That’s the view of the country’s chief prosecuter who was speaking to senior security and judicial officials. Vladimir Ustinov said crime gangs had infiltrated the customs service. “It’s time for action, to eliminate the criminal groups,” he said. “They should be cut off, isolated and their leaders and active members arrested,” he added.
Last week, week as part of a drive to crack down on corruption in the customs service, President Vladimir Putin put it under the direct control of the prime minister. Several top officials have either been fired or placed under investigation. Putin has said corruption is one of the major obstacles to economic growth in Russia, and has made fighting it a central policy.