The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bastrykin, was addressed by an initiative group of citizens with a request to bring to criminal responsibility unidentified persons, who deceitfully impose water treatment equipment on socially unprotected citizens at a price many times higher than the real cost. The perpetrators also mislead victims as to the existence of a State program and a preferential system under which the installation of such equipment is mandatory, with 50% of its cost allegedly subsidized from the budget. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee instructed to immediately arrange a pre-investigative probe on these facts and, if there are grounds, to consider the issue of initiating criminal proceedings.
Upon the conducted probe, the Saint Petersburg Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia launched a criminal investigation under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of Russia (swindling).
On October 23, 2019, investigators of the Regional Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee together with officers of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region detained 10 suspects.
According to the investigation, no later than February 2019, the Director-General of one of the commercial entities had established an organized criminal group to steal the money of socially vulnerable citizens by fraudulent means, where he had involved other accomplices.
From February to October 2019, members of the organized criminal group had committed 7 episodes of fraud against socially unprotected citizens, misleading them about the mandatory purchase and installation of water treatment equipment, causing them material damage of about 400 thousand rubles.
In the course of more than 20 searches, investigators and police officers confiscated items and documents relevant to the investigation.
In addition, measures are being taken to verify the information available on the commission of a number of similar crimes by these persons.
It is being decided upon the suspects’ deterrence and charges. Other possible accomplices to the crime are also being identified.