“Pay the debt, bitch!” - TOP-10 egregious cases of collectors’ lawlessness
On 1 January 2017 a long-awaited law on regulating the actions of collectors comes into effect. This document should put an end to the lawlessness of professional debts’ collectors.
During the last years, collectors were using gaps in the legislation, which allowed them to act tougher, more impudent and more fearless. Private debt collectors were ready to exhaust, cripple and kill even for the scantiest debts in the best traditions of the 90s. Law enforcement authorities often did not want to undertake small affairs, leaving people in hands of the collectors. Reports from media on insult and prosecution of the debtors, their relatives and even people, who never borrowed money, became everyday routine.
However, even among collectors-extremists there are champions; those who not only crossed the line, but left it fat behind. In this TOP the CrimeRussia collected 10 most egregious, shocking examples of lawlessness of the collectors, who became impudent from impunity.
Threatened to cut off a hand
The biggest pleasure for collectors always was mockery over defenseless.
In September 2014 employees of Russian Standard bank began to exasperate female resident of Novosibirsk. They demanded form her to return her mother’s debt in the amount of 158 thousand rubles. After the first conversation with the collectors, the woman addressed to the bank, which confirmed that she was not an agreement party and was not obliged to pay the debt.
However, that did not confuse collectors, and they continued the visits and calls. They also did not pay attention to the fact that the woman is a disabled person of group II and suffers from severe form of diabetes. As the time went, the collectors became more impudent. During one of the visits they promised to cut off the woman’s hand, and to sell a debt to Chechen people, hinting that they will not go easy on her or her juvenile daughter.
The victim was not frightened of the pressure and filed a lawsuit against Russian Standard with the requirement about payment of moral compensation in the amount of 500 thousand rubles. Bank acted on the side of his employees, declaring that they acted according to a technique of work with clients with problem debt. However, the testimonies and conversations’ records confirmed words of the woman. The court satisfied her claim, but at the same time, significantly lowered a compensation amount to 30 thousand rubles.
Wrote obituary for one-year-old girl
There is nothing sacred for the collectors except their own benefits. In their attacks they will stop at nothing, even at attacking small children.
At the end of 2015, resident of Novosibirsk took the credit of 15 thousand rubles to purchase clothes for his newborn daughter. Soon, he lost his work and was not able to pay the debt in time, after what his family fell victim of persecution from collectors.
Along with threats to life and to health of relatives, the collectors posted on the Internet announcement of provision of sexual services with a photo of the debtor’s wife. The apotheosis of the collectors’ fantasy was a leaflet in the form of the obituary of the one-year-old daughter of the non-payer with a sign: “Daughter of Anna and Anton, who died suddenly. We remember, we love, we grieve”. It became a last straw for the badgered family - they contacted the police.
Soonб the staff of the microfinancial organization (MFO), responsible for distribution of offensive materials, were detained by law enforcement agencies. A criminal case under part 2 of Art. 128.1 (Defamation in a public statement, publicly shown product or mass media) was initiated against them.
Photo: leaflet made by the collectors of Novosibirsk
Threat to explode kindergarten
On December 21, 2015 in the city of Salsk of the Rostov Region an employee of a collection agency invented an original method of knocking-out debts – telephone terrorism. The execution creditor called kindergarten where the debtor worked and told that if she did not return money, the educational institution would be blown up. Being in panic, the teachers started to take out children, who came back from a New Year's morning performance, from the building. Quickly arrived law enforcement officials evacuated 151 children and 23 adults.
Police officers carried out a careful search, but could not find any destructive devices. Without delay field investigators caught the telephone terrorist directly on a workplace. It was 26-year-old resident of Azov working as a specialist in debt collection in one of the Rostov credit institutions. The Pervomaysky Regional Court of Rostov sentenced the collector to 10 months of colony settlement and a penalty in the amount of 25 thousand rubles.
Video: collector threatened to blow up a kindergarten
Paralyzed the work of the hospital
In their thirst of a profit, collectors are ready to literally walk over corpses and the quantity of these corpses does not matter to them. So in December of last year, a collector actually paralyzed work of one of the largest hospitals of Chelyabinsk, threatening the work of the institution and life of its patients.
It all started, when in March, 2015 nurse of rehabilitation department of the hospital №3 Nadezhda took 5 thousand rubles in the MFO. According to her, she returned 10 thousand rubles in a month. However, the organization did not issue any documents confirming the payment. A month later the woman started to receive calls from collectors, who began to require 35 thousand rubles from the woman. Soon, the staff of the MFO started to call Nadezhda’s colleagues – they called to all departments of the hospital, including the intensive care unit and ambulance substation, where no one even knew about the existence of such employee.
