Vladivostok Center Press Survey September 2012 (Summary)

Posted: October 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm

English Version by Eric Sliva, Eurasian Projects Coordinator

Organized Crime 

A criminal investigation is ongoing over alleged fraud by six employees of the real-estate company Dialog LLC in Vladivostok. The accused reportedly misled clients with fake photographs and misleading descriptions of properties, constructing the deals in such a way as to make refunds impossible. The number of victims totaled 123, with damages exceeding 2 million rubles. Three of those arrested have entered into plea deals; one has been sentenced to 3 years prison and a fine of 100,000 rubles.

 

Corruption

The former director of the “Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Kombikormovy Factory”, currently a deputy in the legislative assembly of the Kamchatsky Krai, is among those from the company’s leadership being investigated over suspected abuse of official position. From 2006-2010, the individuals allegedly deliberately overpaid a supplier of raw materials by 18 million rubles, causing damages of 23 million rubles to a wholesaler through a corresponding price markup. The investigation is ongoing. 

A former highway inspector in Vladivostok was found guilty of fraud for attempting to illicit a bribe of 15,000 rubles from a stopped motorist. His sentence consisted of a 100,000 ruble fine and a ban from serving in law enforcement for two years.

A deputy in a local municipal council in the city of Bolshoy Kamen’ in the Primorksy Krai has been charged with attempted large-scale fraud. He allegedly fraudulently obtained documents with plans for government repair works and attempted to have the 2.5 million rubles transferred to his private account. He is currently under house arrest while the investigation continues. 

Investigations have concluded in the case of a lieutenant colonel in the city of Khabarovsk who admitted to falsifying documents about the use of diesel fuel with the aim of selling the extra fuel. He was charged with grave misuse of his official position. The damages to the state totaled 2.1 million rubles. 

A local council deputy in the Kamchatsky Krai is suspected of the improper use of more than 8 million rubles during his tenure as head doctor at a local hospital. According to authorities, the deputy authorized excessive salary payments to various individuals.

A criminal case is being considered against officials in the Ol’ginsky Region suspected of falsifying documents about the ordering and delivery of firewood.

The former director of a factory in the city of Bolshoy Kamen’ in the Primorksy Krai has been found guilty of embezzling 29 million rubles by billing for repair and construction works on submarines that had already been carried out by other companies. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and a fine of 550,000 rubles. His reduced sentence was the result of his cooperation with law enforcement.

A senior bailiff in the Partizansky Region is accused of using his authority over two junior bailiffs to demand payments of 4 and 6 thousand rubles. He also stands accused of intentionally not carrying out a court decision ordering the closure of a club on account of safety hazards.

A deputy in the city council of “Poselok Palan“ in the Kamchatsky Krai is being investigated over suspected improper use of government funds during his tenure as director of a local hospital. He allegedly signed off on excessive payroll expenses, causing damages to the the territory’s medical insurance fund of over 8 million rubles. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Drugs and drug trafficking

In the week of September 2-7th, during which the international APEC summit was held in Vladivostok, authorities in the Primorsky Krai seized 179.4 kilograms of narcotics, ranging from marijuana to synthetic drugs.

A trailer truck carrying more than 90 kilograms of marijuana was seized by the drug authorities of the Primorsky Krai and local highwaymen. The driver has a previous criminal record and had just been released from prison in June.

The exposure of a criminal band in the Primorsky Krai has led to the arrest of two individuals charged with the illegal production, sale, or trafficking of drugs on a large scale. In a forest near a small town, investigators discovered equipment for the production of narcotics, communications equipment, and drug materials, including 300 liters of hash oil and 12 boxes of aceton. The arrested face a maximum punishment of 8-20 years imprisonment.

In the Khasansky Region of the Primorsky Krai, three young men were arrested for growing hemp. Over 100 kilograms of the plant were seized and authorities are considering opening a criminal case.

 

Two residents of the Partizansky Region in the Primorsky Krai have been charged with the large-scale possession of marijuana after police uncovered their drug-making site with a stash of 67.9 kilograms of hemp and 27.7 kilograms of marijuana.

