MOSCOW, January 31 - RAPSI. A Federal Customs Service lieutenant colonel and his two subordinates are suspected of taking a $197,500 bribe, the Interior Ministry's economic security and corruption department reported on Tuesday.

The ministry reported that the lieutenant colonel, whom investigators keep anonymous, and the other customs officers promised in late 2011 to drop criminal case against a businessman suspected of smuggling in exchange for a six-million ruble bribe.

"One of the criminal group members has been captured immediately after he took money from the safety deposit box. The second was detained at his work. But the lieutenant colonel managed to escape," the Interior Ministry reported.

Investigators opened a criminal case on large-scale fraud charges, a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison. Police is now looking for the run-away officer as well as other possible suspects.