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Siberian Millionaire Arrested in Bribe Sting

Investigators arrested a Siberian multimillionaire after he was caught in a sting operation trying to pay a bribe to halt a criminal probe into one of his companies, prosecutors said.

Eduard Taran, founder of RATM Holding, a Novosibirsk company with cement, coal and construction assets, was detained in Moscow and charged with attempting to pay more than 1 million rubles ($32,000) to an officer of the Interior Ministry’s economic crimes department, the Investigative Committee said Monday on its web site.

Taran organized the payoff through an intermediary, who is also in custody, the statement said.

Taran was arrested in the VIP lounge at Sheremetyevo Airport after returning from Nice, France, Kommersant reported Monday, citing police officers briefed on the operation.

A person who answered the phone at RATM’s press office said the company was aware of the arrest, declining to comment further.

Taran’s fortune is worth about $100 million, according to Finans magazine’s annual rich list.

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