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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Diamond Miner: Investigation Into Embezzlement Is Closed

Alrosa, Russia's diamond monopoly, said Moscow prosecutors closed an investigation against the company for alleged embezzlement after finding no evidence of a crime.

The investigation was opened May 13 after the former head of Alrosa's legal department, Gamlet Akopian, reported violations committed at the company, Alrosa said on its web site. Moscow city prosecutors closed the case on Aug. 3, the company said. The miner may take action over the accusations.

"Alrosa reserves the right to take measures within the bounds of Russian law to protect its business reputation and its shareholders' interests from any attacks," the statement said.

Akopian alleged some managers embezzled 153 million rubles ($5.47 million), Sergei Marchenko, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said in May. He declined to identify the managers or say how many were involved.

The Russian government is Alrosa's biggest shareholder, with a 37 percent stake, followed by the Property Ministry of the Sakha republic in the Far East, where the company is located, with 32 percent.

Alrosa estimates it mines nearly one-quarter of the world's rough diamonds. Last year, it produced rough gems worth $1.75 billion and increased net income 44 percent to 13.9 billion rubles, the company said in April.