Sakhalin ministers suspected of $17m fraud released from house arrest

Sakhalin ministers suspected of $17m fraud released from house arrest
Mikhail Kuzmenko

The court has changed the preventive measure of the high-ranking Sakhalin officials suspected of corruption, releasing them from house arrest.

According to the FSB Directorate in the Sakhalin region, the investigation does not need to retain Minister of Agriculture of the region Mikhail Kuzmenko, his deputy Tamara Mulenkova, and Minister of Property and Land Relations of the region Elena Gakh under house arrest. All of them are now under a written undertaking not to leave.

As reported by the investigative bodies, the above-mentioned officials are involved in fraud related to the withdrawal of budgetary funds. They had transferred over 1 billion rubles ($17 million) to Green Agro Sakhalin for the construction of livestock complex on the most favorable terms (for themselves).

A criminal case has been initiated against the officials; they are accused of Abuse of official powers (Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code). Meanwhile, according to Head of the Sakhalin region Oleg Kozhemyako, the Ministry of Agriculture intended to create new enterprises in the region, in particular, the agro-industrial complex.

To recall, Mikhail Kuzmenko and his deputy were detained on March 20, and their colleague Elena Gakh on March 3.

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