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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/14/1997

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Tax Police: Armed, Looking for Cheats

If it ever comes down to a choice between death and taxes, an elite unit of Moscow tax cops is more than ready to help you make up your mind. Armed with an imposing array of assault rifles, Darth Vader-like helmets and attitudes to match, this 500-member unit is bracing for another tough year on the tax collection front. Officially known as the Physical Protection Department, the unit operates as a SWAT team to protect and assist the Moscow branch of the State Tax Police. The weaponry and training are costly, but the unit's commander says his troops more than pay their way through the revenue they round up for the cash-strapped government. ""We are a very expensive unit, but we are making money,"" said Colonel Mikhail Polyakov, who called a press conference Thursday to show off the armament being made available to his troops.

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