This post originally appeared at GlobalPostMALMO, Sweden — Who are the 50 “most corrupt” Russian government officials? A list will soon be available, compiled by a grouping of exiled Russian oligarchs calling themselves the International Anti-corruption Committee, according to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper
The group, one of whom is exiled construction magnate Valery Morozov, appears bent on causing trouble for Vladimir Putin in the run-up to Russia’s Presidential election in March.
According to the paper, the exiled multi-millionaires claim to have identified 50 bureaucrats who have extracted hundreds of millions of dollars of government funds and secreted it abroad. The paper said that Morozov had already committed 250,000 pounds to hiring a team of investigators and lawyers to trace these funds, identify any property or cash accounts held abroad, and campaign to have them frozen by the authorities.
“This money is the property of the Russian people and must be returned,” Morozov told the paper.
Morozov fled Russia last month, after the authorities began investigations into tax payments around his building business.
In 2010, he testified against officials who he claimed had pressured him to pay $6 million in bribes to win a contract as part of the Winter Olympics, which will be held in 2014 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Putin last month made a pre-emptive move to discredit exiled Russian oligarchs. “We know who went to London and why they aren’t coming back,” he said during a live phone in.