The head of Central Russia’s Ryazan Region traffic police department is suspected of receiving a bribe of 500,000 rubles ($17,000), the Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday.
Alexander Alfosov was detained in his office while receiving a suspected bribe from his subordinate, who was acting as go-between.
"It was established that the heads of the regional traffic police department ordered their subordinates to take money for issuing car license plates with so-called 'round numbers' and driving licenses,” Markin said. “The money was subsequently handed over to Alfosov, who headed the Ryazan Region’s traffic police department.”
If found guilty, Alfosov faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 years and a fine of six times the bribe taken, or $103,000.
"A search in the premises revealed large sums of money and other evidence,” Markin said, adding that the official’s involvement into other suspected bribe-taking incidents will be probed.
A Kremlin report stated in late March that corruption in Russia is most deeply-rooted within the traffic police, kindergartens and higher education institutions. About half of people surveyed who had dealings with traffic police (52 percent) had been asked for a bribe.