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Border Agency Head Steps Down Amid Financial Violations

Head of the Federal Border Development Agency, Dmitry Bezdelov, resigned from his post after an inquiry uncovered inappropriate use of budget funds by the agency, a news report said Tuesday, citing a source in the government.

An audit of 150 billion rubles ($4.7 billion) appropriated for the development of border zones earlier initiated by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin found that Bezdelov had authorized transferring about one billion rubles of that money to the bank Agrosoyuz, whose main beneficiary is Bezdelov's father, Kommersant reported.

Previously, Rogozin criticized the work of the Federal Agency for Border Maintenance for using nontransparent financing schemes that involved "dubious" business structures.

Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, also criticized the agency by stating last summer that the technical condition of the border with Kazakhstan, through which drug trafficking routes often pass, was substandard.

Rogozin signed Bezdelov's resignation Monday.

Bezdelov's deputy Yury Maltsev has been appointed acting head of the agency until a new chief is found, the Kommersant report said.

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