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Investigator Detained for $900,000 in Bribes

A senior police investigator from the Moscow region is suspected of extorting a $900,000 bribe for helping clear charges against a group of arrested businessmen, the Investigative Committee said Monday.

Major Emma Novikova, head of a police investigative department of a precinct in the Moscow region, was detained late Thursday, immediately after taking a $500,000 bribe from a businessman’s wife at a cafe-bar in northern Moscow.

In exchange for the bribe, Novikova promised to help have her husband released from custody, the statement said. The entrepreneur and several of his colleagues, none of whom are identified, are charged with illegal banking and money laundering.

From mid-January to March, Novikova received several payments totaling $400,000 from the same woman "for making a number of positive decisions … in the case," investigators said, without specifying what she had done.

Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court on Monday sanctioned Novikova’s arrest on charges of large-scale bribery. She faces up to 12 years in prison.

The criminal case against Novikova was opened Friday by the deputy chief of the Investigative Committee, Vasily Piskaryov, the statement said.

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