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ARKHANGELSK, April 29 (Itar-Tass) - Former director of the Nyandom branch of the Arkhoblenergo electric utility Alexander Shmelev has been placed under arrest. He is accused of abuse of office and provision of services that do not meet the safety requirements, the press service of the regional department of the Investigative Committee /SK/ told Itar-Tass on Monday.
Shmelev has been hiding from investigators in the Moscow region for more than two years. "He was charged in absentia. The investigation into the criminal case against him has been resumed," the press service said.
In 2010, Shmelev signed fictitious contracts with firms in the town of Nyandom, Arkhangelsk region, and transferred to their accounts more than 18 million roubles although the firms had not met their commitments under the contracts.
The money was intended for purchases of spares and repairs, as part of the plan to prepare Nyandom boiler houses for the autumn and winter period of 2010-2011. As a result, a stock of materials for equipment repairs was never built.
The local boiler houses used coal whose parameters were not suitable, and in February 2011, an accident occurred in which 51 houses with more than 5,000 tenants were cut off from heat supply. Tenants used electric appliances to heat homes. The Nyandom situation was reviewed at a meeting of the Russian government. It took a week to repair the local heat supply system.