Ex-defense minister to help return stolen property to state coffers - sources

An agreement has been reached with former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov under which he will help return the property that investigators believe was misappropriated to the state coffers, sources familiar with the situation told Interfax.

An agreement has been reached with former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov under which he will help return the property that investigators believe was misappropriated to the state coffers, sources familiar with the situation told Interfax.

"The ex-defense minister is cooperating with investigators, which has led to a tacit agreement on his assistance in returning the Defense Ministry's stolen property back to the state," one of the sources told Interfax.

The properties in question include a recreation camp near Astrakhan, better known as "Serdyukov's dacha," which was owned until recently by Serdyukov's brother-in-law Valery Puzikov.

Hundreds of millions of rubles returned to the state after they were retrieved from the bank accounts of a company subordinated to the Defense Ministry which purchased Italian IVECO armored personnel carriers.

OJSC Oboronservis signed two contracts with the Defense Ministry in 2011-12 for the delivery of Italian armored personnel carriers. The armored vehicles were imported into Russia as "medical equipment," duty free. The state losses amounted to 320 million rubles ($962,500), according to law enforcement services.

"This property and cash are returning to the state in a pre-trial procedure," a source said.

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