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Russia Police Detain TNK-BP Manager for $6 Million Fraud Attempt

19 Oct 2012

A manager at OAO TNK-BP Holding (TNBP),Russia’s third-biggest oil producer, was arrested on suspicion of seeking $6 million in a fraudulent scheme to sell state jobs.

The TNK-BP official was detained Oct. 4 while taking an advance payment of more than 3 million rubles ($97,400) from two businessmen, according to the Interior Ministry. The man, the head of a government relations department, had promised to secure jobs in the presidential administration and the office of the envoy to the Central Administrative District, the ministry said today in on its website, without giving his name.

TNK-BP identified the employee as Igor Korneev and said the detention isn’t related to his job at the oil company. Korneev, who had been employed for about three months, hadn’t started in his role in subsoil use regulatory support yet, TNK-BP said in an e-mailed statement. Attempts to reach Korneev through TNK-BP and the Interior Ministry weren’t immediately successful.

TNK-BP Holding is the traded unit of BP Plc (BP/)’s 50-50 oil venture with a group of billionaires. BP board is set to review an offer from state-run OAO Rosneft for its half of the venture today, people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday. TNK-BP Holding shares fell as much as 3.8 percent today, before narrowing losses to trade little changed at 80 rubles by 3:24 p.m. in Moscow.

The suspect had worked as deputy chairman of Irkutsk regional government and was the eastern Siberian region’s economics minister until June, according to the Interior Ministry. In September, he offered to sell the state jobs, which he had no authority to secure, according to the statement.