Police are searching for Viktor Trukhin (Picture: Social media/east2west news)
The head of a leading Russian state-run vaccine institute has vanished in Moscow.
Police are searching for Viktor Trukhin, 59, after his family reported him as going missing five days ago.
He has not been seen since 3 September, the day before he was fired by the Federal Medical Biological Agency [FMBA] for alleged large-scale fraud.
Trukhin had been director of the St Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums for 11 years.
A lawyer by education, he has full knowledge of Russia’s latest research and development in the field of vaccines, serums and ‘bacterial preparations’.
The institute is at the forefront of drugs to tackle coronavirus, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and plays a leading role in exporting Russian vaccines.
The biggest single leading client is 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.
Investigative police officers have been assigned to the case of the missing vaccine chief, reported Mash.
Trukhin’s daughter saw him in Moscow on 3 September but he has not been seen since, say 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 5 September, but he has not been in touch, said reports.
FMBA said Russian law enforcement agencies have been handed a dossier alleging his involvement in fraud following a check regarding corruption claims.
Trukhin also currently acts as the honorary consul for Nicaragua in St Petersburg.
Exports of vaccines to South America from his institute were channeled through Nicaragua, say reports.
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