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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Central Market Head Accused of Embezzling

Police Tuesday accused the director of Moscow's Central Market of illegally buying a car with funds intended for the market's $50 million reconstruction .

Nikolai Shchegulkov, head of the economic crimes division of the Moscow police, said that Vladimir Volkov, director of the market, on Tsvetnoi Bulvar, had used 39 million rubles ($12,000) in company loans to buy himself an imported car.

The funds were part of a 300 million ruble credit for reconstruction of the market provided by the investment branch of the Russky Prodovolstvenny Bank, Shchegulkov said.

Police confiscated the car and warned Volkov, 43, not to leave the city. Shchegulkov did not say whether charges had been filed and declined to provide any further details. Volkov could not be reached for comment.

Andrei Ginyov, president of the Russky Prodovolstvenny Bank's investment division, said that his firm, which owns half of the market, had no intention of working with Volkov in the future. "We can never even reach him," Ginyov said. "It's too bad, he seemed to be a good guy."

The bank had transferred an initial 300 million ruble investment directly to Volkov during the summer, because a joint-stock company that was to manage the funds had not yet been set up, Ginyov said. The joint-stock company was set up in the fall and is owned by the Moscow Property Committee and the bank, which has invested about 1 billion rubles so far, Ginyov said.

The Central Market closed for reconstruction in March, but Ginyov said work at the site started only in summer, when his firm agreed to be the sole investor. He predicted the project would cost his firm over $50 million before planned completion in 1997.

The market, now a series of run-down halls, is expected to feature a parking garage and a two-story ornamental glass clock when renovation is complete.