Udmurt Acting Government Chairman arrested due to illegal deforestation

Udmurt Acting Government Chairman arrested due to illegal deforestation
Udmurt Acting Government Chairman Rafis Kasimov

Sources put forward two versions justifying Rafis Kasimov’s detention.

Udmurt Acting Government Chairman Rafis Kasimov was arrested due to illegal deforestation in specially protected natural areas of the region, a source of Intrefax suggested.

A number of Udmurt timber processing enterprises would cut down the forest in the territories withdrawn from natural reserves, while in March 2017, the Supreme Court found the decree invalid, since the land withdrawal had not been approved in the Ministry of Natural Resources. At that time, Rafis Kasimov was the head of the republic’s Forestry Ministry.

We shall remind that the FSB detained the Udmurt Acting Government Chairman in Izhevsk right after laying flowers in front of the Eternal Flame Memorial to the Day of Memory and Sorrow. Kasimov’s office and Ministry of Forestry were then searched. Law enforcement agencies do not give any official reasons for the detention.

According to Kommersant, the whole story may be related to the job of Kasimov's son. He is one of the contractors for the construction of bridge crossings over rivers Kama and Bui.

It is the construction that triggered the arrest of the former head of Udmurtia Alexander Soloviev. As the CrimeRussia wrote previously, Soloviev was put in custody for two months on April 4 as ruled by the Moscow Basmanny court. The former official is charged with bribery: according to the preliminary version of the investigation, he got 140 million rubles ($2.3m) for an immediate payment from the budget for works related to the construction of bridges across the rivers Kama and Bui.

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