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Russian Official Under Fire for Allegedly Accepting $28 Million Bitcoin Bribe

Last updated: | 2 min read
Source – Pexels

The local media outlet, Kommersant, reported details of the highest bribery case in recent years, where an officer received a bribe worth millions of dollars in Bitcoin. 

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Prosecutor General’s Office discovered the bribery incident.

Notably, the head of the ICR department for the Tverskoy district of Moscow, Marat Tambiev, collected bribes in Bitcoins from hackers under his investigation. 

Russian Authorities Seize 1032 Bitcoins From Corrupt Investigating Officer

Marat Tambiev allegedly received 1032.1 bitcoin on April 7, 2022, from hackers, who were under investigation, to not seize their stolen assets.

According to Kommersant, the bribe worth $28 million is the highest amount ever received in a single bribery activity in Russia.

During the investigation, the authorities found 1032.1 Bitcoin in Tambiev’s MacBook Pro laptop, which they confiscated during a raid of his Moscow apartment. 

Notably, the investigators discovered a folder tagged “Pension” on the laptop computer, bearing a photograph of a sheet of paper with codes granting access to 932.1 and 100 bitcoins. 

The Deputy Prosecutor General, Anatoly Razinkin, said the officer had received 11.7 million rubles (< $150,000) during his tenure in the Investigative Committee. 

As a result, Tambieve was fired from his position for corrupt practices. 

Upcoming Trial

Meanwhile, Tambieve will face the court on June 5 as the prosecutors seek to confiscate all his illegally obtained funds. 

While he allegedly received the huge bribe, the investigation suggested Tambieve lived on one salary. 

Also, neither he nor his family members declared expensive property, massive savings in Russian rubles, or foreign currency and cryptocurrency

According to Kommersant, Tambiev’s defense team has yet to comment. But he refused to admit the allegations and also denied the corruption charges.

Tambiev sued the ICR, seeking reinstatement since the allegations had not been proven true by the court.

However, the court dismissed his lawsuit after a departmental audit proved the corruption charges true. 

The Basmanny Court has ordered the seizure of the bitcoins. The authorities have transferred to a crypto wallet and stored the access keys in the storage room as physical evidence of the total fixed remuneration (TFR)

The deputy prosecutor justified the confiscation of the assets, saying that owning bitcoins worth $28 million indicates that Tambieve received money from illegal sources.

Hacker Group Reveals Corruption Among Russian Investigating Committee

The authorities reported that Tambiev collected the bribe from the hacker group Infraud Organisation Mark and Konstantin Bergmanov and Kirill Samokutyaevsky group members.

According to the report, the authorities recovered $8.6 million worth of Bitcoin from the hackers, who received suspended sentences of 2.5 to 3.5 years. 

The prosecutors dropped the corruption charges and instead charged the hackers for illegal trade in bank card data, resulting in damages of over 1 billion rubles. 

In agreement with the prosecutors, the hackers disclosed information about corruption within the investigating committee.