Saratov Center Press Survey (August)

Posted: September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm

English Translation by Justin Cade

A few figures

On the results of the work of the investigative department of the Russian Investigative Committee for the Saratov Oblast in the first half of 2012

The department reached certain goals in the first half of 2012.

Measures taken by the department have resulted in an increased number of solved murder cases, up by almost 2% from last year, and rape cases, up by slightly more than 2% from last year. The department has also been successful in solving murder cases from previous years, with 12 criminal cases being filed resulting from murders committed in 2011.

The department was also successful in uncovering instances of corruption among federal and local authorities (121), a significant increase from an analogous period from 2011 (73).

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sksaratov.ru/ViewNews.aspx?id=2622

Progress made in the fight against crime from the first seven months of 2012 was analyzed by the regional procuracy

In the interests of guaranteeing coordination and cooperation in the analysis of information on the criminal situation in the region, the procuracy is conducting meetings and organizing working groups. A recent analysis of the work done by law enforcement in the past seven months revealed that major crimes decreased by 3.1% and misdemeanors decreased by 16.2%.

Health-related crimes and robberies were down by almost 20%, muggings by 20.5%, and theft by just over 20%.

Law enforcement officials were also successful in uncovering acts of corruption, as the number of reported incidents rose by 98.6%. Overall, measures taken by law enforcement helped uncover 66.5% more crimes than a year ago.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sarprok.ru/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=23017

The fight against corruption

Investigators launch a case against the director of a branch of the Federal Penal Service in the Saratov area for releasing a suspect

The director of a branch of the Federal Penal Service in the Bazarno-Karabuaksky district is suspected of accepting a bribe worth 10,000 rubles ($313) on August 23.

The director received this money at a suspect’s home in exchange for letting him go. According to protocol, the director should have taken him to jail. The director is currently being treated in a cardiologic surgical center and has been there since August 25. His punishment has not yet been determined.

For more on this story (in Russian): Газета «Комсомольская правда» – http://kp.ru/online/news/1236855/

Jury will try suspects in bribery case

A criminal case involving Sergei Filin, former head of the Red Army District’s administration, and Sergei Vologin, former director of the municipal organization “United Asset Holders’ Service,” has been filed in the Saratov Regional Court. Both men are accused of accepting bribes.

According to evidence, Filin and Volgin demanded a 500,000-ruble ($15,625) bribe from a citizen who intended to rent a plot of land from a gas company to repair pipelines, hoping for compensation of over one million rubles ($31,250). The bureaucrats were arrested after accepting the bribe. Vologin had earlier been suspected of mediating a bribe, a misdemeanor. The men will be tried by a jury.

The last bureaucrat to be acquitted by a jury was Yuri Galushko, director of the Saratov Transportation Authority.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://news.sarbc.ru/main/2012/08/21/125900.html

Saratov area police officer suspected of accepting a bribe

Officer agreed to look the other way in exchange for 1,000 rubles ($31)

A 21-year-old motorist, upon being stopped on the Engels-Ershov highway near the village of Bezymyansky, offered the bribe to a police officer, who was immediately arrested for accepting it. The 51-year-old suspect had been working for some time at his post and knew the 21-year-old violator. Saratov oblast police gathered all necessary materials and submitted them to investigators, who are deciding whether to file a criminal case.

For more on this story (in Russian): (Газета «Комсомольская правда» – http://kp.ru/online/news/1235044/)

Saratov businessman bribes police officer

Leader of a company was trying to evade an investigation

Employees of the Department of Economic Security visited the joint-stock company Guschina to verify whether the company was in compliance with the demands of licensing legislature. A director of the company offered 5,000 rubles ($156) rather than face the investigation.

The company now faces charges of administrative non-compliance and will be fined one million rubles ($31,250).

For more on this story (in Russian): (Газета «Комсомольская правда» –  http://kp.ru/online/news/1231741/)

Two former highway patrol inspectors to stand before a judge

Criminal cases have been filed against two former MVD highway patrol inspectors from Ershov for accepting bribes.

According to evidence, the men accepted a 2,000-ruble ($63) bribe from a motorist who had been pulled over for a traffic violation.

