Support The Moscow Times!

Mayor Detained in $500,000 Bribe Case

The mayor of Bratsk, Irkutsk region, was detained after trying to dispose of a bribe allegedly extorted from a local businessman by throwing millions of rubles out a window and burning the cash.

Alexander Serov demanded 15 million rubles ($510,000) from the unidentified businessman in exchange for signing a property lease agreement, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Thursday.

The businessman allegedly paid Serov 4 million rubles last month and more than 1 million rubles in early February — but the last payment was delivered in the presence of undercover law enforcement officers, the report said.

Serov accepted the money outside his own apartment, and shut the door when the officers tried to detain him, the report said, adding that he unsuccessfully tried to get rid of the cash.

Serov faces up to 12 years in prison if charged and convicted over the case. The local legislature will vote next week on whether to dismiss him, Interfax reported.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.