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Russian traffic officer with golden toilet arrested as police uncover bribery scheme

Published: Updated:

A senior Russian traffic officer accused of leading a criminal gang has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Police colonel Alexei Safonov and six other people were arrested by Russia’s Investigative Committee in the southern region of Stavropol.

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Officials released footage of the Safonov’s luxury mansion, its lavish rooms, extravagant decorations, a billiards hall, and even a golden toilet.

The footage – which circulated on social media – looked like a real estate advert due to its opulent extravagance and quickly went viral as it triggered memories of the opulence of post-Soviet capitalism in the 1990s.

Safonov is believed to have led a criminal gang which issued permits to grain cargo transporters in exchange for bribes.

The permits allowed the transporters to ignore regional laws, even when crossing police checkpoints.

The Investigative Committee of Russia, which is roughly equivalent to the FBI in the US, said the group received bribes worth $255,000.

Among the gang members arrested were a former senior traffic officer, a traffic inspector, and four civilians.

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