View Full Version : Corrupt Coppers

15-11-2004, 04:55
Continuing the thread by Pengwn9 about the Militia who are always trying to get their sticky fingers into your wallet i am going to post a POLL on the subject.

Do not mistake this POLL with bribes paid to Militia due to driving offenses, i am more interested in how much have you paid on the street or in their car or how much they took from you because they claimed your Passport/Visa/Registration was iffy? (invalid) even if it wasn't and you couldn't be bothered wasting a couple of hours down the station explaining this.

In other words - How much did you bung em? or how much did they pilfer from you?

This POLL applies to Russians as well because i know of a few Russians whose Registration/Passport or Прописка was questioned and they had to give the envitable bung (payoff) or the money was taken from them anyway.

Whether your documents were in order or not, does not matter, if you paid or were robbed please Vote in the POLL.

The POLL will also have a time frame as to how long you have lived here.

Feel free to reply with your comments as i am sure there are some amusing incidents and horrendous incidents.

I myself have rarely been asked to pay money and over the years haven't parted with any more than 500 Roubles total.
I think this is due to the fact that on the streets i keep my gob shut, recently a friend met me outside a Metro he shouts to me, 'just gonna grab some beers, want any?' i noticed the Militsia stood just yards away and their ears pricked up, sure enough they were over like a shot, if the roles were reversed i would have walked over to him and asked him. Draw attention and you can bet ya bottom Dollar they'll come for a lookie.

another let off....

Around a month ago i was with a few members of this site and we'd had a skin full, it was around 3am and the Militsia carted us of to the station, you can imagine the shock horrow when i realised i didn't have my Passport or Visa, i was taken in front of a more senior officer and i told him straight 'come round to my flat now and i'll show you them', i left without paying a bean much to my astonishment. (this was one time i thought i was going to be coughing up some dough or i was gonna spend a night in the cells) to this day i think he either appreciated my honesty and courage :p or he thought i could be someone important and didn't want the hassle.

I know one thing for sure the Militsia will try at every given opportunity to take your money (if they think you won't make a fuss)

Try not to bulls**t in the POLL as i think it will make interesting reading.

15-11-2004, 05:19

15-11-2004, 07:06
Ditto. It's not that hard to have your docs in order...

15-11-2004, 08:13
Absolutely refuse - nothing, zero, and never will give them a dime. Having said that, I've only been stopped maybe 3 or 4 times since 1996.

15-11-2004, 08:44
Have never paid them a kopeek - no intention of starting either (been here just under 3 years, been arrested once and stopped lots of times [although only once in the last year or so]).

15-11-2004, 08:55
Accidently clicked on Russian +500. Should be us $50.

15-11-2004, 09:12
Will change it now - and when did you become Russian!?;-)

15-11-2004, 09:23
Almost 10 years and have never paid them a kopeek. But I'd just like to convey a special thanx to those peeps who enriched my experience in Moscow and gave me something to brag about to my grandchildren by getting me arrested. ;) :p

15-11-2004, 09:25
Originally posted by Braders
Feel free to reply with your comments as i am sure there are some amusing incidents and horrendous incidents
that would be devilishly interesting to read about for the Main Office for Combating Financial Crimes MOI RF!!
:hooray: :hooray: :hooray:


15-11-2004, 09:54
Been here off-n-on since 1996 and paid 200 rubles once, when I got stopped the ONLY time my docs were not in order (visa sponsor was playing games and wouldn't register any visas for expats in my office). Funniest of all, though, was that I submitted an expense claim to my company and they actually reimbursed me for it.

Ned Kelly
15-11-2004, 10:16
I've been here since March 1999 and paid 100 rubles once when caught without registration.

15-11-2004, 10:42
Never paid anything in Moscow, but I got done for having "no registration in Ufa" when leaving Ufa airport - they confiscated my Boarding Card, and we settled for $30 bucks... since it was clear they didn't give a stuff if I missed the last plane of the day.

half crazed visigoth
15-11-2004, 11:10
Ashamed to say I paid 1000RUR for a guided tour of the city in a jeep with five coppers.... was a bit tired and pissed, having flown in from the far east.. funny thing is that when they dropped me home one of them said" oh look I live here too"....

also found that if you mention the Embassy they lose interest...funny that:)

15-11-2004, 11:19
Sadie, you mean Chief Directorate for Combating Economic Crimes?

15-11-2004, 11:25
Paid one time. 300 rubles for both my girlfriend and myself. She didn't have Moscow registration and I didn't have any registration. Every other time my docs were in order and I just refuse to pay.

