‘Dumped’ police data sparks probe

An investigation is under way in Moscow after documents and computer evidence relating to a prominent abduction and extortion case went missing from a police station.

The Kommersant newspaper reports that an official from the prosecutor’s office went to the station to pick up the data on Monday evening, only to be told that the material he needed had been dumped during a clean-up the previous weekend. The missing documents are connected to the case against Evgeny Chichvarkin, the former co-owner of the cell phone company Euroset.

The official, Inspector Vyatcheslav Gryaznov, immediately went to the rubbish at the back of the station in southern Moscow. There he discovered piles of official papers and documents in carton boxes, including material on criminal cases.

However, the documents and files relating to the abduction case were not found.

On Tuesday, investigators from the Public Prosecutor’s Office seized the police stations’ computer server containing materials on criminal cases, reports life.ru.

The same source reports that on Wednesday the special commission of the prosecutor’s office was sent to the Southern district police office to question staff and search the premises.

A statement from the headquarters of the Moscow police department denies that documents on criminal cases were thrown out.

It is unclear whether any officers will be charged with discarding evidence – a criminal offence in Russia.