Accessibility links

Breaking News

Honey Don't: Russian Inspector Says He Drew The Line When Bribe Offers Were Sweetened

An official who inspected private vendors in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has admitted to taking bribes in cash, eggs, and butter, but says he drew the line when offers were sweetened to include honey.

Sergei Butin was convicted of extortion by a city court on July 23 and ordered to pay a 650,000 ruble ($10,300) fine. He also was barred from working at state bodies and offices for two years.

Evidence presented by the court established that Butin, who has worked as a senior inspector for the St. Petersburg administration’s committee for law, order, and security since 2015, took bribes from local private vendors in exchange for allowing them to break regulations.

One vendor testified that Butin demanded she pay him 2,000 rubles ($32) each month for almost a year and a half.

Butin admitted in the courtroom that he was "partially" guilty as he took some basic food items as bribes, but stressed that allegations that he took honey were completely false.

Based on reporting by Fontanka, Interfax, and