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2 More Suspects Detained in Oboronservis Corruption Scandal

A Moscow court has detained two suspects implicated in the theft of over 10 million rubles ($313,000) as part of the expanding Oboronservis corruption scandal centered around the Defense Ministry's spending.

The former general director and the head accountant of the St. Petersburg Engineering and Technological Center of the Defense Ministry are charged with a litany of fraud and embezzlement offenses committed at the state-owned company, Interfax reported.

The general director, Valeria Sedova, is accused of repeatedly and illegally signing orders granting herself remuneration of over 2 million rubles, at a direct loss to the taxpayer.

Irina Petukhova, the head accountant, is accused of hiring the daughter of a friend. Despite the fact that the girl was a full time student and did not appear at work, from 2009 to 2012 she received monthly salary payments from the state.

The investigation forms part of the Oboronservis case that opened in October 2012 around corruption in the contracting of defense equipment and services. So far seven separate investigations have been opened within the case. Their combined damage to state finances is 6.7 billion rubles.

According to investigators, in 2010 the company concluded an agreement with an unnamed financial institution to provide a bank guarantee. Under the guise of remuneration for the service the company's management transferred more than 10 million rubles into a current account at the bank that was registered to a third institution. From there, the money was transferred into the accounts of other commercial organizations, converted into cash and stolen.

A further 1.1 million rubles was paid by the company in 2010 to a third party, supposedly for the rent of an off-road vehicle. Investigators claim that the vehicle was fictitious — the license plates having been retired in 2008.

The Investigative Committee requested the detention of the two top managers due to suspicions that they were attempting to hide evidence and urge others to commit perjury, Vladimir Markin, official spokesman of the Investigative Committee, told Interfax.

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