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Author Topic: Registration and Police Shake-down  (Read 5337 times)

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Offline skiingandrunning

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Registration and Police Shake-down
« on: June 12, 2009, 08:55:53 PM »
OK, how many of you have had the experience of police stopping you in the airport (in my case passing through security) and having police look for your registration?  I had this nice event happen to me in Rostov, they pulled my out of the line, walked me to a back room, and knowing my flight was leaving shortly proceeded to say that I had a little problem and it needed a little money to fix.  I only had the stamp from the hotel as it was over New Years and I did not get the paper back soon enough and in the end I was 1,000 roubles lighter.  I heard of another man who was stopped in SVO (domestic) and they I guess he was really flustered as he was with his girlfriend and he still ended up paying 4,000 r.  Just wondering if anyone else has had such a nice experience?

Offline ECR844

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 08:59:09 PM »
OK, how many of you have had the experience of police stopping you in the airport (in my case passing through security) and having police look for your registration?  I had this nice event happen to me in Rostov, they pulled my out of the line, walked me to a back room, and knowing my flight was leaving shortly proceeded to say that I had a little problem and it needed a little money to fix.  I only had the stamp from the hotel as it was over New Years and I did not get the paper back soon enough and in the end I was 1,000 roubles lighter.  I heard of another man who was stopped in SVO (domestic) and they I guess he was really flustered as he was with his girlfriend and he still ended up paying 4,000 r.  Just wondering if anyone else has had such a nice experience?

Welcome to the forum.

I was there at the same time as you and returned though Voronezh-Chervitskoye, via DME. I had issues getting registered due to the holidays, but once it was done there were no problems.

Offline Link

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 11:31:49 AM »
OK, how many of you have had the experience of police stopping you in the airport (in my case passing through security) and having police look for your registration?  I had this nice event happen to me in Rostov, they pulled my out of the line, walked me to a back room, and knowing my flight was leaving shortly proceeded to say that I had a little problem and it needed a little money to fix.  I only had the stamp from the hotel as it was over New Years and I did not get the paper back soon enough and in the end I was 1,000 roubles lighter.  I heard of another man who was stopped in SVO (domestic) and they I guess he was really flustered as he was with his girlfriend and he still ended up paying 4,000 r.  Just wondering if anyone else has had such a nice experience?

I had a similar experience in Moscow Domodedovo, they did not take me to a back room but in the end I paid some extra fees "to fix the problem".


Offline Noname

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 12:25:22 PM »
I went to Rostov in 2001, twice. The first time i did not register at all and when i was at passport control  in Rostov the bloke took me to the small back room also. I only remember paying about 500 rubles though. When i got to SVO nothing was said to me about the registration stamp not being in my passport. The second time i went to Rostov i got my registration in the police station.

Offline skiingandrunning

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 12:56:11 PM »
Quote
I only remember paying about 500 rubles though

You are a far better negotiator than I, but I'm learning fast.

Offline Manny

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 02:10:15 PM »
I seldom have a problem at airports in the FSU. I have more problems at UK airports actually.

Most of my problems have been with traffic cops. I have had brushes in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia. Usually a small bribe fixes it.

I generally pay between 20-40 Euros for a traffic stop. I used to resent paying the money but Andrewfi helped me see it another way: He said look upon it as a tax for driving at 120mph across their country instead of a dreary 60 or 70 mph. When you look at it like that, and consider the time you save, it becomes just another travel expense.

Now I just budget to be stopped three times through Eastern Europe and budget 50 Euros per stop. If the journey costs me less than 150 Euros, I am in the black!

In Russia we pay the official ticket price (my wife's idea - don't fuel corruption is her view). The official ticket is cheaper than the (foreigner) bribe in Russia, but muuuuuuch slower! And there is all that queuing and "paying at the bank" nonsense to do afterwards.
please tell me where I'm being / have been 'dishonest'? 
Yes, he said that.........

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 03:22:52 PM »
Not exactly a registration issue, but had an experience at SVO in Moscow. I was returning to Los Angeles for a meeting with superiors and to spend some vacation time.

The experience from hell happened in plain sight and in a space about 30-40 yards in length. I was in line and was pulled out for inspection. Finding nothing illegal, the officer searched my bags then allowed me to return. He took the Ministry of Culture documents I had for some of Mrs Mendeleyeva's art pieces and disappeared, never to return. It also meant potential problems in Los Angeles as Russian customs is supposed to keep one copy and the second is stamped and then given back for my arrival at USA customs.

