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RUSSIA: Corruption

The following Reuters' report (1/27/03) on the bloody takeover of a Moscow theater would seem to justify Christopher Jones' condemnation of corruption in Russia: "Terrorists slip through greased palms: The explosives used by Chechen rebels to commandeer a packed Moscow theater last year only reached their destination with the help of many bribes. In the aftermath of the crisis that left 129 hostages dead, investigators found that the bus that carried the 120kg of explosives had been stopped by police at least 50 times at checkpoints between the Chechen capital Grozny and Moscow. "The police, instead of searching the bus, asked, 'Do you know the price?' 'Sure I do' the driver would reply, pay a bribe and go on," said Michael Hershman, an Interpol corruption expert, in a presentation at the Partnership Against Corruption conference in Hong Kong".

Ronald Hilton - 1/27/03