Two men from Saint-Petersburg sentenced to life in prison for attacks on money collectors

Saint-Petersburg City Court has found evidence collected by Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee sufficient to convict Sergey Yegorov and Maxim Ponomaryov. Depending on the role of each one they were found guilty of crimes under part 1 of article 209 of the RF Criminal Code, paragraphs “a”, “b”, “f”, “g” and “h” of part 2 of article 105, paragraphs “a”, “b” and “c” of part 4 of article 162, part 2 of article 167, article 222 (banditry, murder, robbery, deliberate damage of property, illegal handling of firearms).

According to investigators, Yegorov and Ponomaryov in Saint-Petersburg set up a gang in 1996 to rob citizens and organizations. As the objects of robberies they chose persons working as money collectors and transporting large and especially large sums of money. For this purpose they had two submachine guns and a pistol.

Yegorov and Ponomaryov together developed detailed plans of robberies, distributed roles in the crimes and money received by robberies among themselves. Preparing for each crime they carefully watched the victims, determined the robbery time and vehicles, including the ones purchased especially for robberies, chose and prepared weapons, not using any of them twice.

From the money obtained during the crimes the accused allocated enough sums to purchase cars and communications means (radio stations), used for new attacks. The money obtained during the crimes was for a long time the main source of funds for the accused.

On 8 July 2005, the accomplices attacked two money collectors and a security guard in North Western Excise Customs and Motor Vehicles Customs Registration Center ZAO ROSTEK-Severo-Zapad (CJSC) in Saint-Petersburg. Ponomaryov killed one of the money collectors from the submachine gun. The accused stole more than 1 million 500 thousand rubles and more than $200 thousand, as well as submachine gun AKS-74, TT and IZH-71 pistols.

For the next assault the accused bought two cars and a pram to discretely deliver the submachine gun to the place of attack. On 28 December 2012, the accused attacked two money collectors near the commercial bank Loko-Bank at 168, Leninsky Prospekt. They gunned them with AK-74 and TT. The attackers stole more than 25 million rubles and ran to the cars they had left close by. But on the way to the cars through courtyards of numbers 184 and 166 inn Leninsky Prospekt they encountered a man who was walking his dog and Yegorov killed him.

To conceal the traces of the crime the accused sawed up the guns used during crimes and threw them away in different parts of the city. Having found the parts of the guns, investigators assigned traceological and ballistic examinations which confirmed that the money collectors had been killed from these guns. By the way, Yegorod and Ponomaryod were very careful about spending the money. For example, to buy a car one of them took a bank loan to not to be suspected of anything by his close circle.

In addition the investigator has information that Yegorod and Ponomaryov were involved in three more attacks committed in 2002 and 2007 and stole about 30 million rubles. This information will be checked during another criminal investigation.

The Court sentenced Yegorov and Ponomaryov to imprisonment for life.