Our today’s interviewee Vadim Bugaenko, head of the regional Investigative Department, reasons about the results of his office’s work in 2016.
“For our investigation officers, like for the rest of the country, 2016 was not a simple year. At the same time, our working efficiency reportedly grew by 15%. The Investigative Department received nearly 26,000 crime reports and instituted around 3,500 criminal proceedings. In total, we were dealing with approximately 6,000 criminal cases. More than 2,600 cases were submitted to courts.”
Q.: In your opinion, why did the figures grow?
A.: On the whole, the number of crimes subject to our jurisdiction tended to be growing. At the same time, our officers started to approach each concrete crime report in a more personal way.
Q.: Judging by the cases initiated against high-rank federal and regional officials, there are no untouchable offices in the country any more. What else prevents you from fighting against corruption?
A.: Struggle with manifestations of corruption is one of the priority tasks of the Investigative Committee. We are doing our utmost to expose and punish all bribers regardless of their position and status.
Currently, the criminal cases against former head of Department of Property and Land Rights of Tuapse Mayor’s Office accused of bribe of 1.1 million rubles, against former head of the Criminal Investigation Department of Abinsk Police Office accused of an attempted bribe of 3 million rubles, and against a lawyer incriminated an attempted mediation in bribery have been sent to court.
Q.: The sums really look high. Is it possible to return the money stolen by corrupted officials back to the budget?
A.: When looking into suchlike criminal cases, we usually insist on arresting the property and assets of the accused person.
Over nine months of past year, around 30 million rubles were repaid to the state budget. Besides, more than a billion-ruble-worth of property was seized from the accused.
Q.: The investigating bodies were withdrawn from the Public Prosecutor’s Office into a separate Investigating Committee some six years ago. Was that reform justified?
A.: Our six-year-long experience has shown that the decision was right; the investigation process has improved a lot. When we were part of the Prosecutor’s Office, sometimes we could permit ourselves to be less scrupulous, for we knew that it would be our colleague who would be the
accuser at court. When the two offices were split, the approach to the search of probative facts became more exacting, and the quality of our work has improved.