Russian official Marat Tambiev stands accused of accepting a bribe worth $28 million in Bitcoin (BTC) from a hacker group he was investigating, according to a local news report. This incident represents the largest recorded amount received in a single bribery case in Russia, as stated in the report.
Tambiev formerly held the position of head of the investigative department of the committee for the Tverskoy district of Moscow until he was dismissed due to corruption allegations. Authorities discovered 1032.1 BTC hidden on Tambiev’s laptop during a search of his Moscow apartment a few months ago.
The Deputy Prosecutor General pointed out that Tambiev had received 11.7 million rubles (less than $150,000) during his tenure at the Investigative Committee. The possession of Bitcoins worth $28 million suggests the acquisition of assets from unauthorized sources, the Deputy Prosecutor General noted.
On April 7, 2022, Tambiev allegedly received the bribe from the hacking group Infraud Organization Mark and its members Konstantin Bergmanov and Kirill Samokutyaevsky. In exchange for not seizing the illegal assets of the hackers he was investigating, Tambiev is said to have accepted the bribe.
According to the report, the hackers received suspended sentences ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 years, and authorities were able to recover approximately $8.6 million worth of Bitcoin from them.
Tambiev is scheduled to appear in court on June 5, where the prosecutor will seek to confiscate all of his illicitly acquired funds. Tambiev has denied the corruption charges and has been contesting the allegations. He recently filed a lawsuit against the Investigative Committee, seeking reinstatement on the grounds that the investigation was still ongoing and the charges had not been substantiated. However, the lawsuit was dismissed after a departmental audit confirmed the corruption, according to the report.