Sochi police deputy chief in hiding after taking bribe

Sochi police deputy chief in hiding after taking bribe
Sergey Kovtun

The investigation has put Sergey Kovtun on the federal wanted list.

The investigation has put Sergey Kovtun, Deputy Chief of the Internal Affairs Directorate of Sochi and Head of the regional department of the Criminal Investigation Department of the police department in Lazarevsky district, who is accused of receiving a large bribe, on the federal wanted list. This was reported by the press service of the Main Directorate of the Investigative Committee for Krasnodar Krai.

According to the investigation, Kovtun received a reward for not prosecuting a man for illegal production and trafficking of alcohol-containing products. Counterfeit alcohol was discovered during a search of the home of a defendant in a case of illegal hunting in a specially protected natural area.

The amount of the bribe amounted to 300 thousand rubles ($4.5 thousand). The policeman and the defendant agreed that the money would be transferred through a familiar lawyer. On the same day, Kovtun received 100 thousand rubles ($1.5 thousand). The defendant promised to transfer the remaining money to him within a month, after which he informed the law enforcement authorities about the demand for a bribe.

In July 2019, the intermediary met with the man and received the remaining 200 thousand rubles ($3 thousand). At that moment, the lawyer was detained by officers of the FSB Directorate in Krasnodar Krai. A criminal case was opened against the detainee on Mediation in Bribery (item (b), part 3 of Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Kovtun became a defendant in the case of Bribe-Taking on a large scale (item (c), part 5 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). He hid from the investigation, and therefore was put on the wanted list. The search for the policeman is ongoing.

The Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Krasnodar Krai reported that an official audit was scheduled against Kovtun. He was suspended from official duties. If his guilt is confirmed, Kovtun will be fired from the police, and his leadership will be brought to disciplinary responsibility.

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