Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev has called for legal amendments that would allow police officers to entrap fellow officers in bribery stings.
"The way to see whether there is any risk of corruption is to turn to preventive methods," Nurgaliyev told a meeting of senior police officials Monday, Interfax reported.
Current law forbids entrapment, and those who engage in the practice face a sentence of five years in prison. Nurgaliyev suggested amending the Criminal Code to allow entrapment.
He said 8,000 police officers, including senior officials, have been accused of wrongdoing, including bribe taking, this year.
Anti-corruption experts said there were many better — and already legal — ways to fight corruption other than entrapment.
Gennady Gudkov, a deputy on the State Duma's Security Committee, said he and his colleagues have received hundreds of letters about police corruption from concerned citizens that should provide enough reason for investigations.
“There should be no problem investigating those crimes, but police officers do not bother to investigate them,” he said by telephone.
Yelena Lukyanova, a trial lawyer and a member of the Public Chamber, said entrapment is "dangerous” because it could lead to abuse by officers who entrap their colleagues for personal reasons.
Lukyanova added that she has attended many round tables organized by police officers but never seen any desire to fight corruption within their own ranks.
“They spoke about how to fight all kinds of corruption except their own,” she said by telephone.