MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – Another senior Russian official in the management of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography (Rosreestr) has been fired, the Economic Development Ministry has reported.
The ministry said an agency check regarding two Rosreestr deputy heads, Sergei Sapelnikov and Yury Akinshin, had been completed, and both officials dismissed, the Prime business news agency reported.
Sapelnikov, former deputy head of Rosreestr, which maintains the country’s real estate registry, was fired on September 26, almost three weeks after having reportedly fled to Ukraine or the United States, according to a recent report by the Izvestia daily.
The dismissals are a new development in the corruption scandal at Roseestr, where checks by Federal Security Service officers and Russia’s Audit Chamber in July found financial irregularities amounting to 23.9 billion rubles ($735 million).
Investigators suspect some 2.5 billion rubles ($75 million) was misappropriated during the implementation of the agency’s ambitious project to unify Russian real estate and cadastral databases, a process supervised by Sapelnikov.
Investigators are considering charges of inappropriate spending, fraud and negligence against Sapelnikov, who primarily oversaw the information technology sector. If a criminal case is opened, Sapelnikov, who also had access to state secrets and had no permission to leave the country, could be put on an international wanted list.
Sources in Russia’s Economic Development Ministry told Izvestia earlier that Sapelnikov had crossed the Russian border near the western Bryansk Region on September 7 and went to Ukraine. Other sources, close to Roseestr, told the daily that the official was now in the United States and would not return to Russia while facing criminal charges.