Small commercial bribery
In a number of articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, devoted to corruption crimes, a separate place is occupied by Art. 204.2 “Petty commercial bribery”. It includes giving a bribe to a manager or other person performing managerial functions in a business structure, if the amount of remuneration does not exceed 10 thousand rubles.
Composition of the article
Commercial bribery, or the provision of property benefits to a person performing managerial functions in a private structure, if the amount of the bribe does not exceed 10 thousand rubles, is recognized as a crime and is punished according to the norms of Art. 204.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The article appeared in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in 2016. Its introduction was due to the fact that in 2012-2015 most of the registered corruption crimes were based on the transfer of remuneration in the amount of no more than 10 thousand rubles. They were committed in the medical or educational sphere and did not create difficulties for law enforcement agencies in their disclosure and proof. To focus the attention of investigators on more serious crimes, the legislator introduced an article that speaks of petty commercial bribery.
The small public danger of the crime led to the need for light sanctions. But the effectiveness of criminal law is based on the inevitability of punishment for a crime. In the case of petty commercial bribery, less than a percentage of those guilty of actually committed violations are punished, and many of those involved are not even aware of the existence of a rule that punishes the transfer of remuneration to an employee of a commercial organization. Public awareness of the criminalization of a violation could reduce the frequency of crime.
Features of law enforcement
The problem of qualifying a crime as petty or substantial is not new in Russian law. So, the amount of 10 thousand rubles, which allows us to classify bribery as petty, has no legal justification, the legislator did not set a minimum limit, and even a 10-ruble commemorative coin donated can lead to a sentence of up to 1 year of correctional labor. Statistics on this type of crime show the actual inapplicability of the article: for all the years of its existence, no more than 100 cases were included in the database of judicial acts. This indicates the loss of interest of law enforcement officers in petty commercial bribery after its actual decriminalization.
Commercial bribery with a small amount of remuneration has become a separate crime since Russia has ratified a number of international conventions against corruption. But practice shows the need to completely decriminalize this act and transfer it into the scope of administrative offenses. In this case, it is possible that it will become more prosecuted and punishable due to less complexity of disclosure and proof.