Senior investigator arrested in Moscow over $50,000 bribe

A senior major crimes investigator for Russia’s Investigative Committee has been arrested, with media reporting that Lt. Colonel Aleksandr Sorokin was caught red-handed outside his workplace, in the process of receiving a $50,000 installment of a bigger bribe.

According to a statement posted on the website of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Sorokin’s workplace, the official accepted the bribe for “conducting a series of procedural acts pertaining to a case that was assigned to him.”

“The Investigative Committee of Russia always reacts promptly and with full force to any violations, including incidences of corruption in our own ranks, regardless of status or past achievement. So we were never in any doubt about initiating a criminal investigation,” said the agency.

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It also added that “preventing corruption among our own staff is one of the primary functions of the Committee.”

Life.ru, a Russian news portal with a network of sources in the security services, reported more extensive details of the case.

It claimed that Sorokin was demanding $300,000 from a Moscow businessman to drop a court case against him. The extortion victim reported Sorokin to the FSB, which set up a sting rendezvous with Sorokin late last week to catch him as he was accepting a tranche of the money.

Sorokin has been detained for at least two months, giving prosecutors time to present a case against him.

Back in July, another high-ranking agency official Major General Denis Nikandrov, and several officers serving under him, were arrested for allegedly helping the release of several mafia associates from prison in exchange for money.

Other prominent anti-corruption arrests this year have involved Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev and Kirov region governor Nikita Belykh, both of whom are yet to be tried.