Beat-boy bureaucrats

    Click on the video link "Vladivostock Customs Rules", and enter the dreary world of Russian bureaucracy - a catacomb of forms, official stamps and grumpy unhelpful officials - but keep watching and the screen erupts into a riot of colour and Beasty Boy-esque beats.  

    A Rolls Royce flashes across the screen. Is that an electric blue Hummer rammed with scantily dressed girls? 

    Officials from the Vladivostock Sea-Port Customs Office now reemerge as a fully fledged rap-crew complete with baseball caps, bling and babes. The music switches and we're back in the customs office. The journey's only just begun. 

    The rest of the 5 minute 28 second video includes popping champagne corks, a fat man in a batman costume and a topless girl rolling around in a pile of declaration forms.

    The video plays on some of the apparent perks of the jobs. The chorus line runs "At the customs, people have a great time".

    "We may not have great pay and clothes from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana/ We don't need that, we're doing just fine/ We have our green uniform, we're serious guys," a rapper sings. 

    Among the performances one-liners is a reference to how female staff members can end up "on maternity leave" due to the efforts of one fellow officer.

    The video appears to be part tribute, part criticism.  A source told the Russian news agency Interfax that it was filmed for a New Year's work party.

    The Federal Customs Service has failed to see the funny side. They're already wrestling with a negative reputation for kickbacks and rampant corruption. Customs officers are far from popular. 

    Service spokesman Vladimir Zubkov told Channel One Television "As for the ethical point of view. In our view, what they did is outrageous and disgraces all customs officers."  

    Those officers featured in the video will face "serious measures, right up to dismissal."

    Here's the video: 


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