The investigation that led to the arrest of Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev on corruption charges also included other high-ranking state officials, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday.
Seven new individuals may face charges in the Ulyukayev case, the RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies have reported.
Investigators reportedly targeted Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Presidential Assistant Andrei Belousov as part of the Ulyukayev case, an unnamed source in the security services told the Vedomosti. Oksana Tarasenko, director of the corporate governance department in the Economic Development Ministry, and Marina Romanova, assistant to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, were also reportedly investigated.
Oksana Tarensko told the Vedomosti newspaper that she had been "working normally," since Ulyukayev's arrest. The other officials implicated in the reports are yet to comment.
Like Ulyukayev, Dvorkovich and Belousov opposed Russian oil giant Rosneft's plan to purchase a controlling share in the Bashneft state oil company. Ulyukayev stands accused of attempting to extract a bribe from Rosneft in return for approving the sale, which was completed last month.
The operation against Ulyukayev was led by the head of Rosneft's security service, Oleg Feoktistov, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported. Feoktistov served with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) until Aug. 2016, and began work on the Ulyukayev case before his departure from the agency, the newspaper reported. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin asked Feoktistov to investigate Ulyukayev, a high-placed security official told Novaya Gazeta.