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Ex-Cop Accused of Taking Bribes From Drug Dealers in Moscow Metro

A criminal case has been opened into a former Moscow police officer accused of taking bribes from drug dealers and ignoring the sale of drugs in the city's metro.

The suspect, who was dismissed from the police last week, is believed to have given dealers free reign from January to November of this year at the busy Oktyabrskaya metro station on the Circle Line, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday, citing a police spokesman.

The officer had "repeatedly taken money from dealers of smoking blends," the spokesman said, referring to synthesized marijuana commonly known as "spice."

The man was dismissed from the police force "in connection with committing acts that have damaged the honor" of law enforcement, the spokesman said in comments carried by RIA Novosti.

Investigators are currently building a case against him on the charge of abusing his authority, the report said.

Spice is widely available in Russia, despite being banned. The drug has been blamed for dozens of deaths and mass poisonings across the country in recent weeks, as dealers apparently began producing new variations of the drug in a bid to skate around the law on prohibited substances.

After a number of deaths, the government in late October added several new variations of the drug to its federal register of prohibited substances.

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