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Moscow police chief: Price of Russia bribes going up

The average cost of a bribe to a government official in Moscow rose 37 percent last year to 327,000 rubles ($5,250), Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin said last week.

Outside Moscow, in poorer regions of Russia, bribes averaged 139,000 rubles ($2,230), Yakunin said. He was citing a study by Moscow’s police, the Moscow Times said.

Last year graft cost Russian’s about 47 billion rubles ($762 million), the police study found.

Chief Yakunin said most bribes in Russia are paid in U.S. dollars and euros.

The ruble has fallen about 40 percent against the dollar in the past six months because of falling oil prices and Western economic sanctions. The ruble is down about 30 percent against the euro.

The police chief said the government’s anti-corruption efforts have made bribes tougher to get away with.

The most common bribes found by the Moscow police “typically involved officials accepting money to overlook administrative violations or to protect businesses employing illegal migrant workers,” the Moscow Times said.

The average wage for a Moscow resident is 50,000 rubles ($800) a month, according to the report.

Average salaries for all of Russia are about 32,000 rubles a month ($513).

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here

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