Governor of Russian region detained on suspicion of taking bribe

MOSCOW, June 25 (UPI) — Russia’s Kirov Region governor has been detained on suspicion of taking a $460,000 bribe at a Moscow restaurant.

Nikita Belykh, the head of the region in Central Russia, received money in euro currency and faces a corruption charge, said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Investigators said Belykh was getting the money in favor of the bribe-giver, who controlled two companies – the Novovyatsky Ski Plant and Forestry Managing Company. Forestry Managing is associated with Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.

In a controlled operation, 100 marked euro bills were handed over to Belykh.

If convicted, Belykh may face a huge fine and a prison term of eight to 15 years.

“I want to immediately cool the ardor: in corruption crimes are no political color,” Markin said.

Belykh, 41, was re-elected to the post in 2014 after being first appointed in 2009 by President Vladimir Putin.

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