A video by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service shows traffic police officers stopping cars on December 31 and seemingly taking bribes. On the same day, President Ilham Aliyev spoke to the nation and talked about his government's "fierce fight against corruption.
A video of policemen taking bribes in the middle of Baku -- filmed by a correspondent with RFE/RL's Radio Azadliq -- has led to the police officers' expulsion from the Baku police force. Recorded on December 31, the video went viral and immediately drew a reaction from the Azerbaijani government. The short video (above) shows a team of policemen signaling passing cars to stop and then accepting what appears to be a roll of cash followed by a firm handshake between the driver and the policemen.
Ehsan Zahidov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said that the three police sergeants involved in the video were identified by the Ministry and promptly fired. Corruption is rampant in Azerbaijan, and the government has even declared a national campaign to fight the practice. Since the campaign began in 2011, more than 30 policemen have been fired for violations related to corruption according to Kamran Aliyev, an inspector in the Traffic Police Department.