Penitentiary Service and SWAT officers' gang traded Glocks and Beretta guns from Europe 

Penitentiary Service and SWAT officers' gang traded Glocks and Beretta guns from Europe
Weapons seized from gang members during searches Photo: ICR Main Investigations Directorate in the Leningrad region

In St. Petersburg, investigation into the high-profile case against a member of an OCG, engaged in the smuggling of pistols and rifles from the EU, has been completed. Over 100 units of firearms were detained during searches.

As reported by the press service of the ICR Main Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg, the criminal case against OCG member Dmitry Bogdanov had been referred to the prosecutor's office for confirmation of the indictment.

Dmitry Bogdanov has fully admitted his guilt and cut a deal with the investigation.   

Members of the organized crime group, active in St. Petersburg, are charged under part 1, 3 of Art. 222 of the Russian Criminal Code (Illegal Acquisition, Transfer, Sale, Storage, Transportation, or Bearing of Firearms, Its Basic Parts, Ammunition, Explosives, and Explosive Devices), part 3 of Art. 226.1 (Smuggling), and part 3 of Art. 223 (Illegal Manufacture of Weapons). 

According to the investigation, the OCG, a member of which was Bogdanov, also included an officer of the Federal Penitentiary Service Directorate in the Leningrad region Mikhail Svetlov, a SOBR special police employee of the MIA Main Directorate in St. Petersburg Mikhail Moshkin, as well as St. Petersburg residents Leonid Svetlov, Maksim Romanov, Konstantin Dankov, and Pavel Peshkov. Apart from them, other unidentified persons were also member of the OCG, as noted in the investigation materials. 

The OCG was eliminated in June 2016. According to the ICR investigators, in 2015, the suspects acquired a large number of firearms and ammunition in the European Union and handed it over to unidentified persons, who illegally delivered the weapons across the border to Russian territory.

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The criminal scheme of arms smuggling was as follows. Bogdanov and two Svetlovs (the ICR message reveals nothing about their possible blood relation) would purchase the arms in Slovakia. According to the investigation, after buying 10-15 units of firearms in one of the Bratislava arms stores, the suspects deactivated it with the help of a store employee in exchange for 50 euros.

After deactivation by inserting a hairpin into the barrel, military weapons became 'weapons for blank ammunition firing', which allowed the gang members to freely travel through the territory of Slovakia and other EU countries without obtaining a special permit. Then, on the Russian-Estonian border in the city of Narva, the OCG members would find socially disadvantaged residents of the Estonian border area and ordered them to smuggle weapons to the territory of Russia without inspection at the checkpoint for 10 euro.

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Members of the OCG then entered the Russian territory without weapons, after which they dig their goods out from the hiding places, where their accomplices from the Estonian side had put them.

Mikhail Svetlov stored ready-to-sell weapons at home and at work, as well as in his car, and transferred them to the OCG participants for further sale through their channels, the case file says. Bogdanov was an intermediary in the transfer of weapons, Dankov was responsible for repairs, and Moshkin, Romanov, and Peshkov sold the arms. At the same time, depending on the type and model, the price of one unit of weapons was from 100 to 150 thousand rubles (from $1.6 to 2.5 thousand).

As reported by the St. Petersburg ICR Investigations Directorate, 100 units of foreign-made firearms were withdrawn from illegal traffic during the searches of suspects.

In particular, this includes 4 Glock pistols made in Austria, 2 Walter police pistols made in Germany, a German Sig Sauer handgun, 4 Belgian Browning pistols, 2 CZ pistols, 3 Makarov guns produced in Bulgaria, Hungaria-produced AMD-65 assault rifle, 3 Beretta pistols made in Italy, Star pistol made in Spain, 3 Czech sub-machine guns Skorpion, 2 M-39 rifles, Suomi sub-machine gun made in Finland, Polish sub-machine gun PM-73, two Mauser rifles manufactured in Sweden, Moschetto carbine made in Italy, and a lot more.

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The following was also seized: 10 barrels for Glock pistols, made to replace the original and make the pistols suitable for shooting, 37 so-called deactivated barrels from Glock, Walter, Hecklair and Koch, Colt, Husqvarna, and APS pistols, Steyr sub-machine gun, that is, the leftovers from the sale of combat firearms by the OCG participants. Several thousand munitions, 19 grenades, explosives, and explosive devices were also found and seized.

According to the message of the ICR Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg, the investigation of the criminal cases of other gang members is also at the stage of completion and will soon be referred to the court for examination on the merits.

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