Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scandal Roils Health Ministry

The Interior Ministry is investigating the possible embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rubles meant for children's summer vacations at health resorts, the latest scandal to envelop the health minister, a report said Friday.

The Fund for Support and Development of Health Resorts and Tourism is suspected of illegally acting as a middleman between resorts and the Health and Social Development Ministry's Social Insurance Fund, pocketing hundreds of millions of rubles, Kommersant reported, citing unidentified investigators working on the case.

The Interior Ministry's investigative committee opened the investigation last month, the newspaper said.

The Social Insurance Fund confirmed Friday that the Interior Ministry had asked for documents related to its relations with the Fund for Support and Development of Health Resorts and Tourism.

"Last week, investigative committee officials asked us to allow them to see papers related to that case, which we did," Social Insurance Fund spokeswoman Yelena Sunyukova said. "Then they left and did not take any documents with them."

She said her fund had stopped working with the Fund for Support and Development of Health Resorts and Tourism in August 2005.

Calls to the press service of the Interior Ministry's investigative committee went unanswered Friday. Calls to the Moscow office of the Fund for Support and Development of Health Resorts and Tourism also went unanswered.

The investigation is the third to rattle Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov in the past three weeks.

Earlier in the week, investigators raided the ministry's Pension Fund, where officials were accused of accepting kickbacks from computer firms that got multimillion-dollar contracts to provide the fund with high-tech equipment.

Last month, several senior officials at the ministry's Federal Mandatory Medical Insurance Fund were arrested on suspicion of manipulating state tenders between pharmaceutical suppliers.