Russian Official Arrested for Accepting 1,032 Bitcoins in Bribery Case

In one of the most significant corruption cases in recent years, Marat Tambiev, a Russian official, has been accused of accepting a bribe of 1,032 bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $24 million, from a group of hackers he was investigating. The shocking revelation came to light during an investigation led by the Main Investigative Committee of the ICR and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Marat Tambiev, who served as the head of the investigative department for the Tverskoy district of Moscow, allegedly received the bribe in bitcoins from the hackers in exchange for not seizing their assets. The bribe-givers, identified as members of the hacker group Infraud Organization, received suspended sentences for their involvement, while authorities aim to confiscate all of Tambiev’s ill-gotten gains.

The Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow is scheduled to hear a lawsuit on June 5, filed by First Deputy Prosecutor General Anatoly Razinkin, seeking the confiscation of Marat Tambiev’s corruption proceeds.

Tambiev had joined the TFR (Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation) in December 2011 and held various positions within the organization. However, investigations into his financial activities revealed a significant disparity between his official salary and his undisclosed wealth. Neither Tambiev nor his family members had declared any expensive properties, substantial savings in Russian rubles, or foreign and cryptocurrency holdings.

During the investigation into Tambiev’s case under Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, authorities discovered that he owned 1,032.1 bitcoins, valued at $23,980,843 as of January 30, 2023, according to the Central Bank’s exchange rate at that time.

The alleged bribe was unearthed during a search of Tambiev’s residence on Bolshaya Ochakovskaya Street in Moscow. Among the seized items was an Apple MacBook Pro laptop that was later hacked. Investigators found a folder named “Pension” on the laptop, containing a photograph of a sheet of paper with codes granting access to 932.1 and 100 bitcoins.

Following a lengthy deliberation, the Basmanny Court, acting on the application of the Main Investigative Directorate of the ICR, ordered the seizure of the bitcoins by transferring them to a specified crypto wallet address. The investigator subsequently transferred the cryptocurrency to the wallet, and the access keys were placed in the storage room for physical evidence of the TFR.

Deputy Prosecutor General Anatoly Razinkin justified the confiscation of Tambiev’s assets, pointing out that the accused had officially earned just over 11.7 million rubles during his entire tenure in the investigative authorities. Possessing bitcoins valued at 1.6 billion rubles, according to Razinkin, indicates the acquisition of property from sources not sanctioned by law, thus constituting a corruption offense.

Tambiev’s defense has not provided any comments to Kommersant, the source that broke the story. It is known that Tambiev denies his involvement in corruption and had previously filed a lawsuit against the Investigative Committee in an attempt to be reinstated. However, the lawsuit was dismissed, as an internal audit confirmed a violation of the oath and an act that brought discredit upon the investigating authority.

Regarding the hackers who provided the bribe, their criminal prosecution for corruption was dropped. Instead, they were prosecuted for illegal trade in bank card data, resulting in damages exceeding 1 billion rubles. The defendants received suspended sentences ranging from two years and six months to three and a half years. As part of a plea agreement with the prosecutor, they disclosed information about corruption within the investigating authorities. Additionally, the Tagansky District Court confiscated the remaining bitcoins, valued at almost 700 million rubles, from the convicted hackers.

The case of Marat Tambiev has shaken the Russian law enforcement community, with a record-breaking bribe amount that surpasses previous corruption scandals involving law enforcement officers. As the investigation continues, the court proceedings will shed more light on the extent of Tambiev’s involvement and the ramifications of his actions within the Tverskoy district of Moscow.

Read more:

Join us on Telegram

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Reddit

You might also like