Corruption Related Crimes up 25% in Russia

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – The number of corruption related crimes recorded in Russia rose by almost 25 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Prosecutor General’s Office submitted to parliament on Wednesday.

A total of 49,513 such crimes were registered last year, compared to 40,407 in 2011, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said. Over 13,500 individuals have been prosecuted.

Fraud, misappropriation of funds or embezzlement involving abuse of office are the prevalent types of crime in this category, Chaika said.

Corruption has pervaded the administrative sphere, primarily the allocation of budgetary funds under government defense contracts, transactions involving federal or municipal property, and the exercise of supervisory functions over private business entities, the report says.

Chaika cited the example of a case against the head of the environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, who received 3.5 million rubles (around $110,000) for conducting a fictitious inspection of a copper mining company and a further 11.8 million rubles for minimizing the fines the company had to pay.

The Transparency International global watchdog estimated the cost of corruption in Russia at $300 billion in 2012, placing Russia 133rd out of 174 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index last year.

Last fall the Kremlin launched an anti-corruption campaign, promising to limit the right of legislators and state officials to own assets abroad, purging several lawmakers over allegations of illegal business activity and implicating then-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in a large-scale corruption case. Serdyukov, however, has not been charged, and the law on officials’ foreign assets has yet to be enacted.


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