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The brother of the former head of Daghestan was detained on Wednesday by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on suspicion of involvement in a criminal community issuing fake disability documents. Radzhab Abdulatipov, the brother of Ramazan Abdulatipov, is an MP in the Russian republic’s parliament, the People’s Assembly.
A spokesperson for the Daghestani branch of the FSB told OC Media that agents from Russia’s central FSB searched the offices and house of Radzhab Abdulatipov. His elder brother, Ramazan Abdulatipov, previously lived in the house when he was head of Daghestan. Computers and documents were seized by investigators.
On the same day, Radzhab Abdulatipov was taken to the Daghestani Investigative Committee for questioning. A spokesperson of the committee told OC Media that he was suspected of participating in a criminal community issuing fake disability documents in a criminal case opened in May, but that no charges had yet been issued.
On Thursday Daghestan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs circulated information that Radzhab Abdulatipov pushed for the appointment of Magomed Makhachev as head of the Main Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise in Daghestan for a fee of ₽70 million ($1.1 million) and subsequently took part in a scheme to charge residents for fake disability documents.
OC Media reported in August that Magomed Makhachev — allegedly a relative of the Abdulatipov brothers — was detained in July on suspicion of organising the scheme. Those accused of being involved include his brother, Ashik Makhachev, and a number of former subordinates.
According to the investigation, more than 300 people received fake disability documents costing Russia’s Pension Fund ₽24 million ($370,000) in wrongly issued social benefits. Makhachev is also accused of taking bribes worth around ₽52 million ($790,000).
Ramazan Abdulatipov told radio station Ekho Moskvi (Echo of Moscow) that he knew nothing about his brother’s detention and that nobody had informed him about it.
Reports of Radzhab Abdulatipov’s arrest have previously emerged in Russian media. News agency Interfax reported on 19 June, citing a source in law enforcement agencies, that he had been detained by the security services in Moscow Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Slovenia. The former head of Daghestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, denied the reports at the time, stating that he was with his brother at that time in Gorny Altai, in south-western Siberia.
‘Crackdown on corruption’
A number of former and current officials have been arrested in Daghestan since the resignation of Ramazan Abdulatipov as head of republic in September 2017. Since January, high-ranking officials have been detained on the following corruption charges:
On 19 January, Mayor of Makhachkala Musa Musayev — for exceeding official authority by over ₽48 million ($965,000);
On 2 February, Magomedrasul Gitinov, the chief architect of Makhachkala — for fraud of ₽4 million ($80,000);
On 5 February, the acting Prime Minister of Daghestan, Abdusamad Gamidov, vice–prime ministers Shamil Isayev and Rayudin Yusufov, and the former minister of education of the republic, Shakhabas Shakhov — for fraud and theft of more than ₽100 million ($2 million);
On 2 March, the head of the Derbent District, Magomed Dzhelilov — for exceeding official authority by ₽2.2 million ($44,000);
On 4 July, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Daghestan Ramazan Aliyev — for fraud and embezzlement of more than ₽15 million ($300,000);
On 7 July, Tanka Ibragimov, former Minister of Health of Daghestan — for fraud and theft of ₽115 million ($2.3 million);
On 2 August, head of Daghestan’s Main Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise Magomed Makhachev — for fraud, creation of a criminal community, and theft of more than ₽24 million ($480,000);
On 17 August, Director of the Territorial Fund of Mandatory Medical Insurance for Daghestan, Magomed Suleymanov — for creation of a criminal community, and theft of more than ₽210 million ($4.2 million);
On 15 September, chief doctor of Makhachkala Clinical Hospital No. 1 Medzhid Aliyev — for fraud and theft of more than ₽238 million;
On 22 September, deputy head of the administration of the Head and Government of Daghestan Ismail Efendiyev — for abuse of office.