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Federal Security Service (FSB) agents in the Russian Republic of Daghestan have arrested the acting mayor of the capital, Makhachkala. Abusupyan Gasanov was detained on Wednesday suspected of costing the state ₽40 million ($600,000) during auctions under a federal roads programme.
A spokesperson for the Daghestani FSB told OC Media that Gasanov’s home and office had been searched and documents seized.
The investigation into Gasanov is a joint operation between Daghestan’s Interior Ministry and Investigative Department.
According to security officials, a bail hearing will be held in the upcoming days.
Local newspaper Dagestanskaya Pravda reported that in 2018, ₽765 million ($11.5 million) was allocated from the federal budget for repairing transport infrastructure in Makhachkala and the surrounding area.
The money was meant to pay for 99 streets to be repaved in Makhachkala and 126 km of road to be repaired over the year.
At a government briefing on 28 October, the head of Daghestan, Vladimir Vasilyev, criticised the mayor and promised to deal with those who had failed in implementing a federal programme to provide orphans with housing.
‘The state allocated funds to you, why don’t you provide them with housing?’, Daghestani daily Chernovik quoted him as saying.
‘Administration staff in charge of this issue should be brought to justice. The whole of Daghestan will know the person who did this. No one will give him a job again’.
The morning of Gasanov’s arrest, Vasilyev gave a live interview to Moscow-based RBK, where he answered questions about ‘waves of anti-corruption cases’ in Daghestan.
‘We do not organise waves, this happens as evidence emerges. As far as I understand, the process — not everyone understands this yet — is irreversible.’
‘Therefore, if someone does not understand, then they must understand — they will come [for him], charge him and question him. He'll have to answer’, RBK quoted Vasilyev as saying.
Abusupyan Gasanov became acting mayor on 22 January after the detention of Mayor Musa Musayev three days prior.
From 2013–2018, he served as deputy head of the city of Makhachkala under three mayors, two of whom have been arrested.
From June 2013 to April 2014, mayoral duties were temporarily performed by the Rector of Daghestan State University, Murtazali Rabadanov. Rabadanov was the only Mayor of Makhachkala over the last 20 years not to face charges.
Mayor Magomed Suleymanov (from April 2014 to October 2015) is now in custody accused of organising a criminal community and embezzling more than ₽210 million ($3.2 million) while he headed Daghestan’s Territorial Mandatory Medical Insurance Fund.
Suleymanov is also accused of costing the budget ₽96 million ($1.5 million) during the transfer of 35,000 square metres of state land.
Musayev came to power in October 2015 and lasted until January 2018, when he was arrested for exceeding his authority in allocating five plots of land, costing the state ₽48 million ($720,000).
On 15 October, he was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Said Amirov, who preceded all three as Mayor of Makhachkala, from February 1998 to June 2013, was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison on murder, banditry, and terrorism charges.