The case has been sent to the Ershov district court in the Saratov Oblast and will be investigated further.

For more on this story (in Russian):  http://www.sksaratov.ru/ViewNews.aspx?id=2613

Director of a village house of culture asks for bribe

A criminal case was filed against the director of the Rtishchevsky district house of culture for three cases of bribery.

The Rtishchevsky investigative department received three complaints from citizens on July 26 that stated they had been asked for bribes by the director of a government institution.

According to their information, the director had solicited bribes which amounted to 6,000 rubles ($188) on three occasions in exchange for leasing out parts of her institution’s building. After receiving the bribes, she was arrested by Saratov Oblast MVD officers. The money was then confiscated.

Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed in full; an investigation is ongoing.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30044

40-fold fine for bribe

An employee of the Russian Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resource Usage in the Saratov Oblast was sentenced to a 1.6-million-ruble ($50,000) fine for soliciting a bribe.

The bureaucrat was found guilty and was fined appropriately. Additionally, he has been banned from work for three years.

According to evidence, Vladimir Zarykov, director of a regional department of the government agency, solicited a bribe of 40,000 rubles ($1,250) from a businessman for renewal of the latter’s license to keep and handle hazardous waste materials. He received the bribe in a cafe in downtown Saratov and was arrested shortly thereafter.

A criminal case has been filed. For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30338

Senior highway patrol inspector sentenced in bribe case

The Saratov Oblast Court recently sentenced Aleksandr Chubrin, a former Marx senior highway patrol inspector, in a bribe case.

Chubrin accepted a bribe of 4,000 rubles ($125) at his post near Marx on August 16, 2011. A little later that month, he solicited a 300-ruble ($9) bribe from another citizen and was arrested shortly thereafter.

He refused to confess and was sentenced to three to six years in jail and a fine of 170,000 rubles ($5,313). Chubrin has also been banned from his job in law enforcement for two years.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30316

Saratov sailing coach accused of embezzlement and bribery

Andrei Zimin, a Saratov sailing coach, has been sentenced to a large-scale fine for bribery, embezzlement and fraud.

Zimin offered a bribe of 100,000 rubles ($3,125) to an employee of the Department of Economic Justice to curtail his prosecution. The coach had earlier embezzled 300,000 rubles ($9375). He pled guilty and will face a fine of two million rubles ($62,500).

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30227

Evidence collected regarding officer’s purchase of 7-million ruble ($218,750) automobile

Saratov Oblast MVD officers are carrying out an investigation into the dealings of Aleksandr Khojeisa, an employee of the Department of Combating Economic Crime and Corruption.

According to information released from the police, Khojeisa purchased a Merdedes-AMG S Class for 7 million rubles ($218,750) and apparently acquired the car for personal reasons, using it to drive around town and the surrounding area. The MVD is looking into the legality of Khojeisa’s income and will determine whether the car was purchased legally. A detailed investigation is ongoing.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.vzsar.ru/news/2012/08/30/gy-mvd-proveryaet-dannye-o-pokypke-oficerom-avto-za-sem-millionov-ryblei.html)

Criminal case filed against briber

Saratov’s Fruzensky district’s investigative department has filed a criminal case regarding a driver offering a bribe to a highway patrolman.

When pulled over by a highway patrolman on June 27 around 5 PM in Saratov, a driver offered the officer 1,000 rubles ($31). When questioned as a suspect, the man confessed to speeding and offering a bribe to the traffic officer to avoid having his license suspended. The man will be tried as a criminal.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sksaratov.ru/ViewNews.aspx?id=2624

Criminal case filed in Saratov against a local woman for bribing an officer

Saratov’s Fruzensky district’s investigative department has filed a criminal case against a 51-year-old local woman for bribing a police officer.

According to the investigation, the woman offered 1,000 rubles ($31) to a police officer after being pulled over on August 14 for stalling on a tram track.

Details are being gathered to determine all the circumstances of the incident and a criminal case is ongoing.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sksaratov.ru/ViewNews.aspx?id=2705

Embezzlement suspect tries to buy his way out of being caught by the anticorruption department

The October District Court declared Aleksandr Zimin guilty of large-scale bribery.

