Unemployed man turned out to be victim in FSB robbers case
A man allegedly borrowed 136.5 million rubles ($2.1 m) from his friends.
A victim in a case of FSB officers, who stole 136 million rubles ($2.1 m) from the office of Metallurg Bank under the guise of operational investigative measures, turned out to be a 33-year-old unemployed resident of a nine-storey house in the south-west of Moscow, RBC reports citing sources from law enforcement bodies. The man told the investigation that he had "borrowed the money from his friends."
According to the victim, in May 2019, he began to look for where one could exchange a large sum in rubles for dollars. One of his acquaintances advised him to turn to some Boris, allegedly connected with the leadership of Metallurg Bank (according to the Central Bank, 89% of the bank belong to 56-year-old GRU officer Yuri Karasev). Within a month, with the help of Boris and their mutual acquaintance, the man came several times to the bank building on Ivana Babushkina Street, where he exchanged rubles for dollars "through the bank’s cash desk." In June, the man decided to exchange 136.5 million rubles using this scheme. The mediator offered him to do it at the rate of 65 rubles 5 kopecks per dollar.
For the exchange, it was necessary to bring the sum to the bank on June 10 at 15:00. The victim turned for help to his friend that had an armored car. The money was taken at the office on the territory of Moskva shopping center in Lyublino. On the afternoon of July 10, the victim and the owner of the armored car, accompanied by armed guards consisting of three natives of Georgia, put two bags with cash (52 million rubles ($823.5 thousand) in each) into the car and drove to the bank office.
The mediator asked the customers to drive up to the back entrance of the building. The car drove into a fenced area around the bank. At the direction of intermediaries, the men brought the bags with cash inside. Immediately after that, about ten people in unmarked uniforms appeared. They demonstrated the decision of the FSB to conduct operational and search activities, took the money and drove away in a taxi.
Police officers explored CCTV and identified a car the attackers got in. Besides that, eyewitnesses were interrogated, and other active search measures were carried out. As a result, the attackers were identified, and evidence - gathered.
In late July, the gathered information was rendered to the Bureau of Internal Affairs of the Federal Security Service. On June 28, the case was rendered to the military investigation department of the Investigative Committee of Russia in Moscow.
In July, operation into detention of the involved was launched. The operation was planned by the Bureau of Internal Affairs of the Federal Security Service. On July 2, searches were carried out at Sputnik facility in the Moscow region’s Balashikha where officers of the Special Forces of the Federal Security Service dwell. Some of the defendants were detained straight in the yard of the main building on Lubyanka. Major of ‘K’ directorate of the Economic Security Service of the Federal Security Service Aleksander Karelin was detained on vacation in Crimea. The Public Relations Centre of the Federal Security Service reported about detention of 2 employees of the Federal Security Service for theft of money from a businessman.
On July 4, Moscow garrison military court delivered its sentence towards 7 accused. Around 10 other employees are being checked into involvement in the crimes. Some of them are put on a wanted list. According to Novaya gazeta, some of the accused fled to the North Caucasus.
One of those who are being checked into involvement in arrangement of crimes was a businessman Boris Karamatov. The investigation theory is that he was an intermediary between the victim and the bank he had ties to. A source of RBC believes that Karamatov is likely to have the most part of the money. His whereabouts is unidentified yet.
Karamatov had earlier been a defendant in a case into murder of a businessman Aleksander Mineev.
Senior executives of Metalurg denies the incident. “There’re also lease takers - besides Metalurg - in the building located on Ivan Babushkin street. Active search measures were carried out,” the statement by the bank says. Reporters of RBC found out that in order to get in the office, it is necessary to contact them via inner number and pass the bank’s building. There were firms tied to the bank’s senior executives among the lease takers.
The investigation of the case into robbery is headed by a deputy head of the first investigative department of the military directorate of Moscow Dmitry Dolgov. The investigation is also carried out by the Bureau for Internal Affairs of the Federal Security Service. Sources of RBC believe the case might lead to investigation of a series of crimes by a group of the central board. There might be accusations of creation of an organized crime group (article 210 of the Criminal Code), abuse of powers (article 286 of the Criminal Code), swindling (article 159 of the Criminal Code), and robbery (article 162 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).