Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Regional minister charged in corruption case

Vitaly Teslenko, the healthcare minister of the Chelyabinsk region, has been detained in an $892,000 dollar corruption case, according to a representative of the press service of the regional department of the Federal Security Service.

Teslenko was allegedly "caught red handed," Itar-Tass reports.

The deputy chief doctor of the Ksegach health center and volunteer advisor to the Chelyabinsk region governor Ivan Sorokun and chief doctor of the regional hospital #4 Mikhail Shukhovtsev are also suspects in the case. The three have been charged with grand fraud committed by an organized group, Itar-Tass reports.

Investigators allege that the criminals overstated the price of medical equipment within the framework of the action to purchase Sephanix x-ray/diagnostic units worth more than $4.5 million and then ensured victory by a firm they controlled, resulting in a price difference of $829,000 being cashed out.

The officials were detained in the cottage of the minister when Shukhovtsev brought them another part of the stolen money to share. Investigators have asked that the suspects be placed under arrest. The decision to suspend Teslenko as minister had not yet been taken.

"At present, his functions are performed by his first deputy Olga Dobrokhotova," the press service said, Itar-Tass reports.

Investigators are, however, looking into the regional health care system.

"In October, the governor met with director of the regional FSB department Sergei Staritsyn. They jointly decided to launch a comprehensive check of the local health care system," the press service said, Itar-Tass reports.