MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators will carry out checks across Russia into suspected corruption involving the police, bureaucrats and traders at outdoor markets, the Investigative Committee said Thursday, after a recent incident at a Moscow market when a police officer was seriously injured.
“In order to reveal corruption links in market trading, the Investigative Committee has been instructed to carefully check the legitimacy of refusals to initiate criminal investigations into offences or idleness by law-enforcement and control agencies and local officials,” the committee’s spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.
“This relates not only to Moscow markets. Checks will be held across the country,” he said. He also called on Russian citizens who had come across corruption and extortion by local officials in activity related to market trading to report to the Investigative Committee.
The large-scale check comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the work of law enforcers after a recent operation to arrest a suspected sex offender at a market in the Russian capital last weekend. That operation ended with a police officer suffering serious head injuries when he was attacked by an angry mob.
Two Russian police officers, Senior Lieutenant Vladimir Cherezov and Senior Sergeant Yury Lunkov, are being investigated for their alleged failure to take action during the incident, investigators said.
“The efforts being made are clearly not enough: either nothing happens or progress is unacceptably slow,” Putin said Wednesday at a special meeting to discuss the fight against crime at trade outlets.
The Moscow market brawl, a video of which was posted on the Internet, attracted nationwide attention in Russia.
Moscow police launched a series of mass raids in the wake of the attack “to decriminalize Moscow marketplaces,” arresting hundreds of suspects.