December 05, 2022

Money Laundering, in a Sense


Money Laundering, in a Sense
Your clothes may be clean, but the machine itself isn't. The RussianLife files.

Russian Colonel Ivan Mertvishchev has been charged with corruption after he accepted a washing machine as a bribe from a fellow army officer.

According to reports, Mertvishchev, an employee of the organizational and mobilization department of the Russian army's general staff, contacted a military commissar in charge of a recruiting district in and around Moscow. Mertvishchev told the commissar that he was stopping by for an inspection and said he was inclined to give a poor report to his superiors.

Mertvishchev then implied that the report could be turned to the positive if the commissar and his employees bought him a new washing machine worth at least R70,000 ($1150). The commissar pretended to agree, then turned to federal authorities to report the bribery demand. When Mervishchev appeared to take possession of his machine, he was arrested.

A washing machine is certainly a utilitarian gift. But, remarkably, it's not the oddest bribe we've covered.

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