A Russian investigation committee said Tuesday it suspected two former Defense Ministry officials stole more than $15 million in state funds.
Andrei Beltov, former director of Russia's Central Research Institute of Economics, and his deputy, Dmitry Ostrovsky, were arrested on suspicion of embezzlement. They were suspected of forging documents related to a state order for aircraft communications equipment, the state-supported news agency RIA Novosti reported.
A watchdog report from the Russian government found 70 percent of the more than 400 state contracts signed from July 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012 violated procurement agreements. The prosecutor general's office in Moscow in July said bribery was an epidemic among members of the Russian military. Corruption allegations extended to defense contractors.
Former Defense Ministry official Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former head of the ministry's property management administration, was charged in August with the illegal sale of land outside Moscow for $175 million.
She was charged previously in a $433 million fraud case involving the sale of property held by subsidiaries of the state-run Oboronservis holding company. The company manages the defense ministry's real estate.