Top Daghestani Officials Detained On Fraud Charges

Several senior government officials in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan have been detained on financial fraud charges, the Investigative Committee says.

The committee said that acting Daghestani Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov and acting deputy prime ministers Shamil Isayev and Rayudin Yusufov were detained on February 5 on suspicion of misuse of federal funds allocated for social programs.

Former Education Minister Shakhabas Shakhov and several other people were also detained, it said in a statement, adding that the detainees' homes were searched.

Investigators found a golden TT pistol, Beretta pistols, a Makarov pistol and two AK-47 assault rifles in Gamidov's house, the statement said. It did not indicate that the guns had any connection to the allegations of financial misdeeds.

The statement also says that the suspects will be charged at the earliest opportunity and a decision on their possible pretrial detention will be made after that.

Interfax later reported that the suspects were brought to Moscow on a special flight from Daghestan’s capital, Makhachkala.

Daghestan has been at the epicenter of a wave of violence by organized criminal groups linked to business turf wars, political disputes, clan rivalry, and the spread of militant Islam in recent years.