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Traffic Police Suspected of Using Company Cars to Transport VIPs

Russia's Investigative Committee began a preliminary investigation into the use of official cars by Moscow's traffic police for the transportation of VIPs, including a member of the State Duma, news reports said Wednesday.

Violators may be subject to criminal charges for abuse of office.

In April, the Interior Ministry received information that Moscow traffic police employees used two Ford Focus company cars with their characteristic flashing lights to illegally transport important individuals and accompany their cars, Kommersant reported.

After placing the police vehicles under surveillance, due to the inability to catch suspected officers in the act. Investigators were able to identify the violators: Sergey Plyusnin, Vitaly Smirnov and Dmitry Kozhevnikov, traffic police in Moscow's ninth department.

An inspection revealed over ten cases where the inspectors accompanied and drove important individuals, including State Duma Deputy Leonid Slutsky, to different locations in Moscow and the Moscow region.

Kommersant could not reach Slutsky for comment. Reception at his office said the deputy was on vacation.

Further investigation disclosed a series of other serious traffic violations the three policemen committed when using the cars' sound and light signals.

Plyusnin, Kozhevnikov and Smirnov were fired from the law enforcement in connection to a gross violation of discipline.

The three have denied any involvement in the violations.

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