Corruption fighters: Moscow deputy mayor abuses badge, but makes fortune

Natalia Sergunina, First Deputy Mayor of Moscow, is linked to multimillion-dollar property, the Anti-Corruption Foundation led by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said in its recent investigation. The sum in question is 6.5 bn Russian rubles (more than $102 mln).

In accordance with her tax declaration, Sergunina is an ordinary and rather poor official of Moscow City Hall. Officially, the only source of the deputy mayor’s income is her salary; and the only property she has purchased is a three-room apartment in the south-west of Moscow.

Poor official has rich relatives

The Foundation has found that Sergunina earned billions on selling urban real estate to firms controlled by her family. Over the period of 2011-2018, she had reportedly sold about a dozen houses in the centre of Moscow to the companies, the beneficiary of which was her sister’s husband Lazar Safaniyev. In all cases, the prices the premium buildings were sold at were understated.

Later, the family had hotels built in the place of most of the buildings, the investigation reads. Sergunina’s close relatives are owners of expensive cars and luxurious real estate in Moscow. Her sister has two restaurants, and her husband – an estate in Austria.

Protests in Moscow

Interestingly, the holding of Moscow City Duma elections is also in the field of responsibility of Natalia Sergunina; in July, Russians started protesting against the authorities’ refusal to register opposition and independent candidates.

On July 24, the riot police arrested Alexei Navalny over his call on Muscovites to take part in the unauthorised rally on July, 27. The politician has to spend 30 days in jail, so does activist Mark Galperin. Konstantin Kotov and Alexander Archagov got a 10-day term in custody each.

On July 27, a rally was held in the centre of Moscow for their admission of to the Moscow City Duma elections. During the dispersal of the protesters, law enforcers used batons and stun guns and detained 1,388 people.

On July 28, Navalny was taken to hospital due to a ‘severe allergic reaction’. Physician Anastasia Vasilyeva, who earlier treated Navalny, does not rule out that ‘toxic damage’ to the skin and mucous membranes was caused by an unknown chemical substance and is the result of the action of a third person.

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