Head of Orenburg region Ministry of Agriculture suspended over $1.58m embezzlement

Head of Orenburg region Ministry of Agriculture suspended over $1.58m embezzlement
Mikhail Maslov

The ordinance on Vice-Prime Minister Mikhail Maslov to be temporarily relieved of duty has been signed by Regional Governor Yury Berg.

The Orenburg region governor has temporarily suspended Minister of Agriculture Mikhail Maslov. The head of the regional Ministry of Agriculture is suspected of embezzling 100 million rubles ($1.58 million), RIA Novosti reports.

Yury Berg signed the ordinance on the temporary suspension of Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Processing Industry of the region, Mikhail Maslov, on June 15. The official was suspended prior to the adoption of a final procedural decision in the criminal case initiated against him under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code, as the regional government representatives reported.

Security officers detained Mikhail Maslov on June 14. According to the Investigative Committee, Head of SGTs Vishnevsky LLC, Viktor Zheleznov, was detained along with him as part of the investigation into swindling. They are suspected of embezzlement of budget funds.

According to the investigation, in the Orenburg region in 2015-2016, representatives of an organization of the agro-industrial complex stole 100 million rubles, allocated as a subsidy from the federal and regional budgets. 

Mikhail Maslov has held the position of Minister of Agriculture, Food and Processing Industry of the region since March 20, 2013. Prior to that, he had headed the Office of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance in the Orenburg region.

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