Support The Moscow Times!

Figure in APEC Embezzlement Case Arrested in Flee Attempt

The former head of the Regional Development Ministry's office in Vladivostok was detained in Moscow while trying to flee to Spain in the midst of a 93 million ruble ($3 million) embezzlement investigation involving the 2012 APEC summit.

Oleg Bukalov, who violated a pledge not to leave town for the duration of the investigation, will remain in detention until July 1, 2013, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police say Bukalov used his lawyer to sell his property in Russia and apply for a Spanish visa.

The former official also had real estate in Alicante that he hid from investigators.

Bukalov previously headed the Far Eastern Regional Development Ministry central office, which was involved in the construction of several facilities for the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok.

Police say Bukalov and his colleagues used their official positions to give state contracts for design and engineering work to companies affiliated with Bukalov which then received state financing.

Using this scheme, Bukalov received 93.5 million rubles from the budget that was diverted through a series of false contracts with fly-by-night firms and then cashed out.

The former official faces charges of large-scale fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The Regional Development Ministry recently announced that it will be closing the Far Eastern office, where employees have not been paid since January, RIA-Novosti reported.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more