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Customs high-ranker caught taking bribe in Moscow airport - TV

MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) - A high-ranking airport customs officer was detained in Moscow Saturday after being caught in the act of bribe-taking, a national television company said.

NTV said that the officer, who holds one of the top posts in Vnukovo Airport's customs department, was caught accepting a $1,000 clearance bribe from a passenger.

According to police, this is the highest-ranking civil servant to have been arrested in Moscow in the past 15 years.

Investigators believe the detainee to be the leader of a group of customs officers involved in extortion.

"We have detained the main organizer of all [criminal activities] that have been taking place in recent years in Vnukovo Airport's customs bodies," an investigator told NTV.

The man was detained in a police raid that is part of a current nation-wide crackdown on bribe-taking and extortion in customs services.

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