$10.2 million found in old couch in St. Petersburg during searches

$10.2 million found in old couch in St. Petersburg during searches
The seized money Photo: Fontanka

The operation was carried out within disclosure of a network of companies engaged in cash funds. Its organizers managed to earn about 50 million rubles ($847 thousand).

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Russian Federal Security Service uncovered a network of firms that were engaged in illegal banking activities - cashing in large sums of money in St. Petersburg. All these firms managed to cash in more than 644 million rubles ($10 million). They made a profit of 55 million rubles ($847 thousand), the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs states.

"The operatives found that on the territory of St. Petersburg, a group of scammers have registered several fictitious companies for the front men. On their settlement accounts 'clients' listed money for the subsequent cashing in. The commission of underground bankers was 8%", the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported.

605 million rubles ($10 million) were found in the old couch during a search in one of the apartments, according to the sources of the publication in Fontanka.ru. There were five thousand denominations, the weight of which was 130 kg. On December 13, within the investigation of this case, 35 searches were carried out in 24 apartments and 11 offices of companies in St. Petersburg. All companies that participated in cashing were registered in 2014-2015, in each of them there were up to five people.

A large amount of cash was found in the apartment in the house number 9 on Gastello Street in the Moscow district of St. Petersburg. The money was hidden in the couch, hundreds of packs of five thousand bills were wrapped, packed in a million, the source said. It took several hours for their recounting for the operatives. The 54-year-old accountant, from a company that sold cigarettes, owned the house.

According to Fontanka, 33-year-old Petersburger Andrey Ahmadov was the organizer of the scheme. The status of the suspects after the searches was given to six people, the agency's interlocutors specified. The operation was carried out by employees of the tax department of the Department for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption of the Main Investigation Department of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, as well as the banking department of the Russian Federal Security Service’s economic security service in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.

The criminal case was instituted in accordance with part 2 of Art. 172 of the Criminal Code (Illegal Banking in an organized group with the extraction of income on an especially large scale). The publication notes that the amount from the sofa became the largest seized in the course of investigative actions in the history of not only St. Petersburg, but also the whole northwest of Russia.

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