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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Crimes by Police Grow by Nearly 50%

Crime in the police force grew dramatically in 2005, with nearly 50 percent more crimes recorded and one-third more officers held responsible for crimes, Interfax cited the Interior Ministry's internal security department as saying Tuesday.

The figures included 156 police officers in the North Caucasus who were found to have cooperated with rebels or even participated in terrorist attacks, the department said in a statement.

Recorded crimes by police officers rose by 46.8 percent year on year, and a total of 4,269 officers, including 630 senior officers, were held criminally responsible, the department said. Corruption and abuse of office were the most common crimes committed, the department said.

Most of the officers convicted of corruption worked as patrolmen, or in passport and visa services, criminal investigation and the traffic police.

Of the 156 officers who cooperated with rebels or participated in terrorist attacks, 16 currently face criminal charges, while another 20 have been dismissed from the force. It was not clear from the statement what happened to the other officers, however, and no one answered the telephone in the department's press office on Tuesday afternoon.

Last September, several Chechen police officers confessed to helping the rebels between 1999 and 2001 and to participating in the bombing of five trains in Chechnya, the department statement said.

The statement also referred to the most high-profile case of police corruption revealed last year, of a ring that was found to be selling fake identification cards and passes, including for the Kremlin.

Stamps with the forged signatures of President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and Mayor Yury Luzhkov were seized, along with 200 fake ID cards, passes and car plates.

Three officers were arrested in the case and more than 20 others will be held criminally responsible in the scam, the department said.