Average amount of bribes to officials exceeded 300 thousand rubles
In 2016, the average amount of a bribe among government officials has doubled.
Whereas in 2015, the average amount of kickback amounted to 188 thousand rubles, it rose to 328 thousand rubles in 2016.
According to experts, the size of bribes increased due to the volatile currency exchange rates as well as inflation and the economic crisis. At the same time, law enforcement agencies note that the average size of bribes is approximate, and is calculated based on criminal cases opened under Bribe-taking against corrupt officials. Then, the number of criminal cases is divided by the total amount of bribes identified in the same cases.
According to Vice-President of the Center for Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov, the increase in the average bribe size is directly linked with jumps of exchange rates. However, corrupt officials now prefer to receive bribes in euros and dollars, or peg the required amount to the Central Bank rate.
"During a crisis, business has less and less opportunities to raise the money for development, or even just to survive. And money is always available in the budget. For example, one can win a state tender. However, officials ask for gratitude for participation and victory in bidding. Since the number of those wishing to gain access to the budget only grows, and the financial possibilities of the budget decreased from 2015 to 2016, the amount of gratitude required by officials has increased," Dmitry Abzalov said.
In the opinion of Aleksandr Ostrovsky, the information about bribes provided by the police is conditional, and it is impossible to calculate the exact size due to the latency of this kind of crime.
As reported by the Prosecutor General’s Office, in 2016, the number of criminal cases under Bribe-taking decreased by 17.2%. In 2016, there were 5,297 such cases, whereas in 2015, their amount was 6,399. At the same time, the greatest number of bribery cases was initiated in Moscow: last year - 258, and 565 in 2015. The average size of a bribe in Moscow has increased by 2.5 times and reached almost 2 million rubles.
It is noteworthy that law enforcement agencies openly say that bribery in Russia has become a kind of natural disaster.
The suicide of prominent politician and businessman Yuri Kotler has hit the headlines last week. Some people believe that he has laid hands on himself because of bankruptcy and career failures. Others suggest conspiracy theories, imply that it was not a suicide, and remind that Kotler was employed with a structure controlled by brothers Magomedov. Still others refer to his psychological problems originating from the childhood... But was his suicide note interpreted correctly?