Andrei Smirnov, a former official with the Vologda FSKN, was sentenced to five years in prison in November 2012 for beating and torturing prisoners, according to media reports.