Russian Official Accused Of Literal Highway Robbery

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russian road 1 Russian Official Accused Of Literal Highway RobberyReuters

When people say ‘highway robbery’ they probably don’t mean it this literally.

The Guardian report that Russia have have had to detain a senior prison service official because they think it’s possible that he may have stolen a 30-mile stretch of public road.

Ridiculously Alexander Protopopov allegedly oversaw the theft of a concrete highway and then cheekily sold off the concrete slabs, he did all this while working as the prison service chief in the far-northern Komi region, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The road was made up of more than 7,000 reinforced concrete slabs and was ‘dismantled and driven away’ over the course of a year. Is it just me or wouldn’t you expect someone to notice a road literally being stolen?

The head of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Republic of Komi detained in Moscow Russian Official Accused Of Literal Highway Robbery

The slabs were then used by a company that sold them on for a profit, investigators said.

Protopopov, now acting deputy chief of the national prison service, could faces charges of misappropriating state property while using his official position, which may land him in jail for ten years.

Other prison service officials are accused of participating in the scheme, pretending to dispose of waste, with one arrested so far, prosecutors said earlier.

russian road 2 Russian Official Accused Of Literal Highway

Investigators claim that the theft cost the Russian Federation more than 6m roubles (£55,000).

Unsurprisingly allegations of corruption are rife in the Russian road construction sector, with costs much higher than on comparable projects in other countries.

Apparently the building of a mountain road for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 cost about $8bn, with Russian media claiming they could have covered the 29-mile (48km) stretch with black caviar for the same price.

Honestly though stealing a road, was he thinking that this would pave his way to success?


The Guardian