Police chief in $46m corruption case in Russia

19th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A police general in charge of fighting organised crime in ex-Soviet republics is being investigated for demanding 46 million dollars from an entrepreneur, officials said Wednesday.

Alexander Bokov holds the rank of lieutenant general and is director of the Bureau for the Coordination of the Fight against Organised Crime and Other Dangerous Crimes in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In 2005 he and two accomplices promised an entrepreneur help in purchasing a controlling stake in a transport company, Russian investigators said in a statement.

"They demanded the businessman pay them 46 million dollars for their 'services'," the statement said.

"In 2006, the businessman handed 4.5 million dollars over to Bokov's authorised representatives but no action from him followed."

Investigators stressed that Bokov did not make any decisions within the Russian interior ministry itself.

Corruption and extortion scandals are rife in the Russian police force. Russia has a pervasive system of paying kickbacks to officials but few highly placed individuals are sentenced to significant punishments.

The CIS groups Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

© 2011 AFP

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