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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Crime Unit Hopes for Independence

The American FBI could serve as the model for a federal organized crime force in Russia, a Moscow police official said Thursday.

"I would be very much in favor of such a plan," said Vladimir Rushailo, chief of the Organized Crime Unit of the Moscow Police. "If the money were there, I think it would be beneficial to create a body similar to the FBI."

Rushailo's department, known by the acronym RUOP, is now part of the Interior Ministry. Under a new plan proposed to Interior Ministry officials, RUOP would be independent both of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Intelligence Service.

The FBI is similarly independent of police and intelligence services.

In its brief three-year existence, RUOP has gained a reputation for being an especially active and effective unit.

Still, Rushailo admitted Thursday that his department's success rate had hardly put a dent in organized crime.

"If you ask me about how well we've done here in the capital, of course I have to agree that our work has been far from enough," he said. "We're doing what we can, but at times we're overwhelmed."

According to RUOP statistics, violent crime in the capital has risen by 81 percent since the department was created in 1993. Some types of crime have risen by a factor of 10 in that period.

"The entire country is ailing," said Rushailo. "Organized crime won't stop until society itself changes."