Now if you know much of how the Red line works at SVO, I'd already been through an entire process of presenting my bags, showing every art piece (thankfully not that many), matching each one to stamped photos and documents from the Ministry of Culture. So while it hadn't really been a "search" per say, my entry point at the Red Line had already included opening my bags and spending 10+ minutes with a customs official.

So after the "extra" search I returned to a place in line toward the ticket counters. No sooner had I returned to line than a lady inspector pulled me out. She had been watching the first search. She and another inspector did the same--hand inspected both my carry-on and my bags. Went thru everything. That was surprise seach #2. I asked about the return of my Ministry of Culture paperwork. No answer.

No sooner had I again returned to the line than a third inspector appeared. So off we went to another table where he and another officer, both who had watched the previous searches, repeated the searching and questioning. Mentioning that I was missing the paperwork from the Ministry of Culture, I politely but firmly pointed out that they had seen it taken from me in the initial search and asked them for it's return. Go back to the line was the instruction. Search #3.

Thinking that 3 was a charm and surely this couldn't be repeated, my bags were no more settled at the end of the line and Mendeleyev just wanted some headache pills. That was when Inspection #4 took place. Off we went to another table where this time a single officer, who had watched the previous 3 times, did a slow and thorough search of my things, emptied my pockets, and even my wallet...compartment by compartment. He was yelling at the top of his voice about illegal amounts of caviar.

Well if I'd of had illegal amounts, there would have had to been enough to easily find it in my bags. I had no caviar. Then he wanted to know if I was carrying Rubles out of the country (that is illegal). The idiot had missed several thousand Ruble notes stashed between two credit cards. He literally screamed so I told him in English that I didn't speak Russian. He retorted that I'd spoken some Russian to the previous inspectors so in turn I expressed surprise that he'd bothered to search me if he knew I'd been searched not once, not twice, but three times previously before his fourth search. Money, in the context of extortion--and I know the difference, was never mentioned and I sensed that this issue was not about a bribe.

Back to the end of the line which by this time truly was the end of the line. Only one couple remained in front of me and they were having ticket issues about a baby. That went on for some time and now I was truly in danger of missing the flight so the counter attendant told me to go down to the business class counter.

I walked down to that counter where a bored attendant put down the paperback book she had been reading, sighed and looked at my tickets. You're not business class she yelled and proceeded to vent her frustration at dumb American tourists. Calling her attention to my journalists visa (a form of diplomatic status) and the fact that I lived in Moscow she waved me off and so I returned to the prior counter where they were still in an argument with the family with the baby. Looking up the lady asked, why are you back here? Then she stood up and yelled at the business class counter lady and sent me back.

The business counter lady took my ticket and proceeded (again) to complain that I didn't have a business class ticket. Thoroughly fed up, I bent over the counter and instructed her that I would be on the plane and it was she who would get me on it. Now. She clicked her keyboard, we fed my luggage on the belt down below (the plane was ready to leave so I had little faith in my luggage coming with me), she handed over a new boarding pass and I was off in a hurry to passport control.

Passport control took a few minutes and then it was a race down the hall to the gate. As you know it's not atypical to have a search again at the gate. I was in no mood but they searched. That was quick and painless but still a search. Search #5.

I raced down the plank and was huffing and puffing and sweating by the time I stepped on board. I hadn't had even a moment to look at the boarding pass so when presenting the stub to the stewardess was very surprised when she seated my in 3A. Nice.

But I wasn't born yesterday, and this is Russia, so I neither allowed myself to settle in or put up my carry on overhead. My worry was about what this meant long term as clearly I had been targeted. My heart was racing so I sat there and sipped some wine and juice (Dear Lord was I ever thirsty) while the crew was obviously trying to make sense of a seating chart and my boarding pass stub. I figured at some point I'd be booted back to economy so just relaxed until they came to eject me from first class.

Then the last passenger came on. A tall, Ruskaya blond, very HOT lady. I just knew with every fiber in my body that she was coming toward 3A. She did, and in perfect British English asked if I had a ticket for #3A. Knowing that Mrs Mendeleyeva would not be happy to discover someday that I'd invited this babe to sit on my lap for the next 14 hours, I held my reply to simply, yes--I have a ticket.

The stewardess came over and asked her to wait and then returned a minute later to escort the hot babe over to the only other empty seat in first class.

There were some things going on behind the scenes with my news organization/employer at the time with the Russian Ministry/Press Department so it seems that my harrassment was pre-planned and meant to send a message either to me to thru me to my superiors. Believe it or not, the above is the "Readers Digest" version and my office was later told that the plane had been held at the gate in full knowledge that I'd be delayed before boarding. Even though we departed quite late I don't remember the family with the baby making the flight.

