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VILYUCHINSK, Russia -- A former police chief in Russia's Far East has been fined for keeping a "ghost employee" on the payroll for six years, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yelena Matafonova, an aide to the Kamchatka Investigative Committee head, told journalists today that former Vilyuchinsk police chief Anatoly Proskurin was found guilty earlier this week of abusing his office and fined the equivalent of $1,800.

According to Matafonova, Proskurin hired a young woman to work at the town's police department several years ago for a job that lasted only a few days.

But for the next six years, Matafonova said, Proskurin continued paying the woman a monthly salary plus bonuses.

He also promoted her, provided her with paid annual vacations, and allocated money for her travel outside the Kamchatka peninsula.

Investigators say Proskurin's illegal activities cost the town budget $32,000.

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