Putin accuses police of negligence, corruption ties with merchants following massive raid on Moscow markets

Putin accuses police of negligence, corruption ties with merchants following massive raid on Moscow markets
Nearly a thousand migrant workers have been detained during a police raid in a bid to ‘decriminalize’ Moscow’s markets after an officer was seriously injured at one of them. The Russian President condemned the work of the police during the incident.

Russian security forces launched a massive raid on Moscow’s markets. During the first two days police have detained nearly a thousand people, mostly migrant workers from the North Caucasus and the countries of former Soviet Republics. All of them are suspected in criminal activity and involvement in administrative offenses.

This comes after a notorious scuffle that took place outside a market in the west of the capital last Saturday, when a group of police officers arrested Magomed Magomedov, a Dagestani migrant worker, and a prime suspect for the statutory rape attempt of a 15-year-old girl.

While the officers were detaining Magomedov, his sister Halimat Rasulova defending him engaged in a fist fight with the security forces. Her husband, Magomed Rasulov joined her, as a result tackling an officer, Anton Kudriashov and breaking his skull. The injured has been admitted to hospital and is now in fair condition expected to sign out soon.

The two involved in the fight and the prime suspect of the rape have been arrested.

At the same time, the Investigative Committee (IC) has accused the Moscow police of negligence as they were incapable of“defending” their colleague. Following the unprecedented incident an investigation was launched into corruption between the representatives of trade and law enforcers, said vice-president of the IC Vasily Piskarev during a press conference with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a special meeting on combating crimes at large retail outlets at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, July 31, 2013 (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his dissatisfaction with the law enforcement agencies, in particular, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, during Saturday's event.

“This is not a normal situation” when one colleagues is getting beaten up and the rest are watching, said the president. “Are they such cowards, or what? It is possible, but highly unlikely. Rather, by their inaction, [the police] are paying off ‘30 pieces of silver’ they received from these vendors. This is clear to everyone, and everyone knows it.”

The president emphasized that in this case it was vital for the investigation to focus on “money paid to the authorities.”

The president was referring to the impotence of the police force that stood by while their fellow colleague was attacked in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses. The vendors verbally insulted the police, while they stood by and watched Kudriashov engaging the alleged rapist and his family members. The recording of the incident has been released online and caused a massive outcry from the public.

According to Magomedov’s relatives and friends who were defending him, the 25 year old Dagestani is mentally retarded. They claim he even does not remember his age and has no idea what sexual violence is. Earlier, the police stated that the accused only undressed the girl but did not rape her, because he “lost the desire.”

Meanwhile, the alleged rapist has been detained until September 26 as police investigate the case further. Magomedov is accused of raping a minor. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison. The other people detained, face up to 10 years in prison for attacking law officers.