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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Drug Officers Nabbed

MOSCOW (MT) -- Internal affairs detectives have arrested five officers of the recently created federal anti-drug agency on suspicion of extortion, Interfax reported Thursday.

The five officers of the anti-drug agency's Moscow branch tried to extort $10,000 from a Moscow businessman by threatening to open a criminal case against him for drug possession charges.

The detectives tried to arrest the officers as they were accepting the bribe, but they managed to escape. The detectives tracked down the suspects and arrested them Monday, Interfax said.

Lebedev in Mayor Race

MOSCOW (MT) -- Billionaire banker Alexander Lebedev has registered to run for Moscow mayor in the Dec. 7 vote with the city's elections committee, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Lebedev, whose National Reserve Bank owns large stakes in Aeroflot and the Ilyushin Finance Co., among others, said earlier that he would make spending more transparent and double the municipal budget. He also promised to resign 500 days after election if residents were not pleased with his work.

Twelve people are running for mayor so far, including incumbent Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who is expected to win.

Deputy Disqualified

MOSCOW (MT) -- Viktor Cherepkov, an independent State Duma deputy, has been disqualified from running for re-election by Far East election officials, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Vladivostok elections committee official Galina Dogot said Cherepkov submitted incomplete financial documents when he registered.

"He received our instructions but grossly violated the legislation," Dogot was quoted by Kommersant as saying.

Cherepkov called the decision illegal and promised to appeal.

Cherepkov was elected mayor of Vladivostok in 1993 but sacked a year later in a bribery scandal.

Juvenile Crime Drops

MOSCOW (MT) -- About 7,500 juveniles have been taken into police custody so far this year for crimes involving murder, theft and robbery, Interior Ministry official Nikolai Pershutkin said Thursday.

The total is a drop of 4.5 percent from the same period last year, Pershutkin said in a statement.

In all, nearly 94,000 crimes have led to the detainment of 95,000 juvenile suspects this year, marking a 6 percent decrease from the number of juveniles detained last year.

Pershutkin said there has been a 16 percent drop in the number of juvenile repeat offenders.

Aviation Colleagues

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) -- The air force's commander, Colonel General Vladimir Mikhailov, arrived Thursday in Kyrgyzstan for a last-minute inspection of an air base that Russia is planning to open this month.

Kyrgyzstan and Russia signed an agreement in September to establish the air base at Kant, near Bishkek. The move is seen as Russia's response to the deployment of U.S.-led anti-terror coalition forces in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere in former Soviet Central Asia.

The Kant base is being established under the Collective Security Treaty that includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Mikhailov on Thursday denied there would be any rivalry between the Russian- and U.S.-led coalition air bases.

"These days we don't call anybody enemy or not enemy," Mikhailov told reporters. "How do we view them [Americans]? As aviation colleagues."