An anti-extremism police chief in St. Petersburg was arrested after reportedly accepting a 1 million ruble ($17,600) bribe on Tuesday, while his accomplice fled in a dramatic car chase from FSB agents.
Lieutenant colonel Eduard Tugushev is the intelligence chief of the "Center E" police unit in St. Petersburg, a highly secretive branch of the Interior Ministry. The counter-extremism unit is infamous for targeting opposition and human rights activists on extremism charges.
Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives arrested lieutenant colonel Tugushev in a sting operation after he accepted a bundle of counterfeit cash, the St. Petersburg-based Fontanka.ru news website reported on Wednesday.
Tugushev’s partner, a 37-year-old police major whose first name was given as Sasha, fled by car, crashed into a barrier after an extended chase and disappeared into the woods. He reportedly made off with the counterfeit 1 million rubles that FSB agents used to stage the sting operation.
The two police officers are suspected of soliciting the bribe to help a September 2017 carjacking suspect avoid criminal prosecution, Fontanka reported.
Authorities have opened a bribery case and have placed Tugushev under arrest for two days.
The Investigative Committee has called for Tugushev’s partner to turn himself in voluntarily, according to Fontanka.
“Otherwise, he’ll be put on the wanted list. That’s shameful and will let down his superiors,” the unnamed source in the committee told the outlet.