My MIL to this day swears that it was the action of my wife's ex. He and I have an excellent relationship, although we didn't know each other as well back then and he worked in the Russian White House at that time and certainly had the power for such an experience. But my MIL thinks he is the devil in human form (he isn't) so when it storms outside she blames him for bad weather.

Online shakespear

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 03:59:48 PM »
OK, how many of you have had the experience of police stopping you in the airport (in my case passing through security) and having police look for your registration?  I had this nice event happen to me in Rostov, they pulled my out of the line, walked me to a back room, and knowing my flight was leaving shortly proceeded to say that I had a little problem and it needed a little money to fix.  I only had the stamp from the hotel as it was over New Years and I did not get the paper back soon enough and in the end I was 1,000 roubles lighter.  I heard of another man who was stopped in SVO (domestic) and they I guess he was really flustered as he was with his girlfriend and he still ended up paying 4,000 r.  Just wondering if anyone else has had such a nice experience? 

Southern Russia is "infamous" for such visa inspections.  Better have your visa in perfect order and properly registered if you plan on travelling there.

Several years back when my passport was stolen by a pickpocket, I had a bit of difficulty at the Volgograd airport.  I was on my way back to Moscow to get an "exit visa" from the travel agency that issued my initial visa (www.gotorussia.net).  I had my new passport and letters in Cyrillic from BOTH the St Petersburg Metro Police AND the US Consular office in St Petersburg explaining my circumstances.  The Volgograd police stopped me in line and asked why I hadn't registered my visa?.  I asked them how I was supposed to register a visa that didn't exist (my new passport was blank)?  They never really answered my questions but after some discussion they determined that I could board the plane without them making a notation in the official computer by payment of a 1500pyb "fine".  The fact that the amount was evenly divisible by three (number of officers present) didn't escape me. 

I paid the money.  What do you expect someone who has arrest authority and only makes $200 per month to do to support him/herself and their families?  Using that authority to solicit bribes is the only way.  It may seem reprehensible to you but it's part of normal daily life in Russia.
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn

Offline skiingandrunning

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 06:49:16 PM »
I think Mendeleyev, you has all our stories beat but a wide margin.  I'm guessing you were flying on Aeroflot?

Now I have had those surprise ticket changes on several occasions (without the hassles you dealt with) and they always leave me with a smile.

Offline Voyager

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 03:42:49 AM »
I'm sure glad they dropped this "registration" nonsense in Ukraine...



I seldom have a problem at airports in the FSU. I have more problems at UK airports actually.

Most of my problems have been with traffic cops. I have had brushes in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia. Usually a small bribe fixes it.

I generally pay between 20-40 Euros for a traffic stop. I used to resent paying the money but Andrewfi helped me see it another way: He said look upon it as a tax for driving at 120mph across their country instead of a dreary 60 or 70 mph.

In Russia we pay the official ticket price (my wife's idea - don't fuel corruption is her view). The official ticket is cheaper than the (foreigner) bribe in Russia, but muuuuuuch slower! And there is all that queuing and "paying at the bank" nonsense to do afterwards.

No "tip" for the poor underpaid Russian traffic cop? Where's the love?  :chuckle:

Offline franklloyd

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 05:30:52 PM »
I've been "back-roomed" twice out of 20+ times leaving Omsk.

Ya gotta stay cool as a cucumber. Once, when I flew in on Friday and flew out on Monday and stayed with my in-laws, failure to register my visa cost me 500 rubles. The fact that it was impossible to register my visa during my stay was irrelevant.

Another time, again staying with in-laws, when I flew in on a Sunday and flew out ten days later on a Monday with the New Years holiday in between, the city registration office was closed due to the holidays and a power outage/weather. They said that there were two days that I could have registered my visa so I had to pay. That one was 1000 rubles.

No big deal, just the cost of doing business in Russia!
At 20 years of age the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment. - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Vinnvinny

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 09:20:58 AM »
Edit:

Please ignore .... I've been ill.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2010, 12:39:10 PM »

Edit: Please ignore .... I've been ill.


Oh poor Vinny :HOSPITAL:

I hope your illness is not virtually contagious?  :innocent:
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Online msmoby

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2010, 11:52:23 PM »
Hope you  feel better soon, Vinny ! ;)
Russia doesn't have form for making stuff like this up.
He really did say that
Here is my Russophobia/Kremlinphobia topic

Offline Vinnvinny

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Re: Registration and Police Shake-down
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 05:28:12 AM »
I hope your illness is not virtually contagious?  :innocent:

It's virtually impossible for me to confirm either way.  :(

Hope you  feel better soon, Vinny ! ;)

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