Two senior pilots for Russia’s second-largest airline S7 have been detained on suspicion of receiving bribes in exchange for employing pilots of Russia’s first medium-haul Airbus A320neo planes, Russian media reported Wednesday.
One of them was identified as S7 flight crew director Mansur Badrakov, who was allegedly caught in the act of receiving 1.5 million rubles ($20,600).
“He is suspected of facilitating the employment of a pilot for the first Airbus A320neo airplane in Russia,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying.
The state-run TASS news agency reported that investigators and the Federal Security Service (FSB) apprehended Badrakov and his unnamed deputy in the Moscow region.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, will reportedly question all S7 employees who had come into contact with Badrakov and examine documents at his department.
Some of the witnesses who were already questioned included the “potential buyer of the pilot’s job,” TASS quoted a second unnamed source as saying.
S7 told TASS that it is cooperating with the investigation.
If convicted, the pilots face between seven and 12 years in prison on charges of commercial bribery.
S7 said in 2017 that it leased the first more fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo aircraft from the leasing company BOC Aviation Limited. Russia’s flag-carrier Aeroflot received the first of its reported nine Airbus A320neo planes earlier this spring.