Vladivostok Press Survey- May 2012

Posted: July 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm, Last Updated: September 7, 2012 at 1:53 am

English Summary by Justin Cade

Organized Crime 

After an extensive two-year investigation, an organized group of Khabarovsk racketeers was charged with fraud, extortion and criminal attempt. The group had been operating in the real estate market since 2007 and had ultimately extorted an estimated 4.5 million rubles from its victims.

Three former Spetsnaz soldiers who served in the security forces on active duty are being accused of bandit activity in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Krais. Arrested in November of 2011, the former soldiers are suspects in a series of armed robberies in the area. Police confiscated numerous weapons issued to Spetsnaz soldiers from the criminals at the time of arrest. According to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, they could face a prison sentence of up to 15 years. For now, the leader of the bandit group is under strict house arrest, one of his sidekicks has been arrested and the other has signed a recognizance not to leave town. An investigation is being conducted by the military investigative department in Khabarovsk.

Investigators in the Primorsky Krai have completed their criminal investigation into the dealings of six men accused of bandit activity; the illegal obtaining, storing and carrying of a weapon; three counts of murder; four cases of robbery; theft of documents; intentional destruction of private property; three counts of encroachment on the lives of three law enforcement officials; embezzlement of weapons; nine counts of theft; highjacking vehicles and attempted escape from a correctional facility. All in all, the men are facing close to 30 criminal charges. On June 11, 2010 members of the criminal band were arrested in Ussuriisk after violent resistance, which led to the injuring of two police officers. Two of the men chose to commit suicide over submitting to authorities. The suspects partially confessed to the crimes; evidence gathered will now be examined in greater detail by the court.



Ex-businessman and former representative of the Primorsky Krai legislative assembly, Evgeny Ovechkin, is suspected of large-scale fraud committed while he was working in the private sector. Apparently his former company did not settle its accounts with gas suppliers from Khabarovsk. Evidence indicates that in 2008, Ovechkin, now under house arrest, stole upwards of 38 million rubles from an oil company by means of fraud. He has also been accused of owing more than 20 million rubles to a local bank.

The Federal Investigative Committee of the Khabarovsk Krai has accused Alexei Pavlovsky, former head of the Polina Osipenko district’s branch of the Federal Institution for Criminal Investigation, of accepting a bribe. He pled guilty to preparing documents for two convicted robbers to acquit them of charges. The documents were approved by the courts and one of the men paid Pavlovsky 20,000 rubles for his efforts. Pavlovsky must now pay a fine twenty-five times greater than the sum of the bribe, or 500,000 rubles.

The Ministry of the Interior uncovered large-scale speculation in the federal Russian fishing agency, Rosrybolovstvo. In 2005, the government agency received close to a billion rubles for the construction of ships for scientific purposes. However, all of this money ended up in accounts of private companies controlled by civil servants and the ships remained unfinished. Valery Suraev, a former Rosrybolovstvo employee, is being accused of fraud accounting for 300 million rubles. Ministry of Interior sources emphasize that Suraev might not be the only guilty party in this criminal case as another 800 million rubles is said to have been stolen in this case.

Yakutsk police arrested the head of the village of Ust-Kuyga in the Ust-Yansky region of the republic for accepting a bribe. According to evidence, the bureaucrat demanded three million rubles from the director of the joint stock company Teploenergoservis in exchange for his signing acts of collation to supply heat to the residential sector of the village.


Drugs and drug trafficking 

On May 12, the assistant prosecutor general of the Khabarovsk Krai pronounced a 36-year-old Azerbaijani citizen living in Khabarovsk guilty of the illegal distribution and possession of heroin. An investigation revealed that he had been coming to Russia on a regular basis to sell heroin to residents of hospitable Khabarovsk. A small arsenal of weapons was discovered in the apartment in which he had been staying.

On the same day, Ussuriisk police stopped a Nissan for inspection. The woman in the passenger seat was immediately suspected of concealing something. Police then discovered ten small packages with a substance that resembled narcotics. An examination revealed that the substance was heroin, weighing over three grams. The 32-year-old woman is already being tried for drug-related crimes.

A 34-year-old man from Ussuriisk was arrested on the street for possessing five grams of heroin. The man was charged with the illegal acquisition, possession, transfer and production of a narcotic substance. He faces a prison sentence of up to ten years with a large fine.

(Original Russian version is available upon request)

Write to traccc at traccc@gmu.edu