FSB Budgets $110,000 for Fireworks

The Federal Security Service said Tuesday that it could spend up to 3.3 million ($110,000) rubles from the federal budget to buy fireworks "for state needs."

The FSB announced two tenders — one for 1.65 million rubles and the other for 1.6 million rubles — to buy 750 pieces of pyrotechnics, according to documents posted on Zakupki.gov.ru, the  government's portal for state purchases.

The fireworks are to be supplied to a military unit in Balashikha, Moscow region, by late May, the documents said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Spending 3.3 million rubles on fireworks is "laughable," given that the country lacks funds for developing social sectors, said Anatoly Golubev, chairman of nongovernmental organization Committee for Fighting Corruption.

The service could use the allotted budget funds "more rationally," spending them, for example, on  supporting the families of its servicemen who had died in the line of duty, he said by telephone.

A request sent to the FSB's press service Tuesday afternoon went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said it plans to spend almost an equal sum to buy Swiss watches as gifts for "foreign colleagues" and to award its servicemen for good work.

The ministry announced a tender for 4 million rubles to purchase 150 men's watches and 50 women's watches for 9,000 rubles to 40,000 rubles apiece, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday, citing the documents on Zakupki.gov.ru.

The ministry will also purchase 300 wall clocks for at least 1,100 rubles apiece, its spokesman said.

Eight men suspected of being involved in the Carberp phishing scam were arrested Tuesday in a joint effort between the Interior Ministry and the FSB Center for Information Security, The Inquirer online publication reported. The men are accused of stealing about 60 million rubles ($2 million) using Trojans placed on social-networking websites and advertisements to hijack accounts and steal money.

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