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Political allies of former head of Daghestan detained

11 July 2018
Ramazan Aliyev (middle) (realnoevremya.ru)

The Daghestani security services have detained the acting Deputy Chair of the Government, Ramazan Aliyev, and former Minister of Health Tanka Ibragimov on fraud charges. Both were close political allies of the former head of Daghestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov.

Abdulatipov — who resigned as head of Daghestan unexpectedly in September — personally hired Aliyev, from Saratov region, and Ibragimov, from Moscow. According to Rosbalt, investigators plan to question Abdulatipov in the Aliyev case.

‘Misled everyone’

Daghestani daily Chernovik reports that Ramazan Aliyev is suspected of fraud and the embezzlement of about ₽15 million ($240,000) from public funds. According to the investigation, he spent the money servicing a private off-road car, used by Abdulatipov, in the government garage. The garage is managed by Askhabali Abdulatipov, who local media reports is Abdulatipov’s nephew. Askhabali has previously been accused of the falsifying documents to embezzle public funds allocated for servicing governmental cars.

The ex-head denies that Askhabali Abdulatipov is his nephew, saying the shared surname is just a coincidence.

On 4 July, Ramazan Aliyev was detained suspected of abuse of authority. The interim head of Daghestan, Vladimir Vasilyev, signed a decree removing Aliyev from his position as Deputy Chair.

Vasilyev said that Aliyev, who was in charge of monitoring tax collection in the republic, ‘misled everyone’. According to him, Aliyev reported in meetings that Daghestan had generated ₽1.3 billion ($21 million) in taxes in the first quarter. When it became necessary to allocate ₽400 million ($6.4 million) for work on the water supply in Buynaksk District, according to Vasilyev, it was found that only ₽300 million was available.

On 6 July, a court in Makhachkala ordered that Aliyev be held awaiting charges and sent him to Moscow to be put held for 10 days.

On 10 July, Aliyev admitted his guilt and expressed a willingness to repay the damages of ₽14 million. He also added that he acted independently — without pressure or influence from anyone else.

Theft in the Ministry of Health

On the morning of 7 July, information surfaced that the former Minister of Health of Daghestan, Tanka Ibragimov, had been detained. A source in the security services confirmed to OC Media that he had been detained but could not give details on the charges he faces. Daghestani authorities have refused to give any official comment on the issue.

Ramazan Abdulatipov and Tanka Ibragimov (right) (chernovik.net)

On 8 July Ibragimov was placed under house arrest at his official place of residence in Moscow, and the next day he was arrested again.

Chernovik cited a source in local law enforcement agencies as saying that Ibragimov may be connected to several criminal cases in regards to the theft of over ₽300 million ($4.9 million) in public funds.

According to Chernovik, Ibrahimov’s former deputy, Khadzhimurad Mirzabekov, is also suspected of embezzling more than ₽100 million ($1.6 million) intended for the purchase of medical equipment in 2013–2014. A criminal investigation was opened against Mirzabekov in February.

In March, police seized documents at the Ministry of Health, but Mirzabekov insisted he had nothing to answer for, and that audits of medical equipment purchases had already been carried out in 2015 with no violations revealed.

Over the past six months, at least 10 high-ranking officials and more than a dozen other public officials at different levels have been detained in Daghestan.

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