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in law, unlawful demanding or receiving by an officer, in his official capacity, of any property or money not legally due to him. Examples include requesting and accepting fees in excess of those allowed to him by statute or arresting a person and, with corrupt motives, demanding money or property unlawfully under pretense of duty. The taking of money or property is generally an essential element of the crime. In most states of the United States, extortion is more widely defined to include the obtaining of money or property of another by inducing his consent through wrongful use of fear, force, or authority of office; blackmailblackmail,
in law, exaction of money from another by threat of exposure of criminal action or of disreputable conduct. The term was originally used for the tribute levied until the 18th cent.
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, ransomransom,
price of redemption demanded by the captor of a person, vessel, or city. In ancient times cities frequently paid ransom to prevent their plundering by captors. The custom of ransoming was formerly sanctioned by law.
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, and threatthreat,
in law, declaration of intent to injure another by doing an unlawful act, with a view to restraining his freedom of action. A threat is distinguishable from an assault, for an assault requires some physical act that appears likely to eventuate in violence, whereas a
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 of force are included under this definition.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in criminal law, a crime against property consisting of the demand to turn over property, or the rights to property, under threat of violence to the individual who controls or guards the property or to persons close to him, as well as under threat of making public damaging information about him or destroying the property. In this case, persons close to the owner include not only relatives but also other citizens who, threatened by violence, could influence the owner. Soviet law establishes criminal responsibility for extortion of state or societal property, as well as private property of citizens (arts. 95 and 148 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and corresponding articles of the Criminal Codes of the other Union republics). Extortion is not covered in the codes of the Kirghiz, Uzbek, or Ukr SSR’s.

As distinct from such crimes as theft and robbery, in extortion the threat of violence is directed toward transferring property to the criminal and not toward overcoming the resistance of the victim; for this reason, when the threat of violence is made and the property is then handed over, the guilty party is responsible for both extortion and theft or extortion and robbery, depending on the nature of the violence.

The threat of exposing damaging information is called blackmail. For the crime of extortion the damaging information can be either real or false and slanderous. For example, according to the criminal codes of the Byelorussian, Kirghiz, and Tadzhik SSR’s, blackmail includes demanding property or the rights to property under the threat of exposing information that the victim wishes to keep secret. Extortion can be the means of committing some other crime, such as bribery.

Extortion of government or societal property is punished by loss of liberty for up to four years; extortion of personal property is punished by imprisonment for up to three years or corrective labor for up to one year.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his words, 'The only success the Task Force achieved was the zero level of extortion on our ports access roads.
Caramat cited three factors why police officers resort to extortion activities: their lifestyle, character, and training.
'Rehman Bhola phoned up GM of the factory, Mansoor, for extortion amount and the latter gave him the money.'
Malaya noted that terrorism continues to be one of the predicaments of the government and supporting the NPA through extortion money is not helping the cause.
He said the truckers had no option but to pay extortion money.
Police said that the extortion chit had a contact number and demand of paying 1 million rupees from the restaurant owner.
He said that he needed to source for another N300, 000 thousand for the driver to settle various collections and extortions on the road.
A man identified as Ashfaq was also nabbed last night on extortion charges.
During the course of proceedings, the CJP said extortion was a serious crime and no relief could be given in such cases.
According to police sources, two extortionists identified as Sher Muhammad and Akbar affiliated with a Lyari gang war group, were collecting extortion money from a general store owner near Teen Hati area when a police party reached the scene the accused opened fire on police team and tried to flee.
Broadcaster Rafael 'Raffy' Tulfo on Tuesday dismissed the bigamy case filed against him by a woman claiming to be his wife, saying it was 'plain and simple extortion' because he refused to pay the P100 million the woman demanded.
Ex-Customs exec held for extortion try !-- -- Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines A former deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and a broker have been apprehended in Quezon City for allegedly attempting to extort P500,000 from an importer of gun parts.