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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bureaucrat Arrested Over $2M Bribe

A senior natural resources official in Karelia was arrested over the weekend after accepting a bribe of almost $2 million in exchange for subsoil licenses, Karelian police said.

Valery Panov, deputy head of the Karelia branch of the Natural Resources Ministry, was arrested Saturday after accepting 46 million rubles ($1.75 million) in a sting operation, the Karelian branch of the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The money was in exchange for licenses to use subsoil resources, and Panov will be formally charged within 10 days of his arrest, the statement said. If charged and convicted, he could face up to 12 years in prison.

Karelian Governor Sergei Katanandov said the arrest should serve as a warning to unscrupulous officials.