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Siberian Ex-Police Chief Convicted for Khinkali Bribes

Khinkali are one of the most popular Georgian foods. ostrota.media

A former police chief in Russia’s third-largest city of Novosibirsk has been convicted for accepting bribes in the form of the popular Georgian dumpling khinkali, authorities and media said Wednesday.

Alexander Grashchenkov was accused of extending criminal patronage to three local entrepreneurs in exchange for free meals, the Kommersant business daily reported earlier this fall. Between 2015-18, Grashchenkov had racked up $700 worth of meals from a local cafe in exchange for turning a blind eye to the entrepreneurs’ rent violations.

“The hot lunches were delivered on request. The police officer chose khinkali and a simple cucumber salad from a variety of dishes on the menu,” Kommersant had reported at the time.

A Novosibirsk court found Grashchenkov guilty and handed him a suspended sentence of three years and four years' probation, the Investigative Committee which probes major crimes announced

The Investigative Committee did not identify the convicted former district police chief by name, but the Tayga.info news website said it confirmed that it was Grashchenkov.

Grashchenkov had pleaded guilty, investigators said. The bribe-givers are being tried separately.

According to Kommersant, investigators initially suspected Grashchenkov of eating 200,000 rubles ($2,600) worth of khinkali. The bribe amount was subsequently lowered to 53,000 rubles ($700).

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