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Regional Official Arrested for Bribery in Russia’s Bashkortostan

Alexander Klebanov.

A regional minister has been detained on suspicion of soliciting 5 million rubles ($55,000) as a bribe in Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan, investigators said Tuesday.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, did not identify the official by name, saying only that he is a 47-year-old ex-transportation minister.

But Bashkortostan Governor Radiy Khabirov identified the minister as Alexander Klebanov, adding that he ordered his dismissal on Tuesday.

“The head of the region has repeatedly stated that there’s no place for thieves and bribe-takers in his team,” Khabirov’s press service said.

Investigators accuse Klebanov of demanding 5 million rubles from an unidentified owner of a trucking company for “general patronage and facilitation in receiving payments for previously performed work.”

“Fearing negative consequences, the company’s management transferred the required amount to the suspect,” the Investigative Committee said. 

Klebanov could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of a “large-scale bribe.” It was not immediately clear whether or not he had pleaded guilty.

The official was appointed as Bashkortostan’s Transportation Minister in December 2022. He previously served as the deputy transportation minister for the neighboring Perm region.

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