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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Arrests Corrupt Coal Officials

Russian authorities are cracking down on corrupt middlemen in the coal industry in an effort to ease a nonpayments crisis that has led to crippling strikes, regional officials said Wednesday.

Police in the Kemerovo coal-mining region of Siberia arrested four mining company officials in the town of Belovo this week, bringing to 15 the total arrested this year, a police spokesman said.

Eighty-one more mining officials are under investigation for embezzlement in bogus sales deals, said Yevgeny Ryabtsev, press spokesman for the Kemerovo regional branch of the Interior Ministry.

Interfax on Wednesday identified several directors of coal industry firms it said were among 11 arrested for embezzlement since the start of the year. Ryabtsev confirmed the number of arrests.

Miners who were blocking the Trans-Siberian Railroad agreed to suspend their strikes earlier this week in response to requests from government officials.