Probe launched in Saint-Petersburg in illegal dealing of firearms from EU countries

The Saint-Petersburg investigating bodies of the Russia’s Investigative Committee have opened a criminal investigation in illegal dealing in firearms (part 3 of article 222 of the RF Penal Code) based on the records provided by officials of regional offices of the Russian Ministry of the Interior and Federal Security Service.

According to investigators, official of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Region Office of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service Mikhail Svetlov, in order to organize an illegal firearms business set up an organized criminal group consisting of an official of the Special Fast Response Office of the saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Region Main Office of the Russian Ministry of the Interior Mikhail Moshkin and residents of Saint-Petersburg – Leonid Svetlov, Maksim Romanov, Konstantin Dankov, Yuri Karachev and Pavel Peshkov. Members of the group bought in European Union countries a considerable number of pistols, a submachine gun, ammunition and parts of firearms and illegally imported them in Saint-Petersburg and stored them in their houses. They planned to sell the stock.

On 13 August 2015, investigators and officials of regional offices of the Federal Security Service and Ministry of the Interior searched the houses of the members of the group, found there and confiscated over 100 items of firearms, including Walter P99, Star SA, Glock, a large amount of ammunition and a large number of main parts of firearms – barrels for pistols, frames and other parts.

At present the suspects are detained, custodial restrained is expected. Investigative and search operations are underway to find out all the circumstances of the crime and other crimes committed by the suspects.

According to the investigators, the criminal group has been acting for a long time and transported a large number of illegal guns to different regions of Russia. The members of the group did not worry about whose hands the guns would end in. We have information that among others, the guns went to some criminal groups. And now the investigators are going to find out if the guns, pistols and submachine guns were used to commit crimes. The suspects are most probably not the last link in this criminal chain.

Head of Media Relations                                                                                                                              V.I. Markin