The Economist, “How to grease a palm”

December 19, 2006

Corruption has its own elaborate etiquette

“…The first bribe paid by your correspondent, in Ukraine in 1998, went to two policemen so they would let him board a train leaving the country. On the train into Ukraine, the customs officer had absconded with a form that is needed again later to leave the country. The policemen at the station kindly explained that there was a shtraf, a ‘fine’ that could be paid instead of producing the document. The policemen let him off with the minimum shtraf