MOSCOW, December 10 - RAPSI. The number of criminal cases connected with corruption in Russia has substantially increased since 2011, according to the Investigative Committee.

Around 20,700 cases over corruption crimes have been investigated by the Investigative Committee in the first nine months of 2012, which is 7,000 more year-on-year.

Investigations into 5,000 criminal cases have been completed.

"Over 4,365 corruption cases have been submitted to court. Twenty two cases concern organized groups and four with criminal organizations which committed crimes of corruption," the Investigative Committee told RIA Novosti.

Investigators also reported that in the first nine months of 2012, 33,595 reports on corruption crimes were submitted to investigative authorities, a 21 percent increase compared with 2011. It was decided to initiate criminal proceedings over 16,654 of these cases.

The Investigative Committee said that a lot of the criminal cases deal with high-ranking officials.

Furthermore, the average size of bribes is growing, along with the number of crimes.

The Interior Ministry reported that the average bribe in Russia amounts to around 60,000 rubles ($1,937).

Alexei Ryabtsev, head of the Interior Ministry's Anti-Corruption Department, said that in some economic crimes the figure exceeds 3 million rubles ($96,880).