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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bus Rider Fined 11,500 Rubles

City Crime Statistics
 June 12 – 18 
Theft (total)909320
Apartment burglaries1923
Car theft2810
 For the Record 
Car accidents162
a) killed12
b) injured172
Public drunkenness3,517
Detained overnight300
Missing persons23
Bodies discovered67
*City police said statistics for June 13 were missing due to technical problems.
Source: Moscow police

It was only about seven years ago that you could forego paying the 3 ruble bus fare and risk nothing more than a 10 ruble fine if you were caught. While inflation has bumped the price of a ticket up to 25 rubles, a Moscow woman was stunned when she was told to pay an 11,500 ruble fine ($442).

The 45-year-old woman, identified by police as Tatyana L., forgot her bus pass last week and boarded a trolleybus on Dmitrovskaya Shosse in northern Moscow via a rear door rather than through the turnstile near the driver, police spokeswoman Yekaterina Malyugina said Tuesday.

Shortly after she got on the bus Wednesday afternoon, Tatyana was confronted by Dmitry Kozlov, 25, who flashed a conductor's badge and told her she would have to pay a hefty fine when she could not produce her ticket, Malyugina said.

Kozlov and Tatyana exited at the next stop, and Kozlov threatened her with "big problems" if she did not hand over 11,500 rubles, Malyugina said.

"She was scared," Malyugina said. "She even went home to get the money."

The fine for riding city transportation without a ticket is 100 rubles.

It was not until that evening -- after Tatyana told her daughter and son-in-law about the fine -- that the three went to the Vostochnoye Degunino police precinct in northern Moscow and reported the incident.

It turned out that Kozlov had previously worked as a trolleybus conductor in northern Moscow but had quit his job five months earlier -- though he did not return his identification, Malyugina said.

He was detained the next day at a bus stop while attempting to extract a fine from another passenger, she said.

Kozlov has been charged with fraud and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Police believe he may have used his conductor's identification to force dozens of other passengers to pay fines.

The incident is not the first in recent years. In November, a retired woman told Komsomolskaya Pravda that three conductors accused her of riding without a ticket and demanded 10,000 rubles. When she said she did not have such an amount on her, they made her go to the nearest Sberbank to withdraw the money from an ATM.

After seeing that she had 25,000 rubles in her account, the three men demanded more money and let her go for 20,000 rubles, the woman said.