Anti-corruption crusaders push Natural Resource Watchdog official to take bribe
This way the Department for Economic Safety and Countering Corruption hoped to increase their records on corruption crimes disclosure.
Officers of the Department for Economic Safety and Countering Corruption of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Sverdlovsk Region have been detained for bribe extortion. Four policemen were the so-called "torpedoes": the head of anti-corruption department Nikolai Zhukov, his subordinate Yevgeny Kulik, as well as the operatives of economic security department Alexander Kosman and Alexei Varlinsky.
The investigation believes that the anti-corruption fighters just wanted to frame the Rosprirodnadzor official to increase their figures. The policemen tried to give a bribe to Anton Lobanov, the Chief Supervisor of Water Bodies, and Land Supervisor of a Department of Russian Natural Resource Usage Watchdog (Rosprirodnadzor) in the Urals Federal District through a local businessman. Artur Petrenko, the owner of AgroStroy construction company, was to be the one giving the bribe. The local Rosprirodnadzor stated in a press release that the businessman did incline the department official to accept the bribe, but the latter reported to the leadership, which was followed by prompt actions on the part of the FSB. It turned out that Petrenko wrote a statement to the police claiming that Lobanov extorted a bribe of 200.000 rubles ($3.360) from him. The anti-corruption fighters were already developing an operation to detain the Rosprirodnadzor official, but special services disrupted their plans. After a series of searches in Sverdlovsk MIA Department for Economic Safety and Countering Corruption, the special services suspected the officers of provocation.
Initially, the "torpedoes" were charged under Art. 304 of the Criminal Code (Provocation of a Bribe), but eventually, the Sverdlovsk Investigative Committee initiated the case under Art. 286 of the Criminal Code (Exceeding Official Powers). The court is considering the appropriate verdict. The judge has placed Alexander Kosman under house arrest.