Investigator grasses up accomplices from Black Realtors
Due to his cooperation with the prosecution the accused Vladimir Hramtsov could get the minimum term. Other gangsters he testified against face up to 20 years in a penal colony.
The Police Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Hramtsov, the former officer with the Moscow Investigative Department, involved in the high-profile case of Black Realtors stealing Moscow apartments, fully admitted to his guilt and made a deal with the investigation. Besides, the ex-detective testified against his accomplices. According to Kommersant, Hramtsov’s sentence will now be mitigated – quite an opposite effect his words made on the other gangsters, who are now facing imprisonment in a strict regime colony for up to 20 years.
Vladimir Hramtsov, the former senior officer of the Moscow Investigative Department’s 13th Division, was arrested by the FSB in May 2016 in a criminal case of housing fraud. He was accused of Swindling (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code) and being a member of a criminal syndicate, where he took advantage of his official position (part 3 of Art. 210 of the Criminal Code). Investigators believe the officer used to assist the gangsters engaged in stealing apartments from Muscovites for 11 years. With access to the Internal Affairs’ database, the officer could provide his accomplices with information on dead and missing Muscovites. Typically owners leading an asocial way of life were the ones falling victims to the Black Realtors. Local police are well aware of this type of apartments and keep them under special control. About 10 members of the gang, including several local policemen were arrested in the summer of 2015. On July 1, 2015 the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case of apartment fraud on 5 counts. New charges of criminal syndicate were later added to the file. According to investigators, someone named Shlapak appears to be the gang’s leader, and the detective Vladimir Hramtsov joined the Black Realtors late in 2014.
We should remind that a series of raids in the Moscow’s Head Office followed Hramtsov’s exposure and arrest. Most of 13th Division's staff had been removed from personnel pool and the unit Head Major Dmitry Uraykin had written a letter of resignation pushed by the administration a month before the gang was arrested.
Hramtsov himself was dismissed in June 2016. The Presnensky District Court of Moscow ordered his arrest one of these days. The former official’s defense appealed the court's decision, but lost the case.
The scandal was dubbed by some media as one of the reasons the Moscow Investigative Department had to be restructured. Namely, the Major General Igor Zinoviev, who used to head the Department, was reassigned as the Head of the Eastern District MIA with his previous post still remaining vacant.
Besides, the Federal Security Service suspects that the Black Realtors had been protected by Denis Nikandrov, the First Deputy Head of the Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee in Moscow, who used to accept apartments as bribes.
Since early February, there has been a preventive operation of the National Police of Ukraine in cooperation with the border and migration services called ‘Migrant’. Its aim is to identify and expel thieves in law and foreign crime lords out of the country.