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Russia's high-ranking investigators arrested suspected of corruption

July 19, 18:49 UTC+3
A number of investigation committee officers are suspected of abuse-of-power and taking bribes from organized crime figures
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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. A number of Russia’s Investigations Committee (SK) officers are suspected of taking bribes from organized crime figures, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) told TASS on Tuesday commenting on searches conducted at the SK Moscow department.

"Under an agreement with the chairman of the Russian Investigations Committee, the Federal Security Service together with the Investigations Committee are jointly investigating a number of SK officers suspected of abuse-of-power and taking bribes from organized crime figures," the spokesman said. "Searches are being conducted at suspects’ private residences and their offices."

According to the spokesman, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been notified about the ongoing criminal investigation into this case.

Earlier, a law enforcement source told TASS that three top-ranking SK officials were arrested in connection with the case.

"In conjunction with the investigation, officers of the SK central administration detained the first deputy chief of the SK Moscow department, Denis Nikandrov, chief of the SK in-house security department, Mikhail Maksimenko, and another SK officer," the source said, adding that Nikandrov had been taken to the SK central administration for further questioning.

Currently, searches are underway at the SK’s main investigations department.

Media reports on the corruption probe

According to the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily, Nikandrov’s arrest is likely to be linked to the arrest of crime boss, Andrei Kochuikov nicknamed the Italian, who was reportedly involved in a brawl in a caf· in Moscow’s central Rochdelskaya Street in December 2015. The fray ended with two individuals being killed and eight wounded.

"Due to a strange turn of events, the SK investigator, who was looking into this case, simply forgot to request an arrest extension with the court. Security officers however had learned about it beforehand and detained ‘the Italian’ again, right at the entrance to the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center where he had been held. It was rumored back then that Kochuikov’s release was allegedly linked to corrupt officials. It was even said that a sum of one million U.S. dollars had been supposedly earmarked to bribe officers of the SK Moscow department," the newspaper said.

Apart from that, according to the daily, Nikandrov’s detention might have been prompted by the arrest of another crime boss, Zakhary Kalashov, also known as Shakro Junior, on extortion charges.

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