A Russia highway robbery suspect who, quite literally, is accused of dismantling and selling off 31 miles worth of concrete slabs was detained this week, and authorities say the senior prison service official could get up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of the crime.
Russia's Investigative Committee, the country's FBI equivalent, claim that Alexander Protopopov, the Komi region prison service chief, supervised the dismantling of a concrete highway for more than a year between 2014 and 2015, Agence France-Presse reported.
More than 7,000 slabs were dismantled, driven away, and used by a commercial company that sold them for profit, investigators claimed, according to AFP. It is estimated that the crime cost the Russian Federation some $79,000.
The BBC News reported that Protopopov could be sentenced
to up to 10 years in jail.
Others under investigation include another prison service official, a penal colony head, and a businessman, the news website noted. The Komi Republic is a large forest region in northern Russia known for its natural resources such as oil, gas, and timber, the BBC said.
Protopopov led the Komi region's prison service from 2010 to 2015 and won a medal for creating "spiritual unity" in area, the Kommersant newspaper
reported via Mashable
Russia's road construction sector is thought to suffer from corruption with projects costing more than six
times what they would cost in other countries, according to Mashable. For instance, a mountain road built for the Sochi Winter Olympics reportedly cost $8 billion, an example of the country's bloated road projects.
Some on social media had fun with the highway robbery.
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