Investigator Ignashkin’s minutes of fame 

Investigator Ignashkin’s minutes of fame
The professional reputation of the investigator raises many questions Photo: The CrimeRussia

Last week, funny details appeared in the media about the clash of journalists with investigator Vyacheslav Ignashkin. The representative of the ICR made a statement on the harm of the press, considering that its presence hinders the correct course of the investigation of an important corruption case. Meanwhile, the professional reputation of the investigator raises many questions. So, there is, for example, a decree on the separation from a criminal case into a separate proceeding of the facts of extortion of 7 million rubles ($107,000) from a businessman.

The battlefield is the land

This story began in 2011. The Investigative Department of the ICR in the Leningrad region opened a criminal case against the country's boxing champion and deputy of the municipal entity Sverdlovsk urban settlement (Vsevolozhsky district of the Leningrad region) Aleksey Osokin and three of his alleged accomplices, one of whom was former deputy of the municipality Anton Zelentsov. All of them are suspected of fraud with land. 

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Boxing champion and deputy Aleksey Osokin

As they wrote in the media, the case initiated under Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling), was entrusted to Vyacheslav Ignashkin, senior investigator of the Investigative Department of the ICR. At the time of initiation of proceedings, no one was arrested, as well as no one was charged.

According to the investigation, in March-April 2010, a group of suspects forged the title documents for two land plots, the area of which was 30 acres. In addition, the grim shadow of another higher-profile crime hung over the fraud criminal case. So, according to some information, the person involved in this case, the former deputy of the municipality Anton Zelentsov, was also checked for involvement in the murder of Igor Trubin, an adviser to the head of the administration of the municipal entity Sverdlovsk urban settlement. The official was brutally shot in December 2009 in front of his young son. 

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Igor Trubin was shot on March 20, 2009 near house 124, building 5, along the Oktyabrskaya Embankment. The official left the house and proceeded to his car with his son to take him to school. Criminals attacked Trubin, despite the presence of a boy. In April 2012, the defendants jury — the shooter, 27-year-old Tsulanov, the client Babayan, and accomplices of Zheltikov and Gasparyan — were found guilty in full by a jury verdict. The court found the murder of a father in front of a child a murder with extreme cruelty.

This crime is only an illustration of a long and protracted war that went around the "golden" land plots in Vsevolozhsk district. Another illustration is almost hidden behind the scene. 

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Slain head of the Sverdlovsk urban settlement administration Igor Trubin

So, in 2015, the prosecutor's office of the Leningrad region received a statement from a certain businessman M***. In a statement addressed to the prosecutor of the Leningrad region Herman Stadler, the entrepreneur complained about the prosecution by the investigator Vyacheslav Ignashkin. In his opinion, the investigator, together with the homicide department’s task force, subjected him to criminal prosecution in order to transfer to them his property and the property of his companions. It is all about land in Vsevolozhsk district. In addition, this statement also contains familiar names. For example, the surname of Anton Zelentsov and the customer of the murder of Deputy Trubin Babayan. 

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In his complaint, the businessman, for example, describes with literal accuracy how the investigator Ignashkin (see photo) using the good old trick with an appointed lawyer extorts 7 million rubles ($107,000) from him. In addition, the businessman writes that if he does not agree with the proposals of the investigation, he will be arrested and will not live to see the court. By the way, the further fate of this businessman is unknown.

The fate of this businessman is unenviable. As follows from the statement, at first he was simply “milked.” And after the transfer of the required money to the investigation and the execution of necessary actions with the land plots from which the investigator Ignashkin suddenly lifted the arrest, the businessman was still convicted. Although not as severely as the investigation initially promised. True, he reported about illegal actions against himself to the FSB. The result was the initiation of criminal case No. 83545 in relation to a certain D*** for mediation in giving a bribe under Art. 291-1 h. 4 of the Criminal Code. The case was investigated by the 2nd Investigative Department of the Main Investigative Department of the ICR (dislocated in St. Petersburg), transferred to the Main Investigative Department of the ICR in St. Petersburg and returned again to the 2nd Investigative Department of the Main Investigative Department of the ICR for 24 months. As a result, it was terminated due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. How is this possible? Under what circumstances can mediation in giving a bribe on a particularly large scale (a particularly serious crime) turn into arbitrariness (art. 330 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) as a minor offense? 

And this is not the most embarrassing, but the materials allocated in June 2015 from the aforementioned criminal case, including those in relation to investigator Ignashkin about his crimes under Art. Art. 285, 286, 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. As follows from the resolution of the investigator of the 2nd Investigative Department of the Main Investigative Department of the ICR, the selected materials with audio and video recordings were sent to the Main Investigative Department of the ICR in St. Petersburg. The further fate of the materials is unknown. Either they have not gone anywhere, or they are “buried” in the archives of the Main Investigative Department of the ICR in St. Petersburg.

Investigator Ignashkin has been a senior investigator in the 2nd Investigative Department of the Main Investigative Department of the ICR since 2017, that is, in the unit that provided materials for bringing him to criminal liability.

Your fingers smell like a bribe

Now Ignashkin is in charge of two other, also quite high-profile cases. Firstly, the case against the vice-governor of the Pskov region, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, on charges of accepting a bribe on a large scale. Secondly, the case against the "rebels" of the Novgorod ICR, namely, the deputy head of the department for investigating particularly important cases of the ICR of the Novgorod region Arkady Kuzin.  

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Former Vice-Governor of the Pskov Region Aleksandr Kuznetsov

The high-profile arrest of the former, however, was accompanied by rumors. For example, some media alerted some moments. First, the case against the Vice-Governor was initiated on an episode from the distant past. Secondly, some of the details of the charges do not coincide. In addition, many officials from the team of the former governor are confident that Kuznetsov’s arrest is nothing more than a tactical maneuver. And perhaps the case will fall apart, never reaching the court. But if Lieutenant Governor Aleksandr Kuznetsov is a figure in a political game, then everything goes much more complicated with Arkady Kuzin.

As we already wrote, occupying the post of deputy head of the department for the investigation of particularly important cases, Arkady Kuzin entered into a tough official conflict with Colonel Ekaterina Gilina. The latter, as they say, is very friendly with the great leader of the investigator Ignashkin – Deputy Head of the Investigative Committee of the ICR in the Leningrad Region, Sergey Veretennikov. 

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Ekaterina Gilina 

Curious fact. Arkady Kuzin once worked as the head of the anti-corruption legislation enforcement department and in the course of his work prevented criminal frauds with land plots, including in the Vsevolozhsk district. In particular, according to rumors, thanks to the facts revealed by Kuzin, Sergey Veretennikov had to leave the prosecutor's office in due time. Today is difficult to say whether it really was like that. Are there any traces of the latter's vengeance in the form of the initiation of a criminal case against Arkady Kuzin and the transfer of his case to Vyacheslav Ignashkin? The story is still silent about it. But evil tongues say that here the interests of Ekaterina Gilina and Veretennikov could simply coincide.  

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Sergey Veretennikov, Deputy Head of the ICR Investigations Directorate in the Leningrad region

As we have already written, in this case there are a lot of oddities and its logical completion is not expected yet. All possible deadlines for the end of the investigation are coming to an end. But no answers yet. However, maybe these are new, previously little-known forms of the fight against corruption, about which the public in general does not need to know. After all, as noted by the media, the investigator Ignashkin considers the latter exclusively malicious.

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