Law enforcers searched St. Petersburg Ministry of Defense upon $1.7m-embezzlement

Law enforcers searched St. Petersburg Ministry of Defense upon $1.7m-embezzlement

The scheme could not work without employees of the housing maintenanceagency of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Further, the investigation is aimed at detaining military officials who are in charge of this program.⁠

The Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Western Military District and the Federal Security Service of St. Petersburg conducted investigative measures in the case of the theft of 100 million rubles ($1.7m) in the implementation of the program to provide housing to the Defense Ministry staff, Fontanka reports.

According to the edition, a criminal case was initiated against 10 former and current military personnel. Two of them are ready to cooperate with the investigation, two more are charged under part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale). The court elected them a measure of restraint in the form of arrest. Currently, they are in the Kresty (Crosses) pre-trial detention center, Fontanka notes. Another person involved in the criminal case is under a recognizance not to leave.

It is reported that officers of the FSB and military investigators conducted searches in the apartments of the defendants of the case, as well as in offices of legal entities, including Gorodskoy Tsentr Dostupnoi Nedvizhimosti (City Center for Affordable Real Estate LLC). The firm provides services for the sale and lease of housing for servicemen, the newspaper notes.

It should be noted that the funded-mortgage system providing housing for employees of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation allows young soldiers to buy an apartment by taking a loan. The issuance of loans is regulated by the Federal Administration of the Saving and Mortgage System of Housing Support for Servicemen (Rosvoenipoteka). The official website of the department says that "the main source of the formation of savings for the provision of housing for servicemen are contributions allocated from the federal budget."

According to the investigation, Fontanka reports, the attackers were looking for front men; they made out forged documents of employees of the Ministry of Defense, and then included them in the register of participants of Rosvoenipoteka. Then the money was withdrawn through bankcards and cashed. The edition notes that this scheme could not work without the help of employees of the housing security agency of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Further, the investigation is aimed at detaining military officials who are in charge of this program.

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