Interview by head of Moscow Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee Vadim Yakovenko to news agency ITAR-TASS

Hundreds of murders and corruption crimes were solved last year - head of Moscow Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee Vadim YAKOVENKO.

Lieutenant General of Justice Vadim Yakovenko, head of Moscow Main Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee told about solving serious crimes in many-million capital city, reasons to develop booklets for school children and amount of loss caused by corruption in the interview to ITAR-TASS on the day the Investigative Committee marks its second anniversary.

- Mr. Yakovenko, Moscow authorities set a task to make the city safe. Your directorate is in charge of investigating the most serious crimes. How well do you manage to make the level of such crimes lower?

- Indeed, law enforcement bodies, including investigators of the Russia’s Investigative Committee have higher responsibility, as it is safety of citizens, their life and health, wellbeing of children. We have done a lot of work in 2012. Serial criminals were held, conspicuous crimes were solved, criminals in the most difficult cases were convicted. Last year investigators investigated almost 7.5 thousand criminal cases and carried out over 18 thousand pre-investigating checks. I should say that it was a serious workload for the staff of Moscow directorate and this is 400 people. Nevertheless, we managed successfully. In cooperation with our colleagues from the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service we solved about 300 murders, 120 facts of deliberate fatal injury to health and about 180 rapes, revealed about 500 facts of corruption, more than 2 billion rubles was returned to the state budget during investigating corruption and economic criminal cases.

- How the level of migration affects the criminal situation in the city?

- People who come from other regions of Russia and foreign citizens have committed in Moscow more than 23 thousand crimes. Unfortunately more than a third of them are serious and especially serious offences. High level of migration is an integral part of life in a large city. Everyday circulation of nine Moscow railway stations alone constitutes to hundreds of thousands of people, including those who come to make some criminal money. I have to admit that last year in Moscow the level of serious and especially serious crimes went up. Considerable contribution to the level of crime was made by Southern and Eastern administrative districts of the capital, being the most conducive to crime. These are the districts, by the way, that accommodate the considerable number of migrants from CIS countries, including those that live in Moscow illegally. The largest number of crimes according to statistics were committed by citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The citizens of the near abroad commit each eighth murder and each third rape. In fact this number can be even bigger as we use only data on already solved crimes when making statistics.

- When Dmitry Vinogradov gunned down his colleagues in the office of Rigla company it stirred great public reaction. What has the investigation shown? Does the number of serious crimes committed using guns – traumatic or fire ones – decline or increase in Moscow?

- The majority of crimes against human life and health are domestic ones, often committed while intoxicated and using anything at hand as a weapon. But the number of murders using firearms is relatively small: 70 out of 447 murders registered in Moscow in 2012, that is only 16%. Nevertheless such crimes always stir wide public reaction. The tragedy in Rigla office was an unprecedentedly cruel way of self-assertion, which took 6 human lives. This was how Vinogradov explained his actions during investigation. In his testimonies he gives explicit details of that day, stressing that he felt much more confident with guns in his hands. His guilt is proved and all necessary investigating operations are complete. Now investigators are waiting for the conclusion of stationary forensic psychological and psychiatric expert examination. I see this situation as a striking example of what a nonsense is all the talks about legalizing firearms.

- What is the situation with murders-for-hire? Resounding this year was the murder of Alexander Dmitriyev, head of micro district Ramenki, the year before murder of Ruslan Akhtakhanov, Chechen public figure was conspicuous. Are these crimes solved?

- Crimes committed on hire, by a criminal group are much more difficult to solve because it is necessary to find the whole chain of accomplices and to collect evidence enough to prove them guilty in procedural way. That is why in the interests of the investigation we try to reveal the as less details of the investigation as possible. As for the criminal case over the murder of Dmitriyev, it is not solved yet. The active work is underway. The experts have not yet found the reason of his death. In the case over murder of Akhtakhanov two accused are already arrested – the direct perpetrator 43-year-old Chechen national Mayrbek Uayev and his accomplice. They have pleaded guilty of a crime motivated by personal dislike. The investigation is carried on.

- It has been a year since investigation of all crimes against minors is under jurisdiction of the Investigative Committee. How urgent is this problem in Moscow?

- Last year in Moscow we launched 726 criminal cases with children as victims. The majority – more than 70% of crimes are robberies, 20% are sexual crimes, a little more than 2% - crimes against children’s life and health. We are especially careful in investigating such crimes paying attention to finding out each fact of a crime, as the term of public isolation of a criminal depends on this. This way, in the criminal case against head of military patriotic club “Young fleet eaglets” Midtsev 90 episodes of sexual abuse of children have already been proved. The victims were found not only in Moscow region, but in other regions of Russia.

A total of 1,203 children were recognized victims in criminal cases investigated by the Moscow Directorate of the Investigative Committee, 30 children died of criminal assaults. Of course we can’t stay indifferent and try to change the situation. This is why our staff together with members of the public council of the Main Investigations Directorate, having analyzed the investigating practice, have developed special booklets for children and their parents. We have shared the experience with the Moscow Region government and now the booklets are recommended to be studied at schools. According to statistics it is minors aged between 10 and 18 who are in the risk group. Investigating practice shows that often children don’t know the elementary rules of safe behavior: they allow the criminal to follow them in deserted streets, follow them into front doors of the buildings the live in or lift, open doors to strangers, sit in unknown cars. If these booklets save even one child from the assault, they were developed not for nothing.

