Frish case: Scientologist suspected of bribe-giving when stealing special-purpose lands in Moscow region

Frish case: Scientologist suspected of bribe-giving when stealing special-purpose lands in Moscow region
Dmitry Frish

A court had placed Anton Yelgin in custody.

A court in Moscow has placed Chekhov businessman Anton Yelgin under arrest. He is suspected of Mediation in Bribery (part 4 of Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), reports RBC with reference to the press service of Babushkinskiy District Court.

According to the investigation, the businessman was directly involved in transferring a bribe to Dmitry Frish, First Deputy Head of the Chekhov administration, a source says.

The bribe was handed over to the official in gratitude for patronizing entrepreneurs. Frish was given two plots in the village of Repnikovo during the alienation of special-purpose lands, where military units were located. The cadastral value of the lands amounted to about 70 million rubles ($1 m).

In exchange, the official signed documents on changing the use category of the plots related to military units. Initially, the plots in Repnikovo were registered with Yelgin.

The fact that he was fond of Scientology emerged during searches in his villa. Operatives discovered literature on this topic and evidence that Yelgin was a member of the Moscow Scientology Church. Among the documents there was also a diploma issued by Scientologists, which indicates that the entrepreneur has finished a course on Overcoming Life Ups and Downs. Now the FSB is conducting a check into the businessman’s finances - security officials suspect Yelgin could funnel money abroad through his accounts.

In November 2015, Moscow City Court ruled to liquidate the Moscow Scientology Church on the grounds that the organization registered the word “Scientology” as a trademark, after which it can no longer maintain the status of a religious organization.

As for Frish, he was detained by FSB and Investigative Committee officers at his workplace in March this year. A criminal case was instituted against him on Exceeding Official Powers (part 1 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). On July 26, another case was opened against him - on bribery.

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