Three Russian policemen are under investigation for kidnapping a businessman for 15 days and extorting a ransom of one million dollars from his family, investigators said Friday.
Two policemen stopped the businessman in Moscow on August 4 and ordered him to hand over his mobile phone and briefcase containing more than 90,000 rubles (2,913 dollars), said investigators from the state prosecutor’s office.
They forced him into their car and drove to the Moscow region, where their accomplices kept the businessman captive for two weeks until he was rescued by police on August 19, investigators said.
A source in the Moscow police force told the Interfax news agency that the men are also suspected of demanding a ransom of one million dollars from the captive’s relatives.
Both of the policemen work in a Moscow district police station. A third policeman, the head of the crime squad at the station, has also been detained as the suspected mastermind, investigators said.
The police from the Troparevo-Nikulino area of southern Moscow have been suspended while being investigated for extortion and kidnapping, Moscow police said in a statement.
Corruption and extortion scandals are rife in the Russian police force, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently admitted that police often act as hired protection for businesses.