MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC), equivalent to the US FBI, needs to cooperate more closely with the tax authorities and police to investigate financial and terrorism-related crimes, presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday.
“In recent years the number of tax crime cases sent to court has declined. However, that is not only due to the liberalization of tax laws,” he said.
“I believe that the Investigative Committee should enhance the level of interaction with the tax agencies and the Interior Ministry and improve the procedure for investigating financial and tax offenses.”
The Committee has a special responsibility for investigating terrorist and extremist activities, which “pose a great danger for our multiethnic state, society and citizens,” Ivanov said.
The IC investigated about 200,000 crimes last year, with 89,000 cases completed and sent to court. The clear-up rates for crimes involving the infliction of grievous bodily harm, as well as rape, are over 86 percent countrywide, IC chief Alexander Bastrykin said earlier this week.
Russia’s Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday state security and law enforcement agencies, including the IC, will retain their investigative functions for now.
A presidential decree currently being drafted, will redistribute investigative functions as part of a comprehensive law enforcement reform package, he said. The reforms aim to make crime investigations more effective and boost the clear-up rate, improve professional training and make investigations more objective and independent.
Patrushev also said the Investigative Committee’s functions will be expanded to include investigating crimes that are currently handled by the Interior Ministry and the Federal Drug Control Service.