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White-collar Crimes On Rise In Russia - Top Investigator


Russian Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said the number of white-collar crimes, including those involving high-ranking officials, is on the rise in the country."We regularly receive materials on white-collar crimes. Over the six months alone we got over 30,000 cases, including those against high-ranking officials - governors, vice-governors, general directors of holdings and big corporations," he said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

In January-June 9,000 criminal cases on white-collar crimes and corruption were instituted as against slightly over 10,000 cases in 2008 alone.

"At present, we are deciding the future of a vice-governor who imposed a damage worth 300 million roubles," Bastrykin said adding that earlier the vice-governor of the Tyumen region and ex-vice-governor of the Primorsky Territory were convicted.

"There are hundreds of cases against parliamentarians and heads of local legislatures. Over the past six months 14 federal judges were charged," he said.

Bastrykin stressed that over the same period the criminal charges for bribery increased to 700.

"Bribes are really not limited to money or property. There are even such exotic forms as sexual services or drug dealing," the top investigator said.

"There are more and more cases, when high-ranking officials, abuse their powers in favour of commercial firms. They take part in the management of such companies, allocate budget funds, issue licenses and permits to them and secure their win in tenders and bidding contests," Bastrykin said.

The top investigator believes that a provision on confiscation of property should be returned to the Criminal Code, as "the current practice did not prove effective." "Figuratively speaking, today we can arrest only that what a criminal had, when he was caught red-handed, while it is impossible to confiscate what he had stolen before," he said.

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