15-11-2004, 11:27
Dealing with the cops on the street for papers is one thing, dealing with them with your car on the road is another one ;) but my advice is: do not speak to them in russian, if you see that you can understand smthing it's endless ;)
I remember that i made a u-turn (forbidden) on a big road close to America Cinema without seeing that some cops were there. They stopped me of course and asked me for papers.
I gave them everything: license driver (in french) international license driver (in russian and french) car insurance, car papers (in russian) a letter telling that i was allowed to drive the car...etc... just smthing like 10 documents all together + when they saw that i was speaking russian like a spanish cow they probably tought it was going to be like losing an hour for some roubles so they finally let me to go away ;)

15-11-2004, 11:44
Originally posted by Sheepy
Almost 10 years and have never paid them a kopeek. But I'd just like to convey a special thanx to those peeps who enriched my experience in Moscow and gave me something to brag about to my grandchildren by getting me arrested. ;) :p

You're welcome ;)

15-11-2004, 12:13
I got stopped twice in as many business trips to Russia in a row. Since my Russian registration is in Novorossiysk, not in Moscow, I need to register within 3 days of arrival to Moscow (funny that when the Ukrainians can go without it for 3 months now).

First time when they stopped me (literally 50 m from my destination) I did not have my passport with me (not that it would help), only the driver's licence, which said "Krasnodar region". They took me to the police station where I spent 30 min. I called my friend (whose flat was my destination) and he came to collect me. I did not pay a penny, but then my friend did have an ID of a programme director from the Russian Public Television (ORT).

Second time I was stopped on my way to a conference, all smart and shiny, with my briefcase and all. I got stopped by a very hungover cop for crossing the road 50 m away from the official crossing. Funny he did not stop any of the 50 people crossing it with me, but nevermind. As soon as he checked my passport though, he forgot about the road-crossing business and took me to his "den" (a tiny booth by the road). I showed him a stamp in the passport indicating that I arrived yesterday and hence had time to register. He then got back to the Road Traffic Code, tried to scare me with "going to the station and wasting time" palaver, to which I replied (perhaps foolishly) that I was a lawyer, my going rate was $160 per hour (didn't want to confuse him with GBP) and that I will send a bill to him personally. I was out within 5 seconds.

I will never pay them. If I lose money, time, miss my flight, late for theatre or anything of that sort, I have enough contacts in Moscow to make the life of anyone of those b....rds a misery! So far they probably realised that early enough.

15-11-2004, 13:19
In two years here, my husband, who does not speak Russian, had to pay 500 roubles while his registration was being taken care of, even though he had a spravka to that effect.

Couple of weeks ago two cops tried to harass us on an elektrichka when we were coming back to Moscow from a horseback riding trip (btw, these guys were FAT - I have never seen such fat militia guys - they must live really well collecting money from all the traders on the elektrichka). Once they saw the US passports, one of them tried to threaten me with dragging us in to "figure out who you really are", but the more senior guy told him to shut up and said to me "I have never seen such dirty foreigners (OK, we were a little muddy), why do you take the elektrichka anyway?" and then left us alone.

15-11-2004, 15:04
I have been here for over 8 years, I don't speak Russian and I have NEVER carried my passport. I have been stopped on the streets a few times and asked for documents and I have have just said no and walked away - nothing ever happened. I have been stopped countless times by the GAI for driving infrignments, but only once had to pay 500 roubles as my international driving license was two years out of date. The one thing I have found in dealing with either the Militsia or Gai is to stand up for yourself and do not be afraid of them, just about every time they will back down. I have had some very funny situations with the Gai including the time they asked for my documents by opening their palms like a book, so I handed him a newspaper, or refusing to pull my car over and blocking the entire road until they let me go.

15-11-2004, 16:43
Big balls little john and maybe some luck. I know guys who have been given a hiding for trying to walk away from the police.

15-11-2004, 16:45
Indeed Tommo!

When I was arrested during my 1st year here, I saw an oldish guy who was in the cells situated just behind where I was standing get the living daylights pummeled out of him because he was drunk/sick and was making some noise...

...Since that day, if they stop me, I stop...still won't pay them though...

15-11-2004, 16:46
I agree I may have been lucky, but one point is worth mentioning here is that if all foreign (and Russian) people make it difficult for these people to get money, then I can only hope that the scamming practices will stop.

15-11-2004, 16:57
little john trying to make a big difference? You are quite right of course but it's just such a huge hill to climb.

15-11-2004, 16:57
Also, I think that one thing us Brits never think about, is the fact that the police here CARRY GUNS.

Although it is pretty alien to us, it's another reason to do what they say, at least in the first instance when they have the right to be asking you...

I agree that if everyone stopped giving them money and bribes, the problem would stop, but even if all long-term expats and native Russians did stop, they will just heighten their hassling of tourists who are afraid and know no better...

15-11-2004, 17:00
Bad day, big gun, bad attitude and nothing to lose = guy getting shot in the face for not having a metro ticket! Totally agree, the gun thing adds a whole new level of fear.

15-11-2004, 17:02
Originally posted by DPG
Also, I think that one thing us Brits never think about, is the fact that the police here CARRY GUNS.

Ah yes the gentle cry of the British Bobbie in hot chase "Stop !! - If you don't stop - I'll be forced to yell Stop! again!!"


15-11-2004, 17:04
Random - That's out of the book that tells them what to say when a criminal they are chasing grabs them:

"Unhand me you ruffian, else I shall be forced to cuff you with sliver"!

DJ Biscuit
15-11-2004, 17:05
One thing that will ensure the bribery continues is the fact that sometimes they stop someone who is actually breaking the law. In some more serious cases one can pay to avoid arrest/gaol and so on. Some expats are working here illegally and to avoid any problems it may be better for them to pay a 'fine' or perhaps a Russian isn't registered yet lives and works in Moscow, or a driver is way over the limit. All these people will opt for the cheaper, quicker and simpler way out - the bribe.

