A former Russian government official was arrested at a Moscow airport this week on suspicion of embezzling more than $15 million from the budget of a metro construction project in Siberia, according to media reports. reported Friday.

According to the RBC news site, agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on Wednesday apprehended Oleg Mitvol, a former ecology official and prefect of the city of Moscow in the mid-2000s, at the international airport of Moscow. Vnukovo.

Various sources citing Mitvol aides provided conflicting information as to whether he should fly to Dubai or Turkey on vacation when he was detained.

Mitvol, 55, was reportedly taken 4,000 kilometers east of Moscow to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, where a court on Friday order that he be kept in pre-trial detention until 24 July.

He is accused of embezzling 954 million rubles ($16.5 million) of funds allocated to his affiliated engineering company for the Krasnoyarsk metro project in 2019, RBC reported, citing an unnamed security source and another person familiar with the case documents.

Investigators allege that the company of which Mitvol has been chairman of the board since 2018, the Krasnoyarsk Engineering and Construction Trust (Krasnoyarsk TISIZ), carried out only part of the engineering survey work while being fully paid by the regional transport authority.

RBC added that the TISIZ documentation contained outdated and irrelevant information, as well as allegedly forged signatures.

Authorities reportedly opened the criminal case for embezzlement in May and the Krasnoyarsk Central District Court’s order to take Mitvol into custody emerged on Friday.

If found guilty of embezzlement, Mitvol faces up to 10 years in prison.

Born in Moscow, Mitvol served as deputy head of the Russian Federal Inspection Service for the Use of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) between 2004 and 2009.

He was appointed prefect of Moscow’s northern administrative district in 2009, then sacked the following year.

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