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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Black Marketeers Peddle '04 Taxpayer Database

The black market has a hot new item for sale -- a database listing Moscow taxpayers' 2004 incomes along with contact information, Vedomosti reported on Tuesday.

Available both online and in disc form for as little as 1,400 rubles ($49), the database contains last year's tax data leaked from the Federal Tax Service, the report said. It is the third such list of sensitive information to go on sale since November 2004.

Uncovered at a kiosk at Savyolovsky market in Moscow by reporters -- who were able to verify their own incomes -- the appearance of the newest, 2004 version of the database highlights a lack of official action in dealing with the issue.

Federal Tax Service spokeswoman Yelena Tolgskaya was unable to confirm a leak, adding she was confident the service's information protection system was secure. But an outside party should handle any investigation into the matter, she said.

Law firm Pepeliaev, Goltsblat & Partners advises complaints be directed to the Prosecutor General's Office, said Yelena Ovcharova, a senior lawyer at the firm, confirming the disclosure of tax information is a criminal offense in Russia.

The prosecutor's office would have to take action if people registered their complaints, leading possibly to a criminal investigation and charges against the tax officials behind the leak, she said.

"The problem is that people frequently just give up and don't complain," Ovcharova said.

The Prosecutor General's Office could not immediately provide information on how often it received such complaints.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police force, said ministry officials were too busy with preparations for this Thursday's Police Day holiday to comment.