Ministry of Defense’s forestry specialist gives plots of land to businessmen for bribes

Ministry of Defense’s forestry specialist gives plots of land to businessmen for bribes

The defendant says he borrowed money to settle in Moscow.

Former Leading Specialist of the Ministry of Defense’s Department of Forestry and Nature Management Federal State Institution Ilya Tarasevich has been arrested on charges of bribe-taking for a total amount of 7.6 million rubles ($113,611) for the use of state land. Entrepreneurs used the territories for landfills, logging, and construction of cottage settlements, Kommersant reports.

Tarasevich was detained when he was already working for the Ministry of Defense’s central office. He admitted that he took money from entrepreneurs, but claimed to have borrowed it for settling in the capital. In 2015, the defendant moved to Moscow from Lipetsk, from where he had maintained corrupt relations with Lipetsk entrepreneurs for two years, investigators say. Investigators believe that the head of Lipetsk’s Lesnaya Proizvodstvennaya Kompaniya (‘Forest Production Company’, LPK) was one of the bribe-givers. The suspicion also fell on the heads of the Moscow region’s DSMU-Tsentr and Moscow’s Akonita.

There are 5 million hectares of land in places of deployment of the armed forces within the domain of the Ministry of Defense’s Department of Forestry and Nature Management. According to the investigation, the merchants illegally obtained large areas in the Noginsk district of Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Chelyabinsk regions.

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