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Chubais associate target of corruption probe

The MVD has initiated an investigation of Mosenergo Director Arkadii Yevstafiev, a close associate of United Energy Systems (EES) head Anatolii Chubais, Interfax and NTV reported on 8 June. Mosenergo is a EES subdivision.

According to investigators, the case against Yevstafiev is linked to his business activity before becoming head of Mosenergo. Yevstafiev became known during the 1996 re-election campaign of then-President Boris Yeltsin when he was caught leaving a government building with $538,000 in cash in a cardboard box; Yevstafiev declined to explain anything about the money.

Commenting on the MVD investigation, gazeta.ru wrote that it is linked to another 1996 episode, in which Yevstafiev and Chubais took a loan of several million dollars for an NGO called the Center for the Protection of Private Property, which they headed. The loan was allegedly never paid back. In his 1998 book "Obscurantism," MVD Colonel Valerii Streletskii wrote that significant evidence of fraud had been uncovered in both cases but that the investigations were stopped for political reasons.

(RFE/RL 12.vi.02)

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