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Investigative Committee searches Customs Service offices

August 22, 2013, 9:41 UTC+3

The search was a follow-up of the probe into alleged 80,000-ruble fraud

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A major row broke out between the Federal Customs Service /FCS/ and the Investigative Committee as its staff, assisted by agents of the Federal Security Service and a special task force unit searched the central FCS office on Wednesday. The FCS denounced the search as "unsanctioned entering." The search was a follow-up of the probe into alleged 80,000-ruble fraud.

FCS Director Andrei Belyaninov accused the investigators of incompetence saying they should not make appearances at the central office accompanied by special task force police, the Kommersant notes. "The FCS administration believes that the facts of the detention of employees and seizure of documents can and should be made public, but they must be backed by a court ruling or, at the very least, incontrovertible evidence of culpability."

The Investigative Committee denied any violations on Wednesday. "Our personnel acted strictly within the law," it told the Kommersant. The documents were retrieved within the probe into the criminal case against head of the FCS criminal investigation department Vladimir Makarenko, suspected of attempted 80,000-ruble fraud.

Prior to the search, First Deputy Director of the Moscow Customs Department Alexei Pavlov had problems with law, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. A criminal case was opened over taking a bribe. In July, Pavlov allegedly took a bribe in his office from the chief of a Moscow customs terminal.

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