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Russian general arrested in alleged military corruption

July 11, 1997

MOSCOW (AP) _ The officer who headed the Russian army’s armored vehicle department during the Chechen war has been charged with abuse of power, a news agency reported Friday.

Maj. Gen. Viktor Maluzov was arrested in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, according to Interfax. The charges involve his handling of vehicles during the 1994-96 war with separatist rebels in the southern republic of Chechnya. No other details were provided.

Corruption has become a serious problem in Russia’s cash-strapped armed forces. A number of high-ranking military officers have been charged with using their positions for personal benefit.

In a separate development Friday, military prosecutors wrapped up their lengthy investigation of the former Navy chief of staff and turned his fraud case over to the court.

Adm. Igor Khmelnov is accused of improperly obtaining apartments for himself and his family in the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok when he was the commander of the Pacific fleet.

Khmelnov was dismissed in April and is now in Moscow, said Alexander Pavlyuk, a spokesman for the chief military prosecutor’s office.

The office on Friday mentioned no charges other than those relating to apartment fraud. But in earlier reports, investigators said they found evidence that Khmelnov allegedly misspent money generated from the sale of the fleet’s ships abroad.

Khmelnov ordered 64 decommissioned ships to be sold to South Korea and India, promising to use the revenues for housing for the fleet’s officers and their families.

But prosecutors said the money was illegally distributed among people with ties to Khmelnov, who also misspent millions of dollars allocated for the construction of a naval memorial center in Vladivostok.

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