$126m embezzled from Vostochny Cosmodrome

$126 million has been stolen by contractors and officials working on the construction of the flagship $3bn Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced  yesterday after investigators completed a massive investigation into corruption and mismanagement at the site. The cosmodrome –  which is seen as vital to Moscow’s drive to secure Russia access to space independently from the International Space Station – has been plagued with problems, leading  President Vladimir Putin to warn contractors that law enforcement agencies were monitoring the use of state funds and that charges would be brought for malpractice.
Investigators have probed the activities of 250 organizations working on the site, and although no arrests have as yet been reported in connection with the latest findings, a handful of officials have been arrested for stealing or squandering state funds allocated for the project.The new cosmodrome is scheduled for completion by the end of November, but construction is reported to be several months behind schedule.