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Russia launches fraud probe against opposition leader Navalny

Published on Dec 14, 2012 4:11 PM
Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny (C) is detained by the police on October 27, 2012 during a protest staged by about 200 people in central Moscow. Russian investigators said on Friday that they have launched a probe against Navalny on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian investigators said on Friday that they had launched a criminal probe against opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg over suspected fraud.

Navalny and his brother "embezzled 55 million rubles (S$2.2 million) from a trading company" and transferred some of the money to another firm they owned to launder the funds, the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) said.

Alexei Navalny created a firm several years ago, and his brother Oleg "used deception" to convince the trading company to sign an agreement for cargo shipping services with this firm in his capacity as an official for Russian Post, Russia's postal service monopoly.

The shipping services were to be provided "at deliberately inflated prices" according to this agreement, investigators said, and the firm had another company carry out the contract from August 2008 to May 2011.

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