- Is it true that a number of corruption crimes are going down in Moscow? What is the loss and do you manage to compensate it?

- Last year in Moscow we initiated over 400 criminal cases over bribery, exceeding and abuse of official powers and swindling using official position. But investigators of the Committee have no right to perform search and investigating operations, so the number of cases depends on the number of files sent by field services to our address.

Nonetheless, I think we successfully continued to fight against corruption in 2012. The loss inflicted on state by this category of crimes is estimated at almost 1 billion 200 million rubles, we have managed to return 250 million as early as during investigation. We have successfully investigated a number of cases. For example, two former deputy directors of Moscow municipal engineering policy department A.N. Levchenko and K.Y. Korolevsky are under investigation. Their actions are qualified as a crime under article 286 of the RF Criminal Code (exceeding official powers) and they have already been charged. It has been found that under the state program “People’s garage” more than 90 million rubles was stolen and this is not the final sum of the loss.

Chancellor of Russian State Agrarian University (Timiryazev Moscow Agriculture Academy) Bautin has also been prosecuted. According to investigators, in 2004-2005 he together with accomplices among officials of the University signed a number of fictitious job execution contracts for more than 4 million rubles with non-economic organizations and paid them the money without any documentary confirmation. In addition, it has been found that in the period between 2004 and 2010 Bautin illegally alienated from the ownership of the Russian Federation 83 flats that were managed by the University. There are other cases over corruption. Namely, former deputy director of Bureau of Ecological Analysis in Moscow Mileshin was caught red-handed while receiving 800 thousand rubles as a so called kickback under a subcontract on works in natural and historic park Moskvoretsky and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Head of inquiry department of Interior Ministry in Zamoskvorechie district Tuchkov has also been convicted of assisting in making a decision on initiating a criminal case. And this list can be continued. Traditionally the most of crimes are revealed in law enforcement sphere.

- This year your directorate has set up a new department for investigating crimes committed by law enforcement officers. Are there any results of their work yet?

- Indeed, in 2012 there was set up an absolutely new department for investigating crimes committed by law enforcement officials. The main result of their activity is protecting people’s rights, and first of all their life and health. At the end of the year a criminal case against two operative agents of Directorate of Federal Drug Service of the South Eastern Administrative District of Moscow was sent to court. They had detained a man for no reason and had illegally received 760 thousand rubles for releasing him. Two staffers of special purpose quick response forces of Moscow Main Directorate of the Russia’s Interior Ministry were prosecuted for organizing a robbery of Chinese People’s Republic citizens transporting large sums of money. Another outrageous fact is a criminal case against policemen of Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district, who set up an organized criminal group. They planned to abduct self-employed taxi-drivers to extort money, steal their cars and then kill the victims. They rented a house with a piece of land in the Moscow Region where they were going to hold the victims. The first and, thanks to efforts of law enforcement bodies, last victim of the criminals was Agayev. They lured him in the Moscow Region, killed, stole his car and started to extort money from his relatives. Using their official position as policemen the criminals tried to get information on the progress of investigation into Agayev’s disappearance. Thanks to quick and thoroughly thought through joint actions of investigators of the Main Investigations Directorate and staffers of Central Federal District Main Directorate of the Russia’s Interior Ministry the crime was solved in the shortest time, the criminals were detained and prevented from committing other crimes.

- How high is the level of tax crimes revealed in Moscow?

- The tax crimes are revealed rarer than in previous years. Under the current legislation the criminal proceedings over tax crimes can only be launched based on the materials of the Federal Taxation Service. However, I think the results are high. This way, over the two years since amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation concerning change of jurisdiction, the investigators of the Moscow Directorate have carried out more than a thousand procedural checks, launched more than 170 criminal cases, almost 100 of them have been sent to court or dismissed due to compensation of losses to the budget system. The factual result of this work is reimbursement to federal budget and budget of Moscow of more than 3.7 billion rubles. Based on the results of criminal investigations and considering the materials of procedural checks in 2012 the budget got 2 billion rubles of unpaid taxes.

- Following the Investigative Committee the Moscow crime detection departments set up offices for investigating serious crimes of past years. Are there many unsolved cases of the “turbulent 90s” in Moscow?

- Definitely there are many of them, but in our every-day work we consistently return to unsolved crimes of past years. This is one of the priority areas of our activity connected with implementing the principle of unavoidable punishment. In 2012 there were 205 criminal cases over past crimes under investigation and 79 cases over more than 100 episodes of criminal activity were sent to court. This way we have solved the 15-year-old murder of Sukharev, former director of Seleznyovsky baths. The samples seized from the crime scene have allowed us many years later to find a witness, who was convicted in 2009 and accordingly her data were put in forensic database. She gave exhaustive testimony as to the circumstances of the murder. Based on this information the organizer of the crime was found and apprehended, it was the victim’s deputy – Smirnov. The motive of the murder was financial differences between the men on the eve of the legal investigation of the civil action which was not for benefit of the accused. Another example is a rape and robbery of an underage girl in a woodland park near Kutuzovsky Prospekt. To solve the crime investigators for a long time studied the materials over other robberies with similar style and found the criminal. He has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and is now serving his time.

- What will you wish to your staffers and colleagues on the second anniversary of the Investigative Committee?

- I wish first of all sound health and wellbeing in their families, professionalism, courage and strength to perform their duty to the benefit of Russian people.