Besides that, the mockeries were followed by the threatening in entrance hall, which has become standard for the collectors. On her entrance door the woman found a not of the following content: “Pay the debt, bitch, or you will wake up on ashes, you will sleep in a box from under refrigerator. Relatives will sweat because of you. Collection agency”.
Photo: message from collectors of Chelyabinsk
Without receiving the desirable, the execution creditors used their sophisticated imagination. They installed a special program, which put hospital phones on a callback, thus blocking them. Actually the hospital was cut off from the outside world: doctors could not go on emergency calls, relatives could not learn about the patients’ condition. After that, the staff of the institution went to prosecutor’s office. Regional Administration of Federal Security Service got down to it. But it even then collectors promised big problems to the health workers because of the appeal to law enforcement agencies.
A criminal case under part 1 of Art. 330 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Arbitrariness) was initiated over preventing of work of public institution.
Video: Chelyabinsk collectors blocked work of a hospital
11-year-old girl tried to commit suicide
In this case, it was again a child, who suffered from the extremists. In April, 2014 in St. Petersburg 11-year-old Lila Ismailova, who was frightened of continuous threats from phone calls from collectors, jumped off from the tenth floor of the house on Pribrezhnaya Street of Nevsky district. Before a fatal step, the schoolgirl left a note in which she wrote to parents, that soon people would come to them to collect the debt.
At the same time, it was clarified that the serviceman’s family had no debts - a defaulter was son of former hostess of the apartment. However, it did not confuse the execution creditors, and they continued to mock the child by phone, while her parents were not at home.
By miracle the child managed to survive. According to mother, the girl had severely damaged the brain stem. She endured eight surgeries, and the full recovery will take two years.
The collectors, who were calling the girl, have never been found. All records of the telephone conversations happening in MFO in day of the suicide attempt of the child were erased.
Photo: victim Lila Ismailova
Completely shaved a woman
Collectors are masters when it comes to mockeries and humiliations. In Yelets of the Lipetsk Region the collectors invented a sophisticated way to punish debtors.
At the beginning of 2015, a married couple living in the city of Yelets took 15 thousand rubles in an MFO, but could not return them in time. After that collectors applied their standard moves: threats by phone and sticking-up of offensive announcements at the entrance. However, without receiving the desirable, the staff of MFO rushed into the apartment of the victims, beaten the 40-year-old head of the family and completely shaved his wife. Eventually, they stole 3 mobile phones and left.
Soon two collectors were detained. Those were two residents of Lipetsk of 34 and 37 years. Both detainees remained under arrest.
Video: collectors, who completely shaved a woman detained
Committed suicide because of debts
The egregious occasion took place in December, 2015 in the Moscow region, where the 27-year-old police officer Ilya Grachev driven to despair by mockeries of collectors committed suicide.
Official calls and SMS notices from Leto Bank and Russian Standard, which both the policeman and his parents received, turned into threats from the collection agencies. Grachev's father repeatedly offered him help in repayment of the debt, however the young man refused, hoping to pay off independently.
Gradually the collectors became more impudent and sophisticated. Soon the announcements containing offensive information on the intimate services, which are allegedly provided by the police officer and his family for money, emerged. Such leaflets were unstuck at an entrance and were scattered in mailboxes.
The father of the dead Gennady Grachev told about the situation in detail. According to him, in his last letter his son told about numerous debts, which he was not able to pay. According to Grachev Sr., in this case it was about bringing to suicide.
There is still no information on whether a criminal case over the fact of the police officer’s suicide was initiated or not.
Photo: the police officer Ilya Grachev, who committed suicide
Beat and kidnapped a debtor
In 2008 the resident of Aleksin city had a car accident, after what he appeared to owe money to the owner of the broken car. He did not have money for payment of a full amount and thus he was paying the debt in small parts for two years. But all of a sudden, the broken car’s owner met owner of the collection organization Gepard-Aleksin Aleksander Muratov, who suggested redeeming his debt. Without thinking twice, the creditor agreed.
After that, the debtor received threats from the execution creditors requiring in addition to an outstanding sum in the amount of 200 thousand rubles, pay 200 thousand more for efforts.
Further became known only thanks to the foresight of the victim who installed hidden camera in his apartment. It captured the moment, when Muratov and his accomplice Evgeny Ryabov intruded in the apartment of the man and began to beat him. They even hit them with a stool, which literally collapsed in their hands from the struck blows. After this, debtor was brought to office of the agency where he was shot by an air gun and agreed to sign the debenture on 400 thousand rubles. However, the torturers did not know that the police had already been looking for them - the victim’s girlfriend saw the record from the camera and addressed to law enforcement agencies.
