ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Police arrested an official in Sochi for trying to exhort money from a local business owner in connection with the Black Sea city's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sergei Yevdokimenko, who is responsible for federal government property in the resort town, and Viktor Babiiy, director of a regional trout farm, have been charged with blackmail and soliciting bribes, Maj. Gen. Solodovnikov, deputy head of the Interior Ministry for southern Russia, said Monday.
According to Solodovnikov, the two were demanded that a local business owner give up some of his land, saying it was needed to build sports facilities for the games.
The businessman was told that if he paid $410,000, he could retain use of the land, Solodovnikov said.
Sochi, wedged between the Black Sea and soaring mountains, is considered one of the strongest bidders for the 2014 Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee will chose the winning city next year.