MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – The chief anti-corruption official in southwestern Russia’s Belgorod Region is suspected of defrauding a bank of about $1.8 million, the Russian Investigative Committee said Thursday.
The committee’s branch in the nearby Oryol Region said a criminal case had been opened against Sergei Butyaikin, head of the economic security and anti-corruption agency at the Belgorod Region police department.
Investigators said in a statement that Butyaikin had threatened OryolSotsBank shareholder Alexei Fomchenkov with negative consequences in order to obtain a loan worth 60 million rubles ($1.8 million).
“The suspect didn’t plan to repay the loan in the future, so he misinformed Fomchenkov that only because of his high-ranking position were law enforcement officials not creating any obstacles for OryolSotsBank’s financial and business activities in the Belgorod Region,” the statement reads.
“Unwilling to face negative consequences, Fomchenkov issued a loan worth 60 million rubles and registered the loan in the name of a female acquaintance,” investigators said.
The Interior Ministry said Tuesday that offices of the Belgorod Region’s top police officials had been searched as part of an investigation into a 300 million ruble ($9.2 million) fraudulent loan issued by OryolSotsBank.
The Oryol-based lender lost its banking license last May. According to the Central Bank, OryolSotsBank financial reports were faked to conceal a loss of capital. A court declared the lender bankrupt about two months later.
A criminal case on charges of abuse of office was subsequently launched against OryolSotsBank CEO and board chairman Nikolai Lisyutchenko. He is suspected of issuing high-risk loans worth nearly 2 billion rubles ($60 million) without possessing enough funds to compensate for possible losses.
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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.