Dmitry Zakharchenko, the acting head of an anti-graft agency at the Russian interior ministry, was arrested on Saturday after police found banknotes worth more than $120 million in a raid on his study, car and sister’s apartment. TASS news agency reported the court ruled that Zakharchenko must be held in custody for two months, until 8 November 2016. He was arrested on suspicion of abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and accepting bribes. His lawyers have proposed that bail be set at $1 million, reported Interfax. Zakharchenko’s official income did not exceed $46,000 per annum in the recent years.
TASS’ sources indicate the money belonged to NOTA-Bank, which was shut down by the Central Bank in November of 2015 because its liabilities exceeded assets by a substantial margin. It was 97th largest bank in terms of assets before it was closed down. Dmitry Erokhin and his younger brother Vadim Erokhin, who were co-owners of the bank were arrested on suspicion of the theft of $22.5 million from investors of the Bank. It was reported that Zakharchenko was a friend of Erokhin brothers.
Critics of Kremlin Putin say that he has turned a blind eye to widespread corruption as his close allies were involved in it. This arrest shows that this may not be the case always. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the government has put “consistent, purposeful and painstaking efforts” to combat corruption.