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Love IS a crime? Russian detective faces criminal charges after falling for her suspect, and even giving bandit boyfriend a car

Love IS a crime? Russian detective faces criminal charges after falling for her suspect, and even giving bandit boyfriend a car

A Russian criminal investigator has come under fire for allegedly abusing her authority when she reportedly became infatuated with a man accused of stealing cash from a victim's bank account, even as she investigated his crimes.

Local media reported on Thursday that Madina Shukenova, a 24-year-old detective only a few years out of the academy, had fallen head over heels with one Mikhail Serbin, a suspect in a financial theft case. Her purported love interest was said to have waltzed into her life unannounced when his case file was put on the young official's desk in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Serbin evidently proved irresistible while he was awaiting trial on bail. Hopes of a romantic getaway, however, would've been dashed as the alleged thief was grounded by a travel ban imposed on him by the court as a preventative measure. Despite that, feelings blossomed between the pair after Shukenova was tasked with looking into him earlier this year.  

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The affair only came to light when Serbin was busted last month while driving to Shukenova's home in a vehicle she had gifted him. Omsk's police press service is quoted by local media as admitting the detective had entered an off-duty relationship with the 22-year-old suspect. She failed to notify the department or request to be transferred off of his case.

If Shukenova, who graduated from the Omsk Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2019, is found guilty of abusing her role, she will be dismissed from her job. Senior staff in her team could also face disciplinary action for letting the romance go undetected.

The event follows in the footsteps of investigator Natalia Vorontsova, who developed feelings of affection for infamous criminal Sergey Maduev in the 1990s. Her lover committed a string of robberies, thefts and murders, and Vorontsova later gave the recidivist a pistol while he was in jail. 

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