Russia prosecutes '1,000 troops' for corruption in 2010

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

About 1,000 members of the Russian security forces have been prosecuted on corruption charges in Russia in the last year, a top military prosecutor said Thursday.

The authorities prosecuted 950 military officials on corruption charges, said Colonel Konstantin Belyaev, the head of a department charged with combating corruption in the security forces.

"Our prosecutors uncovered more than 9,000 law violations of a corrupt nature last year," he said in an interview with the Interfax news agency.

Belyaev pointed to the example of General Nikolai Konon, who connived with two other officials to develop a scheme to steal more than 23 million rubles (575,000 euros, 783,000 dollars) as a chief of an institute for scientific research at the ministry of defence.

"Now he'll spend seven years in less comfortable conditions and he'll have time to think about what he had done," Belyaev said.

As result of successful prosecution, the state coffers received more than 870 million rubles (21.7 million euros, 29.6 million dollars) in damages, he said.

He added the level of corruption remains the same as last year, in spite of the overall drop in crime rate among the security forces.

"More than 2,400 cases of corruption have been uncovered last year," he said. A number of fraud cases among military rose, as well as a number of bribery and "selfish abuse of office" rose by 50 percent compared to 2009, he said.

Corruption in Russia is rampant.

Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev, has pledged to curb the corruption, which, he says, undermines the state. However, many have doubted whether he will succeed.

The global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International consistently ranked Russia as one of the most corrupt in the world. Its 2010 Corruption Perception Index ranked Russia 154th, together with countries like Kenya, Laos and Tajikistan.

© 2011 AFP

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