15-11-2004, 17:08
I agree that I am trying to do my bit, but a lot of it is sport - I actually enjoy giving these guys a hard time especially if I have not done anything wrong. Before I had my present car, I drove around in a battered old Lada Niva - there are a number of Gai at Sokol that wished they had never stopped me for doing that illegal turn. The way I look at it is that if I have the time and am feeling in a particually ugly mood, I can cause them actual loss of income by taking up their time and giving other drivers a break - though I must apologise for some of the traffic jams I have caused!

15-11-2004, 17:09
"We're the Sweeny, son, and we haven't had any dinner"

Always my fave !


15-11-2004, 17:18
Have never paid and never intend to. All my papers are in order. I've only been asked once in over 3 years for my id, about three weeks ago by a young cop, who didn't seem as interested in my friends and I when he saw my passport - he was taken aback when we all started speaking English among ourselves. I guess he remembered Putin's decree that cops can't ask foreigners for their ID without good reason... ;)

half crazed visigoth
15-11-2004, 17:43
Random- my experience is that the British bobby can run pretty damn fast-

if they can't catch you a diplomatic protection squad car is somehow always on hand to accidentally remove your limb at great speed...

half crazed visigoth
15-11-2004, 17:55
PS did you see that police related deaths in the UK are down this year to 12? My favourite was the Welshman who robbed an offy for a bottle of booze and then ran away only for him to trip over his fallen-down trousers and bottle himself in the face!!!! Shades of the Darwin awards there... sorry for hijacking the thread , won't do it a again guv, honest.

15-11-2004, 20:45
got caught without my visa at about 3:00 AM, somewhat drunk outside an upscale club with a tall, young, good-looking blonde female colleague of mine from Samara. Needless to say, it would have taken alot of talking....but $10 did the trick.

17-11-2004, 10:39
I would just like to tell you a funny story that happened to me when i first came to Moscow and its the reason i never give them money.

Late one night i was on the metro and got out at the wrong stop. Prospect Mira.
I stepped onto the platform and saw a militia sitting on a bench, just then i realised i was at the wrong station and turn round to get back on the train, but too late. the doors had closed.
It must have looked suspicious to the policeman so he asked me for my papers.
He was about 5ft 3ins tall and as pissed as a f*rt!
I gave photocopies of my docs. and he was not amused. He told me to follow him. We went to a small police station inside the Prospect Mira station. It had a cell at one end, bit like you see in the sheriff's office in an old western.
Anyway, he asked me a lot of questions, which i answered and he told me to turn out my pockets. I did. He saw my wallet and he told me to open it. "How much you got in there" he asked i told him and then he asked for my original docs. I told him they are at home. "Okay" he says, and leaning back in his chair and rolling his eyes for dramatic effect he points to the cell.
"No problem"says me and walks in and sits down. He can't believe it and makes a phone call. Few minutes later he puts the phone down and says "Robert, ty ochin trudney!" Idi suda.
I walked out of the cell and he starts to tell me how we are going to go to my place and drink lots of vodka which i will be paying for!
I pretend not to understand and after 20 minutes he says, "okay, you go to the supermarket and bring some vodka here for me.
"Right", says me and we proceed to leave the station.
At the door he turns to me and starts shaddow boxing and then waggs his finger at me. I didn't understand at the time what he was trying to say but later i realised................................"when we get outside don't try to beat me up!"
Opposite the station is a supermarket. He pointed and told me to bring him some vodka. I quickly crossed the road and jumped into a taxi and never saw him again!

Crazy but true!

17-11-2004, 10:55
Bizarre. Great story. No harm done and you will allways be able to tell how one day in Moscow you were banged up in Jail.

17-11-2004, 12:17
nice one, trebor! The guy probably woke up next morning and thought: "geez, how much did I drink to have that sort of a dream!" :)

DJ Biscuit
19-11-2004, 00:26
Originally posted by jules
I guess he remembered Putin's decree that cops can't ask foreigners for their ID without good reason... ;)

I was wondering how a copper will know someone is a foreigner before he asks for their ID, if he doesn't hear them speak!

19-11-2004, 07:38
Originally posted by DJ Biscuit
I was wondering how a copper will know someone is a foreigner before he asks for their ID, if he doesn't hear them speak!

Because most of us stand out like sore thumbs.. Plus, anyone who is a shade darker than the flesh-colored crayolla is always harrassed.

19-11-2004, 11:58
I agree with Koba:

Usually when I enter a restaurant, even if I don't say a word, the waitress starts speaking English and gives me an English menu...

Annoying sometimes because I always wonder just what it is that gives it away so easily...must be the union jack tattooed on my forehead I suppose!:D

The worst one was at Savyolovskaya one day where the girl thought I was French!!;-)

19-11-2004, 12:12
Originally posted by DPG
I agree with Koba:

The worst one was at Savyolovskaya one day where the girl thought I was French!!;-)

my god that's terrible! :D