MOSCOW, March 24 (RAPSI, Saria Kiut) – Moscow's Tverskoy District Court has issued an arrest order against former Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexey Bazhanov in absentia and placed him on the international wanted list, RAPSI reports Monday from the court room.

Bazhanov was reportedly charged with having embezzled a 1.15-billion-ruble loan issued by the Russian Agricultural Bank to the Masloproduct group of companies, which produce vegetable oil. The group was established by Bazhanov and controls about 6% of the Russian sunflower oil market.

He is also suspected of having embezzled 1.1 billion rubles from the Rosagroleasing Company in the Voronezh Region. The Interior Ministry reported that in 2008-2009 Bazhanov and his alleged accomplices stole budget funds by signing contracts to deliver equipment to the farms controlled by his group of companies.

In 2009-2010, Bazhanov was deputy to Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik, who is also being investigated over embezzlement at Rosagroleasing, the largest state-owned agribusiness leasing company in Russia. No charges have been brought against her so far.