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MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has completed investigation against four suspects in embezzlement of funds from construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East, official spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Thursday.
Andrey Yartsev, the former head of Spetstroyservis enterprise at Russia’s Spetstroy federal agency for special construction, Anatoly Ryazanov, the former director of Spetroykonstrukziya S firm and two their accomplices are charged with large-scale embezzlement and complicity in embezzlement "carried out by an organized group."
Investigators say in 2012-2013 Yartsev, Ryazanov and other persons embezzled more than 1.1 billion rubles (more than $15 million at current exchange rate) allocated for Spetstroyservis.
Markin said the suspects bought metal structures for construction of the spaceport’s facilities at artificially inflated prices from the Spetroykonstrukziya S firm. The real price of the metal structures was around 600 million rubles.
"Another suspect in the criminal case is hiding from investigators and has been put on the international wanted list," Markin said.
The construction of the Vostochny space launch center in the Amur region began in 2012. The total area of the cosmodrome will reach 700 square km. It is destined to become the first national facility for civilian space launches, ensuring Russia’s full-scale access to space and reducing the dependence of the Russian space industry on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The first liftoff from Vostochny was initially scheduled for late December last year but was rescheduled for 2016. Last October, Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected the construction site of the Vostochny cosmodrome and criticized delays in the schedule of works and weak control over 130 construction firms engaged in the project.