Russian customs officers star in 'disgraceful' rap video

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Customs officers in Russia's Far East have got into hot water for appearing in a rap video in which they dance on tables, uncork champagne and a topless girl rubs declaration forms against her breasts.

The video entitled "Vladivostok Customs Rules" was posted on YouTube on Tuesday and had been viewed tens of thousands of times by Wednesday evening.

The video was picked up on state television news and provoked a furious reaction from the federal customs service, which threatened the officers who appeared with dismissal and said they had "disgraced" the service.

Russian customs officers are hardly popular, with a reputation for rampant corruption and turning a blind eye to breaches in return for kickbacks, particularly in ports such as Vladivostok.

The video hints at such perks of the job, showing a Rolls Royce and girls dancing in a luxurious hotel room. The chorus line runs: "At the customs, people have a great time."

"We may not have great pay and clothes from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana/ We don't need that, we're doing just fine/ We have our green uniform, we're serious guys," a rapper sings.

The officers featured would face "serious measures, right up to dismissal," federal customs service spokesman Vladimir Zubkov told the Interfax news agency.

"As for the ethical point of view, In our view, what they did is outrageous and disgraces all customs officers," Zubkov later told Channel One television.

The video shows the offices of the Vladivostok sea port customs office and names officials, including one who rubs a knife against his stubble.

Zubkov said that the service would carry out an internal investigation of the officers in the video.

"So far as I know they are still working," he told Channel One.

Transport prosecutors are investigating how the video was financed and the outside business activities of the officials in the video, Fyodor Stepurin, a senior aide to the Primorye regional transport prosecutor, told Channel One.

A source told Interfax that the video was filmed for a New Year's work party.

It can be seen here on YouTube.

© 2011 AFP

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