Lutsenko, right, is one of those senior members of the former administration being probed [AFP]

Authorities in the Ukraine have detained the country's former interior minister on corruption charges, officials have said.

Yuri Lutsenko was taken into custody on Sunday for allegedly abusing his power and embezzling state funds while in office. 

As he was casually walking his dog, "11 masked SBU servicemen snatched him and took him away in a minivan," the government said in a statement, referring to the official SBU security service.

Lutsenko has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

Lutsenko's case is the latest in a string of criminal probes against senior members of the previous administration which culminated this month when prosecutors charged Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister, with abuse of office.

'Political attack'

Tymoshenko has been ordered not to leave the country and is regularly summoned by prosecutors for questioning but has so far avoided detention and arrest.

She has also dismissed the accusations as a political attack by the government of Viktor Yanukovich, who narrowly beat her in a February presidential runoff.

Among other members of her government facing criminal charges are Bohdan Danylyshyn, the former economy minister, and Georgy Filipchuk, the former environment minister.

Source: Agencies