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Former Property Officials Arrested on Bribery Charges

Two former senior officials with the Federal Property Agency have been arrested on suspicion of extorting a $340,000 bribe from a Moscow university official, the Investigative Committee said Monday.

Sergei Korchagin, former head of the agency's Moscow branch, and Dmitry Knyazev, head of the branch's property registration department, are suspected of extorting 10.5 million rubles ($344,000) from a deputy dean of the Moscow State Academy of Water Transport in December, the committee said in a statement.

The suspects purportedly demanded the money in exchange for registering real estate used by the academy and threatened to confiscate property from the institute if the academy official did not pay the bribe, the Investigative Committee said.

Investigators did not release the name of the academy official.

A female suspect is believed to have passed the money from the academy official to Korchagin and Knyazev, investigators said.

If charged and convicted, they face up to 12 years in prison.

Another senior city official, former Moscow Advertising Committee head Vladimir Makarov, has been in jail since August on suspicion of improperly offering more than $4 million in discounts to private companies.

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