Russian Minister of Economic Development, Alexey Ulyukaev, was detained in Moscow on Tuesday on suspicion of accepting a bribe in amount of $2 million from Rosneft, a Russian oil giant, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced today.
The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Alexey Ulyukaev on a charge of a “large-scale bribery” under part 6 of Article 290 of the Russian Criminal Code.
As the press office of the Investigative Committee told Construction.RU, the bribe was given on condition that Ulyukaev’s Ministry would support a major oil deal over purchasing 50% of government-held stakes in Bashneft. In particular, in return for money, the Ministry of Economic Development gave a “positive assessment” to a bid made by Rosneft.
According to investigators, the bribe was extorted from Rosneft’s officials and was accompanied by threats on the part of Ulyukaev.
The Minister was caught red-handed at the moment, when he was receiving a bribe, amid an investigative experiment. Also, it became known that the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia had been observing Ulyukaev and tapping the Minister’s phone for several months, what provides a strong prosecution evidence against the suspect.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been informed about Ulyukaev’s arrest and this morning he discussed this issue with Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.
If found guilty, Alexey Ulyukaev may face up to 15 years of imprisonment with a fine of 9,240,000,000 roubles.
Meanwhile, according to investigators, the above-mentioned Bashneft deal will not be revised during the probe, because it conformed to the law.