On February 20, Zimin offered 100,000 rubles ($3,125) to the Department of Economic Security and Anticorruption to evade charges of embezzlement. He will be fined 2 million rubles ($62,500).

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30195

Suspect offers police officer 2,000-ruble ($63) bribe

Saratov resident declared guilty of attempted bribery.

An investigation revealed that in May of this year, A. Vykhristyuk, while driving in Saratov, committed a traffic violation and was pulled over, offering the traffic officer a bribe of 2,000 ($63) to look the other way. Vykhristyuk pled guilty and a criminal case has been sent to the Saratov District Court. He cannot leave the city and is currently on probation.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sarprok.ru/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=23054 

Organized crime

Criminal group in charge of seven gambling institutions uncovered

The activity of a large-scale criminal group involved in gambling has been stopped. A criminal network in charge of 20 gambling institutions disguised as sports bars, billiard halls and internet cafes was uncovered by means of joint operations between MVD and the Russian Investigative Committee on August 7 in Saratov and Engels.

35 house checks were conducted, 150 people were questioned (16 of them were arrested under suspicion of involvement with the illegal business). 10 people were arrested and three more were released under the condition that they do not leave the city.

Over the next two days, the Investigative Committee filed two criminal cases: one for the organization and conducting of gambling and the other for copyright infringement.

Evidence shows that the group began its activity in February 2011 and police say that it was a well-developed ring with its own planners, security, lawyers and IT workers. Police confiscated a server which connected the entire gambling network and enabled investigators to prove criminal activity on the part of each individual establishment.

A search yielded three million rubles ($93,750) in cash; 1.5 ($46,875) of which had already been declared as income. Police estimate that the group’s profit was at least 10 million rubles ($312,500) a month. A joint investigative group has been formed to further analyze the situation. Law enforcement officials have not ruled out the uncovering of new players and new makeshift casinos and it is likely that the group’s activity can be traced to neighboring regions.

Law enforcement officials emphasize that this is the first criminal case in Saratov related to gambling after an anti-gambling law went into effect.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.om-saratov.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=30244

Drugs and drug trafficking

The area procuracy conducted an analysis of law enforcement’s work in the fight against drug trafficking in the first half of 2012

Every month the procuracy evaluates law enforcement’s efforts in combating the drug trade. A more comprehensive analysis of the first six months of 2012 revealed that the measures taken by law enforcement have been effective: reported incidents of drug-related crimes have increased by 8% (from 1,575 to 1,701) in comparison to an analogous period from 2011.

Law enforcement was also successful in exposing 14.8% (from 27 to 31) more crimes committed by organized groups in comparison to the same period from 2011. This criminal activity was not limited to the borders of the Saratov oblast; uncovered crimes were committed in other regions and even in other countries.

Law enforcement is focused on nipping the drug trade in the bud. In the Saratov oblast alone, 83 drug dens were shut down. More and more drug-related criminal cases and investigations are being filed and conducted, respectively.

In comparison with an analogous period from 2011, 24.6% more (from 654 to 815) cases have been closed, 24.6% more (from 641 to 799) cases have been sent to the court and 8.6% more drug crimes have been uncovered.

For more on this story (in Russian): http://www.sarprok.ru/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=22987

The PR department of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service in the Saratov Oblast informs us that:

Since January 1, they have confiscated about 12 kilograms of heroin, which would amount to over 300,000 one-time doses. According to the latest research, 8.5 million people in Russia regularly or occasionally use drugs. 18.5 million Russians have used drugs at least once. A significant number of them use heroin from Afghanistan.

This particular drug has also made its way to the Saratov oblast, where law enforcement officials have already arrested a number of heroin dealers, many of whom were in possession of copious amounts of the narcotic.

Significant amounts of marijuana have also been confiscated from drug dealers in Saratov and surrounding towns. One of the perpetrators had been storing about 1.5 kilograms of the drug in his oven, another stored the same amount in some bushes on a neighboring street while another had 1 kilogram and 679 grams on her balcony in a plastic bag.

