MOSCOW (Web Desk) – Russian authorities have arrested a regional governor after he was caught red-handed taking a €400,000 (£325,000; $444,500) bribe.

Kirov region governor Nikita Belykh, who has been a Kremlin critic, was held in a Moscow restaurant. Officials have ruled out any political subtext to the case, the BBC reported on Saturday.

On Friday, the Russian investigative committee (SKR) published a photograph on its website, saying it showed Mr Belykh and piles of 100-euro notes laid out before him.

They say he is suspected of accepting the money, personally and through an intermediary, in return for protecting a dodgy investment business in the region.

Belykh, who once led the opposition Union of Right Forces, has made no public comment on the issue.

He becomes the third Russian governor to be arrested on suspicion of corruption in just over a year.