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Russia’s FSB Arrests Ex-Official Accused of Embezzling $22.6 Mln

Oleg Donskikh. FSB

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Monday that it arrested a former Agriculture Ministry official accused of embezzling billions of rubles more than a decade ago.

Law enforcement agents arrested Oleg Donskikh — who headed one of the Agriculture Ministry’s departments until 2012 — in the Moscow region after he had been on the run for 12 years.

Between 2007 and 2008 Donskikh “and his accomplices, through legal entities they controlled, stole loans issued by Rosselkhozbank JSC,” according to an Interior Ministry spokesperson, referring to a state-owned bank that helps agribusiness.

“In addition, they embezzled funds received from Rosagroleasing,” the spokesperson added. Rosagroleasing is Russia’s largest state-owned agro-industrial leasing company.

Overall, Donskikh was accused of embezzling over 2 billion rubles ($22.6 million).

The FSB said the former Agriculture Ministry official was helped by two businessmen from the central Lipetsk region. Both businessmen were jailed in 2017.

In a video of Donskikh’s arrest released by Russian state media on Monday, the former official said he was unaware of the charges against him. He said he had been living in the Moscow region since 2008.

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