Investigators Arrested in Bribery Case

Two Interior Ministry officials have been arrested on suspicion of large-scale bribery, the Investigative Committee said Monday.

The Interior Ministry investigators are suspected of trying to extort a 1.5 million euro ($2.31 million) bribe from bankers, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.

A committee spokeswoman who answered the telephone Monday refused to provide further details.

Kommersant on Monday, however, identified the suspects as majors Dmitry Tselyakov and Alexander Nosenko of the Interior Ministry department responsible for fighting organized crime and terrorism.

The target of the extortion was Inkredbank vice president Pyotr Chuvilin, who is also the general director of the Spartak ice hockey club, Kommersant said.

In a May 27 complaint to the Federal Security Service, or FSB, Chuvilin accused Tselyakov and Nosenko of extorting 1 million euros from him last year and another 500,000 euros this year in exchange for "general protection," Kommersant reported.

The suspects participated in the investigation of illegal banking activities by former VIP bank head Alexei Frenkel, who stands accused of ordering the murder of former Central Bank deputy head Andrei Kozlov, Kommersant said.

Spokespeople for the department where Tselyakov and Nosenko work declined to comment Monday, as did an FSB spokesman.

FSB agents secretly videotaped two middlemen — Lithuanian nationals — accepting bribe money from Chuvilin on June 9 in Inkredbank's office on Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow, Kommersant said.

Tselekov and Nosenko were detained by FSB officers the next day, the newspaper said.