Russian official found guilty of MiG fraud

Moscow, Jan 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A court in Russia has ordered the seizure of real estate from a former official who was found guilty of illegally selling airframes for MiG-31 fighter jets meant for Syria.

Andrei Silyakov's land and house were confiscated, the court in Nizhny Novgorod region said without specifying the property's value.

However, Silyakov, a former regional official at the Federal Reserves Agency, was not using the house anyway because he has been on the run since 2011.

In 2006-2007, Silyakov illegally sold four airframes for MiG-31 fighter jets from the state reserves, investigators said.

The buyer was the Sokol aircraft maker that was contracted to supply the jets to the Syrian Air Force.

Silyakov managed to sell the airframes - which cost 115 million rubles each ($3.8 million) - to a firm he controlled for 153 rubles ($5) apiece. He later resold them to the Sokol plant for four million rubles ($130,000).

He was also accused of swindling 35,000 tonnes of fuel oil.

The official pleaded not guilty but was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison in 2011. He disappeared days before the verdict and remains on the run.

Total damages in the case were estimated at 1.3 billion rubles, but the court only sentenced Silyakov to a fine of 315 million rubles ($10 million).

The airframes were never turned into jets for Syria and remain on Sokol's premises, Kommersant reported.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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