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Source: Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs in English

The policemen found that from December 2016 till May 2017, an organised group operated in the territorial centre. The members of the group obtained money by false pretences. The group was organised by a 31-year-old resident of Khabarovsk who had repeatedly been criminally liable for robbery, theft and drug possession, and served sentences in detention facilities.
The criminal engaged two friends without criminal background in the illegal activity. The roles were clearly distributed between the members of the group. A 25-year-old local resident bought cell-phones and SIM-cards from unknown citizens. His 28-year-old associate dialled random numbers serviced by mobile operators of the Khabarovsk Territory and detected senior citizens by voice. The group leader then called the pensioners and pretended their close relative. He explained that he needed money as soon as possible to solve unexpected urgent financial problems. After that, one of the leader’s associates went to the pensioner and obtained money.
For example, the accused obtained by false pretences 300 thousand roubles from a 73-year-old female citizen of Khabarovsk. The lady thought she was helping her son to repay a debt.
The group members strictly observed secrecy. They constantly moved from one rented apartment to another, bought new cell-phones and SIM-cards every two weeks. The money obtained from the pensioners was the only source of income of the accused.
The criminals were detained in May 2017 by the officers of the unit for solving crimes committed through fraud of the Criminal Investigation Department of the MIA Administration for Khabarovsk. The detention was performed with the support of Rosgvardia.
In the course of investigation of the criminal case initiated on the elements of offence under part 4 of Article 159 “Fraud” of the Russian Criminal Code, involvement of the accused in 11 unlawful instances was proved. The total losses of the victims amounted to about one million roubles.
The court held the group leader guilty and sentenced him to six years and six months of imprisonment in high-security prison. His 28-year-old associate was given a suspended sentence for five years and six months. The 25-year-old member of the group was given a suspended sentence for four years and six months.

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