Russian police search office of former Olympic official

Moscow, April 16 (IANS) Russian police have searched the offices of the company supervising the development of North Caucasian tourism cluster, including several Olympic venues in Sochi, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

According to the ministry, former vice president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Akhmed Bilalov, allegedly stole more than $97,000 from Northern Caucasus Resorts, a state-run company that manages holiday resorts and promotes tourism in region, and used it for luxury travel abroad for him and his friends. He was heading the company’s board of directors.

The criminal case was opened against Bilalov and CEO Alexander Nevski.

If found guilty, they could be sentenced up to four years in prison on accusation of the state funds embezzlement.

In February during an inspection trip to Sochi, President Vladimir Putin slammed Bilalov for slow pace of building the Winter Olympics venues and sky-rocketing costs of the construction.

Soon afterwards, Bilalov resigned from three top posts he occupied within the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

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