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Video: Azerbaijan Traffic Cop On The Take?




(WATCH: Clandestine videotape of a traffic policeman taking money from a motorist after a routine traffic stop in the Azerbaijani capital.)

Authorities in Azerbaijan say they're investigating a downtown Baku traffic stop after RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service presented them with a video from June 6 that shows a traffic cop accepting cash from a motorist.

In an effort to combat corruption, in February, President Ilham Aliyev decreed that penalties for traffic violations may only be paid via electronic transfers.

In the video, the traffic officer sits down in the passenger seat before taking what looks like a 20-manat bill (around $25) from the driver, folding it up, and tucking it inside the front of his pants.

A spokesman for the national traffic police, Kamran Aliyev, said after seeing the video that the force would "definitely investigate this to find out who these people are, and if they're our officers we will find out and we're interested in taking action against them."

Police spokesman Aliyev noted that the Interior Ministry has declared a highly publicized campaign against official corruption that has resulted in 14 dismissals.

Azerbaijan was ranked 134th out of 178 countries on Transparency International's "Corruption Perceptions Index 2010" -- tied with Bangladesh, Honduras, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

-- RFE/RL Central Newsroom

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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