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Money in the mouth for Russian bribe-takers

Corrupt Russian officials keep finding new ways of dumping evidence when caught in the act of bribe taking. A recent trend is eating the dirty money.

On Wednesday, one employee of the Russian Emergencies Ministry was among specialists involved in a fire safety test of two buildings in Zelenograd district, in the Moscow region. Having found violations in both he asked for a bribe in return for not reporting the breaches.

The next day, suspected of receiving bribes, he was cornered in a toilet of the municipal building of Zelenograd and resorted to eating the 35,000 ruble bribe he had just received.

After being caught red-handed with seven banknotes already in his stomach, he pleaded guilty and was released on bail.

Although the idea of eating bribes is not new, this particular bribe-taker has something to be proud of as he ate a record-breaking sum of money, according to media reports.

Eating bribes has become a popular trend in Russia lately, especially among corrupt traffic police officers. In March 2010, a policeman ate a 2,000 ruble bribe in the Chelyabinsk region, and in March 2011, his colleague from the Saratov region swallowed 15,000 rubles.