Putin’s top doctor who ‘has inside knowledge of despot’s medical secrets’ is arrested by FSB after he was caught ‘trying to escape Russia via Belarus’
- Viktor Trukhin was fired amid ‘fraud’ allegations and went missing six days ago
Putin‘s top doctor, who is believed to have inside knowledge of despot’s medical secrets, has been arrested by the FSB after he was caught ‘seeking to flee the country’.
Russian vaccine and serum chief Viktor Trukhin, 59, went missing six days ago, and was simultaneously fired from his senior post at a top state institute amid ‘fraud’ allegations after his family reported him missing.
He is said to have inside knowledge of Russia‘s latest research and development in the field of vaccines, serums and ‘bacterial preparations’.
Trukhin was detained by Vladimir Putin’s FSB counterintelligence service seeking to escape abroad via Belarus, reported Telegram channel Cheka-OGPU.
He was the longtime director of the St Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums.
‘He tried to leave the Russian Federation for Belarus and was detained by officers of the Russian FSB, who apparently knew that the director… planned to travel abroad,’ the channel added.
A criminal case was opened against him when ‘it became clear that Trukhin intended to leave the Russian Federation and could tell a lot of interesting things about Russian vaccines and serums,’ the channel said.
He was found to have been in possession of a Nicaraguan passport, the report said.
The case suddenly opened against him centres on an alleged £4.75 million payment to a South American biotechnology institute, according to the channel.
Fontanka news outlet said he is held in a pre-trial detention centre on a lesser charge of embezzling around £5,000.
His institute is at the forefront of drugs to tackle coronavirus, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and plays a leading role in exporting Russian vaccines, but has other mysterious contracts.
The biggest single client was a company owned by close Putin crony Sergei Chemezov, a former KGB colleague who is the billionaire head of ROSTEC, a state-owned hi-tech defence conglomerate.
The institute Trukhin headed is part of the FMBA which is a Russian state body tasked with ensuring the country’s radiation, chemical, biological safety, and spearheading health protection.
Trukhin’s daughter saw him in Moscow on September 3 but was not seen after this, according to reports.
He wrote a farewell letter to staff of his ‘unique’ institute, announcing his departure and saying: ‘This decision was not mine, unfortunately.’
His WhatsApp and Telegram apps were opened briefly on September 5, but he was not in touch, said reports.
After he went missing he was fired by the Federal Medical Biological Agency [FMBA] for alleged large-scale fraud.