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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Corrupt Officials Hinder Investigation

ReutersChaika speaking with Putin at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence on Monday.
Corrupt law enforcement officials and civil servants have tried to obstruct an investigation by the Prosecutor General's Office into Vladimir Barsukov, a wealthy St. Petersburg businessman and reputed head of the Tambov organized crime group, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said Monday.

Chaika told reporters that a team of federal prosecutors and police detectives "encountered outright betrayal by our own colleagues, high-ranking officials and detectives from law enforcement agencies" in the investigation into Barsukov. Chaika did not elaborate.

He said Barsukov would soon be charged with organizing a gang, ordering contract hits, and ordering the illegal takeover of various properties and businesses in St. Petersburg.

Barsukov was arrested last week at his country house outside St. Petersburg and has since been transferred to a detention facility in Moscow. Prosecutors had to call in specialists to pry open the door to a secret room where Barsukov was hiding, Interfax reported.