Russian govt pension fund official admits bribery
Written by Sunniva Kolostyak
A deputy head of the Russian Federation’s national pension fund (PFR) has handed in his resignation and admitted to taking a bribe, according to prison watchdog Moscow Public Monitoring Commission.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported that the official, Alexei Ivanov, was taken to the Russian Investigative Committee for questioning on Wednesday.
He admitted to a Moscow court on Friday that he had accepted a bribe in return for rigging a tender in favour of an IT company.
The court ordered a two-months detention for Ivanov, who reportedly admitted taking nearly $70.000, possibly few dozen thousands more, to act in favour of the Russian IT integrator Technoserv Management LLC, Russian Kommersant newspaper reported.
Russian media has also reported that Ivanov admitted his guilt and resigned from the PFR, and is facing a fine and up to 15 years in prison, according to the OCCRP.
In a statement reported by the Russian news agency TASS, the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission’s executive secretary Ivan Melnikov said:
"Ivanov tendered his resignation and pleaded guilty to bribery on a significant scale (Article 290 p.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). He is now in a pre-trial detention facility in north-eastern Moscow," he said, without giving any further details.
Ivanov and a Technoserv’s top manager who allegedly brokered the bribe in favour of his company were both detained just ahead of the announcement of the data system tender, worth $23.8m, Vedomesti business paper said.
Russian law enforcement officers seized documents from the fund’s offices and from the offices of two contractor companies. The PFR is said to be cooperating with the prosecutors and the arrest will not disrupt the fund’s work, the organisation reported.