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MOSCOW, February 10 (Itar-Tass) - Russian ex-defense minister’s brother-in-law Valery Puzikov, who is facing fraud and embezzlement charges, was put on Russia’s federal wanted list, a source close to the investigation said on Monday.
“Puzikov was put on the federal wanted list and he was charged in absentia with fraud,” the source said.
According to investigators, ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov’s brother-in-law Puzikov allegedly provided transportation services for the ministry’s needs. His company rented expensive luxury cars from affiliated firms paying for the rent from the Defense Ministry’s budget.
The cars, however, were never used, but the ministry paid for their rent some eight million rubles (almost $230,000) between 2010 and 2013, according to the Russian Investigative Committee.
The Committee’s investigators also claim that Puzikov misappropriated some 4 million rubles (almost $115,000) of the ministry’s money in salaries paid to some hired employees for doing fictitious jobs.
Serdyukov served as the Russian defense minister since 2007, but was sacked by President Vladimir Putin in November of 2012. The former minister was charged with negligence in one fraud case and is also questioned as a witness in another, embezzlement case.