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Media Reports Say Acting Mayor Of Daghestani Capital Detained

Media reports in Russia says that the acting mayor of Makhachkala, the capital of the North Caucasus region of Daghestan, has been detained after his office was searched.

News agencies quoted sources close to the regional government as saying that Abusupyan Gasanov was detained on November 7 on suspicion of abuse of office.

According to the unnamed sources, the search was linked to an investigation based on allegations of the illegal allocation of land for private needs in 2017-2018.

Gasanov, a former deputy mayor, became acting mayor after Mayor Musa Musayev was arrested in January on the same charges.

In February, Daghestan's Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov and acting deputy prime ministers Shamil Isayev and Rayudin Yusufov were detained on suspicion of misuse of federal funds allocated for social programs.

Last year, President Vladimir Putin for the first time after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 appointed an outsider, the chief of the ruling United Russia party's parliamentary group, Vladimir Vasilyev, as Daghestan's leader.

The appointment of Vasilyev, a police lieutenant-general and a former deputy interior minister, has been seen by many as an attempt by Moscow to tackle corruption in the volatile region.

Daghestan has been at the epicenter of a wave of violence by organized criminal groups linked to business turf wars, political disputes, clan rivalry, and the spread of militant Islam in recent years.

Based on reporting by Kavkazsky Uzel, TASS, and Interfax