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Dagestani Official Arrested on Kidnappping Charges

A top Dagestani official has been arrested and accused of kidnapping the son of a prominent businessman, allegedly holding the boy hostage for two months.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Ruslan Gadzhibekov, the region's first deputy minister for industry and energy, was suspected in the crime and arrested last week along with two accomplices — Magomedtagir Magomedov and Abdulmedzhid Kadiyev, the head of a Kaspysk transport company.

A statement from prosecutors accused the men of kidnapping a boy in the town of Izberbash when he was riding home on his four-wheeler in July.

The boy was freed last week after his father, a well-known entrepreneur in the region, paid the kidnappers the 45 million rubles ($1.39 million) that they demanded in ransom, investigators told RIA Novosti.

Police have opened a case under charges of kidnapping and Gadzhibekov faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

The deputy minister is not the first prominent Dagestani official to be arrested in recent months. In June, Makhachkala's mayor Said Amirov was arrested after investigators said he organized the December 2011 murder of Gadzhibekov's brother Arsen, an officer with the region's investigative department.

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