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Reports allege search at offices of Oboronservis affiliate

January 17, 2013, 16:24 UTC+3

The Krasnya Zvezda publishing house is a division of the subholding; no searches were conducted there

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MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) — Police searched offices of Krasnya Zvezda, an affiliate of Oboronservis, mass media outlets alleged on Thursday, but Oboronservis officials denied the reports.

"The subholding is part of Oboronservis," an Oboronservis official told Itar-Tass, "the Krasnya Zvezda publishing house is a division of the subholding; no searches were conducted there."

Krasnya Zvezda production manager Nikolai Shatilov told Tass "no searches were conducted today, yesterday or in 2012."

According to the mass media reports, the searches were conducted on Wednesday within the framework of the investigation into the criminal cases opened by military investigators over theft of funds and damage to the state in procurements of foodstuffs.

Earlier, the main military investigation department /GVSU/ of the Investigative Committee /SK/ opened criminal cases over fraud involving real estate facilities that belonged to the Oboronservis company subordinate to the Defense Ministry.

They were pooled in one case and are being investigated under the criminal code articles on fraud and exceeding and abusing authority.

Defense Ministry officials selected the most liquid and prestigious assets belonging to the Ministry, including Moscow-based property. As a rule, tremendous budget funds were injected into the property before it was sold at understated prices to commercial bodies affiliated with Oboronservis, the SK reported earlier.

Also, many facilities were purchased with the money stolen from Oboronservis.

The damage within the case is estimated at over four billion roubles.

Former head of the "Expert" legal support center Yekaterina Smetanova and her husband, former director general of a Moscow Military District warehouse Maxim Zakutailo are in custody on charges of fraud.

Former director of the Defense Ministry’s property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva is under house arrest. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has been questioned as a witness.

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