Samara region MIA Main Directorate Deputy Head stands up for gang leader Vyacheslav Trikoz
The lawyer considers this “abnormal for the Russian legal reality”.
Tolyatti saw the beginning of trial of Vyacheslav Trikoz, who is accused of extortion of 2.5 million rubles ($36.8 thousand) from 33-year-old local Nikolay Alekseyev, Kommersant reports. According to sources of the media outlet in operational services, Trikoz helms one of the local organized criminal groups specializing in attacks on entrepreneurs and drug trafficking. He is charged with Extortion committed by an organized group by previous concert (part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal). During the trial, it turned out that back in the USSR Trikoz was convicted of Sale of Drugs (Art. 224 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). Later he was tried for the Sale of Property Knowingly Obtained in a Criminal Manner (Art. 175 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and Robbery committed by an organized group (part 3 of Art. 161 of the Criminal Code).
Trikoz was detained by FSB officers overnight into May 1 of this year in 40-year-old Victory Street in Tolyatti. According to the reports of the security forces partaking in the detention, police officers Alexander Pertsev and Artem Illarionov were near the house where Trikoz was. Employees with the security services recorded telephone conversations between the security forces and the suspect. It is assumed that Illarionov and Pertsev could try to help Trikoz avoid detention.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Pertsev, who held the position of Head of the 3rd Division of the Center for Countering Extremism until February 2018, and his subordinate Major Artem Illarionov already got on the radar of the Samara region FSB. In December 2016, an arsenal of weapons and extremist literature was discovered in the office of MSA Stroy, which rented premises on the territory of Tolyattiazot (ToAZ). According to the investigation, the prohibited items were planted in the office of MSA Stroy to discredit its Head, Magomed Shishkhanov, and the plant’s management. That said, the crime was pulled off with the participation of Tolyattiazot security staff.
The members of the criminal group that orchestrated the planting, have been monitored for about a year. In January 2018, Oleg Antoshin, former Head of ToAZ security, Alexey Alekseyev, his Deputy, Sergey Sokolov, former Head of Boris Berezovsky’s security, and Ruslan Milchenko, Head of the Analytics and Business information center, were rounded up. The Lefortovo Court of Moscow arrested all four of them on suspicion of Illegal Sale of Firearms (Art. 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and Explosives (Art. 222.1 of the Criminal Code). The FSB believes that if the special services had not intervened, the cooked-up case against Shishkhanov and ToAZ leadership could have been run by Pertsev and Illarionov. At that time, they were not brought to justice, however, they were repeatedly interrogated, and Center for Countering Extremism itself was rummaged.
After the incident at ToAZ, Pertsev and Illarionov were demoted. Two weeks after the arrest of Antoshin and the other defendants in the case, Pertsev was transferred to the position of security officer of the investigative unit for ensuring state protection of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Samara region, and Illarionov took the post of security officer of the MIA of Russia in the Krasnoyarsk district of the region.
The police officers worked in Center for Countering Extremism under the leadership of Alexey Maksimov, who currently holds the post of Deputy Chief of Police for Operational Work of the Main Directorate of the Russian MIA for the Samara region. After the detention of Trikoz, Maksimov sent an appeal to the Chairman of the Avtozavodsky District Court Boris Nikolayev, in which he said that the defendant had helped the staff of the Russian MIA’s Main Directorate for the Samara region to curb the preparation for contract killings of three citizens and asked to take this fact into account when pronouncing the sentence.
The FSB believes that Trikoz could be associated with both detainees in the ToAZ case and with the Samara police. During the last court session, the accused voiced a threat to witness Igor Gitsa, who used to be a member of a criminal group. Trikoz said: "I see this person for the last time in my life."
Alexander Kazus, partner of law firm Delovoy Farvater (Business Water-Way), deems that Maksimov’s appeal to the judge is “abnormal for the Russian legal reality,” since usually law enforcement officers set themselves the task to bring the accused to justice rather than to help them avoid it. Conversely, according to the expert, the right to render one or other verdict remains with the court.