Police in the Primorsky Krai destroyed 3.5 tons of wild hemp growing in fallow fields.

A student in the city of Komsomolsk-na-Amur has been arrested for the possession and sale of anabolic steroids, which he had been selling over a Russian social media site. Investigators discovered 8 kilograms of steroids in his possession and allege he sold 50.84 grams, both of which constitute “large-scale” amounts. The student has admitted to all charges; he faces a maximum punishment of 8 years imprisonment.

Police in the Sakhalinsky Oblast arrested three residents of the city of Aniva after discovering 47 kilograms of marijuana in their car.

In a pretrial detention facility in the Amurskaya Oblast, a prison guard intercepted a package of hash oil disguised as the filling in food that was to be passed to an inmate. The individual that brought the package claimed to be doing so for a friend; his story is currently being investigated.

A man has been arrested in the Megino-Kangalassky Region on suspicion of the possession and use of narcotics after police seized 7 kilograms of hash oil.

Two individuals have been arrested and accused of trafficking narcotics after police seized more than 2 kilograms of hash and 491 grams of methadone. The narcotics were found on a passenger on a train from Moscow to Vladivostok; the second arrest was made as another individual attempted to receive the shipment. Local authorities are calling the arrest the first case of a large amount of seized methadone in Russia’s Far East.

Police in the Primorsky Krai have discovered a home being used as a base for heroin users. They confiscated drug paraphernalia and arrested the home’s two owners.

In the city of Ussuriysk, police discovered 58 cannabis plants growing in the courtyard of a private home of a 35-year old male. He has been charged with growing plants that contain a narcotic substance, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 2 years. 

A foreigner has been arrested in the Pervomaisky Region of Vladivostok for the attempted sale of 324 grams of heroin after his recent release on parole from prison due to previous drug charges.

Highway patrollers in Yakutiya seized 44 grams of heroin from a driver on the federal highway “Lena” with an estimated street value of more than 2 million rubles. The driver has been charged with the large-scale illegal trafficking of narcotics.

 

Poaching

Sergey Alekseev has been convicted and fined 120,000 rubles for illegally catching fish while using misusing his official position. Alekseev was found to have illegally failed to report a large catch of fish, specifically of pollack (5,810 kg), navaga (1,341 kg), halibut (498 kg), and greenling (68 kg). The damages to the natural resources of Russia’s coastal resources were estimated at 856,540 rubles.

A man in the city of Arsen’ev in the Primorsky Krai has been charged with illegal hunting, with possible further charges on acquiring or selling property that was knowingly acquired illegally. Police had discovered in his home eight skins of the endangered Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and a large number of other “pieces” of flora and fauna, including eight bear gallbladders, as well as $115,000 and €100. The Siberian Tigers were killed with firearms; experts agree that their deaths represent a huge loss for the endangered animal.

Officials of the FSB border service arrested two men near the town of Nakhodka in the Primorsky Krai after catching them during the attempted smuggling of illegally harvested crabs, specifically, 620 Kamchatka crabs and 20 snow crabs. Total damages were estimated at 270,000 rubles.

Approximately three tons of salmon caviar and 10 tons of fish products without proper documentation were seized during a raid of three underground factories in the Poronaisky Region. Two criminal cases have been lodged.

A captain of a fishing vessel registered in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky has been charged with an administrative offense after officials from the FSB border service discovered 500 kilograms of red caviar on board without documentation, as well as more than 30 kilograms of illegally harvested salmon. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Ecological Crimes 

One resident of the Primorksy Krai has been found guilty of illegally felling trees on a gross scale from two forest areas in the Pozhar Region and was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months imprisonment. Another resident, a former municipal official with the Interior Ministry, was sentenced to two years parole and banned from law enforcement for two years after being convicted of abetting the former on two occasions using falsified documents. Furthermore, the court ordered the two men to reimburse the damages caused by their actions, which were estimated at 8.245 million rubles.

A criminal investigation into illegal forestry has begun in the Magadan Oblast after 448 trees were illegally harvested from a government reserve between February and June 2012. Damages are said to exceed 705,000 rubles.

Write to traccc at traccc@gmu.edu