Interview by head of the department on investigating the crimes committed by law-enforcement officials of The Saint-Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee A. Osipkin to newspaper Argumenty i Facty

It has been over a year and a half since militia became police. Over this period law-enforcement in Saint-Petersburg have become renowned all over Russia for killing a teenager in a police station, a drunken traffic accident with fatal outcome and selling drugs.

Alexander Osipkin, head of the department on investigating the crimes committed by law-enforcement officials of The Saint-Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee told AiF-Petersburg about dirty cops and how to get rid of them in the police.

Fake cases

- About 90% of all crimes committed by policemen are in any event connected with corruption - bribery, extortions, falsification of reports on investigating operations, fabrication of criminal cases and others. The scheme, when at first they initiate illicit criminal or administrative cases and then offer the person to “deal” with it, makes a lot of money. And even rank-and-file policemen often make a good fortune on that. For example, they come to any company to check, discover some kind of unlicensed software and despite the law confiscate all the equipment and documents and threaten with criminal proceedings, until the CEO offers a bribe. Selling of the equipment and goods which were illicitly seized is also a good source of additional profit.

AiF-Petersburg: - Add protection racket of intimate salons, points selling drug and alcohol at nighttime… which everyone knows.

- Absolutely, if there are drugs sold in the district police station, it cannot be hidden. And instead of stopping this activity, the law-enforcement agents cover it up. They have a mutually beneficial partnership: one can freely sell fatal drugs, while others make huge profit and good statistics of solved crimes. All you have to do is to call a drug dealer at needed time and say that you need a “bar” (Police jargon – a mark that a crime has been solved). The drug dealer then says when a regular addict will come and you can get him red-handed. Or you even don’t have to call at all. You take drugs, go outside, take a familiar addict, on whom they will find a fix and the crime is solved. This year drugs and scales have been found in the overhead cover at Nevsky district office of the interior Ministry.

AiF-Petersburg: - Is it possible to catch not a regular drug addict, but just an ordinary person and make a fake criminal case against him?

- If the person is law-abiding it would be quite a problem. They usually threated to citizens by administrative prosecution. As a rule they are usual people, which are stopped by agents of patrol and Post Service near subway for passport or registration check. The person is afraid of police, plus in a hurry and gives five hundred or a thousand rubles just to get rid of them…

Not fit for the service, but in

AiF-Petersburg: - The “bar” system corrupts the police and cause new more falsified criminal cases. Nevertheless, the reform did not cancel it.

- Unfortunately, the efficiency of the police activity is evaluated by statistics. An in current year any policeman must do more than last year. What does it lead to? For example, at the end of the year they find out that they don’t get enough bribe cases or corrupt officials. So the police officers start catching them quickly, of course not among big shots or themselves, but among ordinary drivers or doctors.

New Interior Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kolokoltsev has already declaimed against the “bar” system. This gives hope that the police will no longer have to chase good statistics.

AiF-Petersburg: - But if this problem can be dealt with by amendments to legislation, how to deal with this corporate solidarity? For Lieutenant Miroshkin, who had run over and killed two pedestrians, his colleagues faked the expert examination.

- By the way, only his young colleagues tried to help Miroshkin and later they also became subjects of criminal investigation. Experienced police officers did not cover up for him and said straight away that at the moment of the accident the lieutenant was drunk. Recently there has been a tendency towards breaking the solidarity. Operative agents more often report their dishonest colleagues. In addition, top officials of the Saint-Petersburg police are more willing to clean up their ranks now and respond adequately to the incidents in their agency.

If a crime was committed by a rank-and-file agent, their superiors will also be punished. But here is a question: How com that Miroshkin got into police after re-attestation? We have demanded his personal file and found that he had not passed the professional test and had been unfit for service, but had been admitted on reasons we don’t understand.

Declare personal war

AiF-Petersburg: - Mr. Osipkin, admit that it is hard to fight corruption if it is easier to pay the amn in uniform, than try to make everything according to the law.

- Most often corrupt law-enforcements just use juridical ignorance of ordinary people and extort bribes for the problems that aren’t there. And I think there should be free law trainings for people. People should flatly refuse to finance this corrupt system.

Let’s take for example a case of Alexei Tarasov, senior investigator of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Region Main Office of the Interior Ministry, who extorted a bribe from personal driver of Pavel Durov, developer of Vkontakte. The driver, Alexey D., in 2011 got into a traffic accident caused by two young women, who had decided to make a U-turn despite all the rules. Then the police refused to launch criminal investigation against the driver, based on the results of the check. But one of the women knew investigator Tarasov, who a year later (!), contacted Alexei and threatened to launch a criminal case, to kick up a fuss in media, to disgrace the famous company, etc., if he doesn’t get 350 thousand rubles. The driver did a wise thing, he brought him the money, but before he had told us about it. And I call on all residents of Saint-Petersburg to realize that it is impossible to live in a corrupt state and they should contribute to fighting against corruption. We are ready to consider any application.