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Almost 20 traffic police held on bribery charges in south Russia

© www.votermedia.orgAlmost 20 traffic police held on bribery charges in south Russia
Almost 20 traffic police held on bribery charges in south Russia - Sputnik International
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A total of 19 traffic police officers have been arrested on bribery charges in Russia's southern city of Astrakhan, investigators said on Monday.

A total of 19 traffic police officers have been arrested on bribery charges in Russia's southern city of Astrakhan, investigators said on Monday.

"The 19 suspects were arrested red-handed," a statement said, adding that the unit's commander was among those arrested in the operation.

Investigators say the officers earned around 150,000 rubles ($ 4,908) each a month from bribes. They could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev vowed last August to eradicate police corruption, a widespread occurrence in Russia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to fight corruption when he entered office in May 2008, highlighting the issue as one of the country's most serious problems.

A series of scandals involving police in 2009 culminated in a presidential decree ordering a major overhaul of the Interior Ministry, with personnel cuts of 20% over two years to be balanced by higher salaries for remaining staff.

MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti)

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