The evidence gathered by the Tyumen Regional Office of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation was found to be sufficient by the court to sentence four residents of Tyumen, four residents of Yekaterinburg, and two individuals born in the People’s Republic of China. They were found guilty under Part 3 of Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia (illegal currency transactions on a large scale committed by an organised group).
The investigation and the court established that, from April to December 2014, the members of the group had transferred 595 million roubles to accounts of Chinese companies. The illegal withdrawal of foreign currency to China had been arranged on fictitious grounds under the guise of non-existent contracts with a Chinese IT-company. On the Russian side, the group had involved business entities that had not conducted any activities other than criminal. The entities had been created by eight members of the financial group, residents of Tyumen and Sverdlovsk Regions.
The group had had global reach; its criminal activity had been supported in China by one of the accomplices and the organized criminal group leader, who is on the international wanted list. His main function had been to provide the organized group members in Russia through their partners – China citizens – with the details of Chinese shell companies, specimens of signature and personal stamps of companies’ executives. All of that had been used to prepare forged international commercial contracts.
Most of the entities had been specialising in computer software and games development.
Several more people had participated in the financial schemes. Particularly, a resident of Verkhnyaya Pyshma and a United Kingdom citizen. He had been one of the most active participants who had organized a sort of management in the criminal community. The man accepted an immunity agreement and pleaded guilty. His probe was decided to present separately.
Similarly, a case of a 33-year-old woman from Tyumen would be presented separately. She cooperated with the investigators as well.
In 2017, the Tyumen citizens got suspended sentences.
Due to the large number of committed crimes, the investigators of the Tyumen Regional Office of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation had been investigating the criminal case for over two years. In June 2017, the probe into ten perpetrators was completed and transferred to the Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Yekaterinburg at the place of the commission of the main offence.
The probe amounted to more than 250 volumes. The investigators conducted over 20 searches at the convicts’ residences in Tyumen and Yekaterinburg. About 100 persons were questioned as witnesses. About 80 forensic examinations and technical studies were performed. Under an initiative of the Tyumen Regional Office of the Investigative Committee, the business activities of the companies involved in the withdrawal of foreign currency abroad were inspected by the Tyumen and Sverdlovsk Regional Departments of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation, as well as by Federal Financial and Budgetary Supervisory Service of both regions, the results of which allowed the investigation to conclude fictitious activities of the enterprises and international financial and economic relations that had become the subject of inquiry.
All ten members of the organized group were sentenced by the court in accordance with their part in the criminal activities. Thus, two of them were sentenced to 6.5 years of imprisonment in general regime penal colony and 500,000 roubles fines each; three – to 5.5 years of imprisonment in general regime penal colony and 200,000 roubles fines each; three more – to 5 years of imprisonment in general regime penal colony and 200,000 roubles fines each; as for two others, their imprisonment was replaced by a suspended sentence.