Despite incontestable proofs, the collectors denied their fault, telling that everything on the record was organized. However, the court did not believe the execution creditors; Muratov received 15 years of maximum security penal colony and a penalty of 250 thousand rubles, Ryabov – 11 years of colony and 100 thousand penalty.
Video: collectors a beating and kidnapping a debtor
Was killed for 1000 rubles
Often specialists in collection of debts go from threats to direct physical impact. In October, 2014 in Perm, collectors, without calculating force, caused the debtor injuries incompatible with life.
The story started in 2013, when 24-year-old Andrey Chernykh took a loan in 1000 rubles from the Damdengi company. According to the staff of the company, he refused to repay debts and was answering to all the calls saying: “I don’t have any money, leave me alone”. As a result, Andrey was called for a serious talk. The required debt had already constituted 300 thousand rubles. The young man agreed to come and took his friend, Nikita Palyanov with him. The meeting was to take place in the yard of the house on Milchakov Street, near the residence of Chernykh.
However, there was no conversation - the arrived collectors began to beat the young people without delay. According to one of Nikita’s friends, the beaters jumped on the head of Palyanov, who had nothing to do with the debt. A week later after the "conversation" the young man died.
Representatives of the company did not express any regrets concerning the event, accusing the victims of escalation of the conflict. According to the Manager of the MFO, the young people got personal.
The employee of Damdengi Artem Yefimov was detained without delay, then his accomplice was put on the wanted list. As a result both murderers received major terms: Yefimov was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment, and his accomplice – for 10 years.
Video: collectors killed for 1000 rubles
Burning a baby alive
In January of this year in Ulyanovsk, former law enforcement officer, and at that time – collector, Dmitry Yermilov thrown Molotov cocktail into a window of the house of 56-year-old Ismail Guseynov. As a result of the arisen fire, two-year-old grandson of Guseynov, whom the grandfather rescued from fire getting sever injuries, suffered. The boy received burns to 40% of the body.
At the same time, according to the victim, the execution creditor had already been in his house before, not once. He had an opportunity to study carefully the arrangement of rooms and he knew exactly that he was throwing Molotov cocktail into the room of the child.
Photo: injured grandson of Ismail Guseynov
Terrorization of the man began because of a credit in the amount of 4 thousand rubles which he took to purchase drugs. The credit considerably grew after certain time. Anyway, Guseynov could not repay the debt in time, after what Yermilov began terrorizing him. Exhausted by constant threats, the man managed to pay 30 thousand rubles. However, this did not satisfy the claimant. He came for another part of the debt in the amount of 10 thousand rubles and decided to pass from threats to actions. He threw Molotov cocktail in a window of the room of the two-year-old kid then he quietly got into his car and left.
Shortly the former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was detained. It became clear that the ex-militiaman was dismissed from law enforcement bodies in 2008 in the rank of the captain after criminal cases under Art 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Theft) and Art 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abuse of Official Powers) were initiated against him. His guilt was proved, and then Yermilov spent three years in a colony settlement. After he went form prison the former security officer was engaged in knocking-out of debts. As it became clear after the detention, it was not the first case of anarson in the collector’s pit - two female residents of Ulyanovsk reported about two similar cases.
According to law enforcement authorities, Yermilov was not an employee of MFO, and he extorted money from Guseynov's family personally for himself.
Unfortunately, it often happens that collectors, who cross the line, appear on freedom, but in this case the arsonist was not left unpunished – he was sentenced to 8 years in maximum security penal colony.
Video: hearing against the collector, who almost burned a child to death
Zaur Dadaev, who is imprisoned for the murder of politician Boris Nemtsov, may soon be put in stricter conditions of detention. Being sent for any, sometimes contrived violations of the regime in a punitive confinement (SHIZO), Dadaev is being forced to pass a check on the lie detector and give evidence on the Nemtsov case.
The video showing prisoner being tortured by officers of the Yaroslavl correctional camp No. 1 (IK-1), which was published on July 20, caused a public outcry and the initiation of a criminal case by the Investigative Committee. However, a year ago, an ICR officer found no exceeding of official powers in the video, thus justifying the torture.
A large-scale purge of thieves in law, which started shortly after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s coming to power, continues in Armenia. After receiving threats of arrests, thieves were taken in custody for carrying weapons and drugs.
However, the thief, who is currently dividing the spheres of influence in Ukraine’s Odessa region with Antimoz Kukhilava through his representatives, has been sentenced in absentia. Mindiya Goradze is not in Georgia at the moment.