Transbaikalian customs officers convicted of multimillion-ruble bribes per tariff
Senior customs officers received bribes from businessmen, importing commercial goods under the guise of personal belonging, at one of the largest border crossing points on the border with China.
Former chief of the Chita Сustoms in the Trans-Baikal region Andrey Belyaev was found guilty in the creation of an organized criminal group, which regularly received bribes as per tariff.
The сourt found that Belyaev created the criminal group, which included his three deputies, Maksim Yakimov, Bair Sodnomov and Dmitry Litvinenko, in 2013. Senior customs officers received bribes from businessmen, importing commercial goods under the guise of personal belonging, at one of the largest border crossing points on the border with China. At the customs control post №2, multilateral automobile check point (MAPP) Zabaykalsk, Chita Customs imposed the tariff - 500 rubles ($9) for every 50 kg of goods. At least half of bribes deputies handed Belyaev. Senior customs officers earned more than 4.5 million rubles ($78 300).
There were seized acquired by criminal means property, including cars Toyota Land Cruizer 200, Lexus GX 570, BMW X1, large sums of money in rubles and foreign currency. Properties worth over 20 million rubles were attached.
Andrey Belyaev is sentenced to 16 years in a strict regime penal colony and a fine of 170 million rubles ($2.960.000). Maksim Yakimov is jailed for 12 years and sentenced to the fine of 40 million rubles ($696.000). Criminal proceedings against Bair Sodnomov and Dmitry Litvinenko were separated and the court considerated it earlier. They are jailed for 7.5 years of probation and fines. Another one Belyaev's deputy, who was not a part of the criminal group, Sergey Varfalameev also was found guilty of bribery and sentenced to 11 years in prison and a fine of 9 million rubles ($156.600).
In addition, law enforcement officers previously prosecuted another 20 customs inspectors, earning for bribes. According to the investigation, during 2013-2014 customs officials received bribes totaling more than 1.5 million rubles ($26.100). Eight corrupt officials were sentenced to imprisonment for the term from 3 to 6 years, further 12 ex-customs officers fined from 300 thousand to 9.5 million rubles. The court also sentenced 7 locals to fines from 900 thousand to 4.5 million rubles for bribes and smuggling goods.
The ICR has reported on solving the murder of Ilya Pichko, who had been due to testify in the high-profile case of smuggling at the hearing on December 18. The search for the head of Yugo-Vostochnaya Torgovaya Kompaniya began after he failed to appear at the hearing scheduled for December 11.