As reported in the Russian media in February, and in particular in the blog by anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, the longstanding chairman of the State Duma’s parliamentary committee of ethics Vladimir Pehtin would appear to have some ethical issues of his own.
Despite working as a member of parliament since 1999, Pehtin has amassed considerable real estate in Russia, a fleet of expensive cars (Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, etc.) and also real estate in… America. Furthermore, for some reason Pehtin omitted to mention the existence of this prime real estate in Florida in his tax reason.
Subsequent to the disclosure on 13 February, Pehtin resigned his post during the investigating, while adamantly denying ownership of the property, claiming that it was owned by his son Alexei Pehtin, an alleged 35-year old businessman.
However, as Navalny noted in response, Pehtin has been receiving a state salary since 2004 from the State Duma. He would appear to be his father’s “advisor”. Moreover, Pehtin senior has allegedly been paying tax on the Miami real estate in the USA, which is strange behaviour if he doesn’t own any property in the country! If you ever hear this “ethical” deputy lambasting America, you will have to laugh even more at the utter hypocrisy of the Russian state official.
So yet another parliamentary deputy and state official has been found out. The corruption reeks more and more. The officials are so convinced that they won’t be caught that they flaunt their wealth.
Interestingly, when you type in Vladimir Peshtin in the Internet in English, Google assumes you have made a mistake and meant to write Vladimir Putin. Maybe this is not so surprising, if Putin lets such corrupt people assume leading roles in his parliament. He is not the first deputy to be caught and clearly won’t be the last.
Welcome to President Putin’s Russia. Vive la corruption!