$3.9M in jewelry confiscated from former Russian official

10/4/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW  — Russia’s Investigative Committee has confiscated 57,000 diamonds and 42 pounds of jewelry from a former defense ministry official in an ongoing investigation into corruption charges.

Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said today that the jewelry, worth more than 126 million rubles ($3.9 million), was discovered at the home of Yevgenia Vasilyeva and “returned to the state.”

Vasilyeva was charged in 2012 with fraud related to the sale of military assets, then said to be worth about $11 million. Russia’s military investigators announced Tuesday that they are now estimating the total damage at about 3 billion rubles ($93 million).

Vasilyeva is a close ally of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was ousted President Vladimir Putin. The nation’s military establishment has been haunted by corruption accusations for years.