Moscow police chief blames businessmen for corruption

Fighting corruption is one of the tasks of the major police reform
Vladimir Kolokoltsev, head of the Interior Ministry’s Moscow department, has called on the authorities and businesses to jointly fight corruption.

­“They say that the state officials are the main source of corruption in the country,” Kolokoltsev said at a meeting at the Audit Chamber. “However, it is far from true.”  

Businessmen are also responsible for spreading bribery, the police chief believes. Sometimes they “build schemes of kickbacks” that make it difficult to take their businesses from the shadow. Some businessmen think they could get competitive advantages if they give bribes, Kolokoltsev noted.

The authorities and businesses should join efforts in fighting corruption against the background of recent quantitative changes in this area, the police chief said. As an example, he pointed to the elimination of the gambling business in Moscow. The situation has changed dramatically over recent months. About 500 gambling houses were closed, including 41 illegal casinos, 22 game arcades and 293 clubs that offered illegal gambling under the guise of lotteries.   

Kolokoltsev called on businessmen to stop bribing corrupt officials and to report to police any such cases. Currently, a national plan for fighting corruption is being fulfilled. As a result, last year police detected 1,360 crimes in this area, including 624 cases involving bribery.

The Moscow police chief recognized that there have been many incidents of corruption in law enforcement agencies as well. The Interior Ministry’s department in the Russian capital intends to clear itself of corrupt officers and officials, Kolokoltsev said.

In 2010, criminal proceedings “were initiated against 119 employees of the Moscow police,” Itar-Tass quoted Kolokoltsev as saying. About 50 of them were accused of taking bribes.  

Fighting corruption is also one of the main tasks of the major police reform that started last year. This March, the new law on police came into force, which regulates the rights and responsibilities of police officers and Interior Ministry officials. However, many warn the reform will only be effective if police are able, first of all, to suppress corruption at all levels of its central and regional structures.