The longtime head of Russia’s Far East region of Khabarovsk has been detained in Moscow on suspicion of embezzling money from the Rosneft oil giant, Russian investigators said Thursday.
Viktor Ishayev, 70, led the Khabarovsk region from 1991 to 2009, and oversaw development in the Far East as a presidential envoy and minister between 2009 and 2013. He served as the vice president of Rosneft between 2013 and 2018.
Security agents detained Ishayev in Moscow while carrying out raids of the Khabarovsk region’s administrative and commercial buildings, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.
The Investigative Commitee said in a statement later on Thursday that Ishayev had been detained on suspicion of embezzling money from Rosneft.
Investigators claim Ishayev had used his position to secure an inflated rental contract between Rosneft and another company belonging to him.
Observers have said that for the Far East, Ishayev’s detention would be comparable to former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov being detained.
Update: Ishayev was placed under house arrest until May 27, RIA reported. He denied his guilt. This article was updated to reflect Thursday’s statement from the Investigative Committee.