These numbers result from an anti-drug operation called Mak-2012, which will be carried out in two phases from May 28 to October 31. The first phase concluded on July 25 and resulted in the uncovering of 246 crimes, 94 administrative wrongdoings related to drug trafficking and the confiscation of 82 kilograms 441 grams of different narcotic substances including 77 kg. 512 gr. of marijuana, 1 kilogram 701 grams of hash oil, 481 grams of poppy chaff and 307.6 grams of its extract. The Mak-2012 operation has also resulted in the destruction of 26 plots of wild hemp accounting for 250,725 square meters with 3 plots accounting for 22,610 square meters destroyed in one day, on June 18.

For more on this story (in Russian): (Газета «Богатей» № 26 (628) от 30.08.2012 г.)

Brought to justice:

Regardless of the clear difference in age, heroin brought together two Kazakh citizens, 59-year-olds Ruslan Gezikhanov and Khadami Baisiev and a 40-year old Russian citizen, Muslim Khadzhiev. Gezikhanov created the group for the purposes of smuggling large quantities of heroin into the Russian Federation. During their arrest, more than four kilograms of the drug were confiscated; this would have accounted for more than 100,000 doses. The Engels district court sentenced Gezikhanov to 10 years in jail, Baisiev to 11 and Khadzhiev to 8.

32-year-old Denis Ilyushin from Engels will also be spending the next nine years serving hard time. The district court sentenced him based on his organization of a network of Desomorphine dealers. During his arrest, more than ten doses of the drug were confiscated along with syringes and equipment needed for its production.

Denis Mironov, a 30-year-old resident of Saratov, will spend eight years and six months in jail for drugs. The Lenin district court sentenced him to this time for the distribution and possession of marijuana. He was arrested while completing a sale of the drug. Narcotics officers confiscated six bags of marijuana, weighing 138.9 grams, from the car of 33-year-old Andrei Bil’ko. Police also confiscated 129.3 grams, intended for future clients, from Mironov. Bil’ko was sentenced to three years in jail.

28-year-old Georgii Sarukhanov had also planned to make a living as a drug dealer. While in Moscow he obtained 118.5 grams of both methamphetamine and ecstasy as well as copious amounts of marijuana. He was arrested in Saratov for selling 7.6 grams of methamphetamine. The Kirov district court sentenced him to 12 years in jail while his buyer, 30-year-old Dmitrii Maksimov, faces four years.

The Engels district court sentenced 29-year-old Sergei Efemenko to two years’ imprisonment for the sale and possession of heroin. 38-year-old Vladimir Anisimov was also recently sentenced for the acquisition, transport and possession of large amounts of narcotics. According to his version, he grabbed 585 grams of amphetamine from an unknown man at a Moscow metro station which the man intended to use himself. Anisimov then transported the drugs to Saratov in his car, where he was arrested by narcotics officers. The Volzhskii district court estimates a 3-to-four-month jail sentence for Anisimov.

Users of smokeable synthetic drugs were also arrested. The October district court in Saratov sentenced 24-year-old Sergei Krasnov and 21-year-old Sergei Kozin, who acquired and possessed large amounts of JWH-018, to three years’ jail time. The Lenin district court sentenced 21-year-old Andrei Khalikov to the same amount of jail time for possession of similar drugs.

Alexei Zhukov, a 34-year-old Saratov resident, planted a few hemp bushes in the basement of a residential building containing numerous apartments. By the spring, Zhukov was ready to harvest his crops and had dozens of doses of marijuana for his own use. Narcotics officers arrested him while packing the drug into small packets. The Lenin district court sentenced him to one year in jail.

37-year-old Natalia Golovanova of the Tatishchevsky district was arrested for producing desomorphine at home. She apparently also got her relative and neighbors into the drug, charging them as much as they could afford to spend on it. At the time of her arrest, police confiscated three syringes filled with the drug. She has been sentenced to five years and four months in jail.

For more on these arrests: (Газета «Богатей» № 25 (627) от 23.08.2012 г.)

Survey compiled by Sarataov Center press  analyst, E. Cherednichenko

Write to traccc at traccc@gmu.edu