Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Official Flees Russia Amid Corruption Scandal

A senior Russian official suspected of involvement in a corruption scandal has been sacked, the federal land registration agency confirmed Monday, amid media reports that the man had already fled the country. Sergei Sapelnikov, former deputy head of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography (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 report by the Izvestia daily. Sapelnikov’s dismissal is 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 that 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.

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