Italy to extradite Rosgranitsa ex-chief Bezdelov to Russia

Official accused of large-scale fraud and setting up a criminal community

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has announced that the former director of the Federal Agency for the Development of State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa), Dmitry Bezdelov, who has been accused by Russia of large-scale fraud and setting up a criminal community, is expected to be extradited from Italy.

"Today, Italy's relevant services should extradite Russian citizen and ex-chief of Rosgranitsa Dmitry Bezdelov to Russia at the demand of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation," Prosecutor's Office spokesman Alexander Kurennoi told Interfax on April 5.

The criminal inquiry against Bezdelov is being handled by the Main Investigations Directorate of the Russian Interior Ministry's Investigative Department.

"It has been established during the inquiry that in the summer of 2009, Bezdelov, who then headed Rosgranitsa, entered into a criminal collusion with a number of persons in order to steal state budget funds allocated for the construction of the Adler railroad checkpoint. These citizens helped the construction organization under his control to win a tender to fulfill this state contract. More than 1.175 billion rubles worth of funds were misappropriated," Kurennoi said.

Since Bezdelov hid from criminal prosecution, he was put on the federal wanted list in December 2013 and was declared internationally wanted in May 2014. He was detained in Italy in October 2014. A month later, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office forwarded a request for Bezdelov's extradition to Italy's relevant agencies. The extradition request was granted in March 2016.

Bezdelov will be extradited to Russia accompanied by officers of Russia's Federal Penitentiary Institutions Service and the Interpol National Central Bureau in Russia.    

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