Astrakhan opens 17 cases against officials and businesspeople

Astrakhan opens 17 cases against officials and businesspeople
Oleg Guzhvinsky

The cases are associated with violations committed when people were relocated from emergency housing.

The Investigation Committee of the Astrakhan Region has opened 17 criminal cases on violations during the resettlement of people from emergency housing. 16 people are going to be held accountable, among whom are local officials and businesspeople, the press service of the department said.

The cases were initiated under article "Fraud" and article "Excess of office". Several counts of illegal allocation of budgetary funds have been identified.

The Investigative Committee added that three regional ministers of construction and communal services (one incumbent and acting, and two former ones), a former first deputy minister of construction and utilities, and the head of the Astrakhan Village Council municipality are under investigation.

The other defendants are the head of the department on work with citizens of the Kirovsky district, Astrakhan; the former head of the department on work with citizens of the Sovietsky district, as well as two businessmen dealing in construction.

The charges against the former Narimanovsky district head, a former regional construction supervision officer, the head of the technical supervision department of the capital construction department of the Astrakhan administration, the former housing and communal services head of the Kamyzyak district administration and his former deputy have been severed from the other charges.

Earlier, The CrimeRussia reported the detention of Acting Minister of Construction and Housing Oleg Guzhvinsky; the press does not know whether there are other detainees.

According to investigators, the incumbent construction and housing minister and two former ones have illegally allocated $745.000’s worth of budget funds to the Astrakhan Apartment Building Overhaul Fund since 2015. The money was transferred as “subsidies” for the services of an unnamed company.

Yesterday, Vladimir Kikot, the deputy prosecutor general for the Southern Federal District, held a meeting with the Astrakhan authorities and spoke of numerous violations during the resettlement from emergency housing. Officials in the Kirovsky and Trusovsky district of Astrakhan, as well as Kamyzyaksky and Narimanovsky districts of the region accepted apartment buildings, “knowing that the work had not been fully completed,” the security official said, noting that the guilty party is not going to avoid punishment.

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