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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Over $22 Mln Seized During Defense Contractor Fraud Inquiry

RIA Novosti

03:55 21/11/2012 MOSCOW, November 21 (RIA Novosti) - Cash and valuables worth about 700 million rubles (about $22.4 million) in total were confiscated during a fraud inquiry into a possible embezzlement of state funds by defense contractors, the Russian Interior Ministry said.

The Russian Interior Ministry said on November 15 that it uncovered a possible embezzlement of 53 million rubles (almost $1.7 million) in state funds intended for maintenance of infrastructure at garrisons.

"Since the beginning of investigation procedures, the total value of seized cash and valuables that might belong to members of an organized group, has totaled 700 million rubles,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry has found itself at the epicenter of a spiraling state property scandal in the past weeks.

Several criminal cases are underway in connection with the Oboronservis scandal, which became public on October 25, when investigators raided the Defense Ministry property management company's offices and the homes of its senior employees over alleged real estate scams involving nearly $100 million. Some of the properties were in Moscow, which has some of Europe’s most expensive real estate.

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