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Omsk court to begin trial of suspect in gold contraband case

September 06, 2011, 18:12 UTC+3

The investigators ascertained that in the period from 2005 through 2006, Sukhoveyev joined a criminal group for personal gains

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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — The Omsk regional court will begin, in the next few days, the trial of Vladimir Sukhoveyev, a suspect in the case over gold contraband involving the network of Altyn jewelry shops, an official at the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"Sukhoveyev is accused of the commission of crimes envisioned by Article 2010, Part 2 [participation in a criminal group], Article 188, Part 4 and Article 30, Part 3 [attempted contraband],” the prosecutors said.

The investigators ascertained that in the period from 2005 through 2006, Sukhoveyev joined a criminal group for personal gains. The group was set up by the executives of the Altyn Jewelry Holding – Vladimir Fenkov and Antonina Babosyuk.

The group engaged in smuggling jewelry purchased in Turkey, Italy, China and the United Arab Emirates into Russia, for subsequent sale through Altyn outlets.

"The criminal group, which initially included natives of Kyrgyzstan – given the cross-border criminal activity and the necessity to resist law-enforcement bodies of several states and rival businesses – was stable and consolidated. It had precise hierarchy where the duties were divided between the leaders and the participants.

"Under the scheme, the group was disguised as Altyn Jewelry Holding, which provided secrecy and safety of its leaders and other participants in carrying out their criminal activities.

"Sukhoveyev was responsible for setting up and supporting the operation of a branch of the Altyn holding in Omsk, smuggling jewelry by an organized group, and finding means and ways of the commission of crimes," the PGO said.

He was also responsible for recruiting persons living in the border districts of Russia, and the transporters who could smuggle jewelry across the Russian customs border while keeping it intact and ensuring its further shipment to the trade outlets under Altyn's control.

In April 2009, members of the organized group purchased 60 kilograms of jewelry in Turkey which they planned to smuggle into Russia, and stored it at the Altyn branch in Istanbul. It had to be moved to Bishkek and later to Kazakhstan.

To this end, Sukhoveyev enlisted Yevgeny Yeida (convicted in Kazakhstan) who tried to smuggle a batch of jewelry through the Nikopol checkpoint located in the Poltava district of the Omsk region.

The batch weighed 21 kilograms. It was worth 16 million roubles. The crime was not carried though because Kazakh police found the jewelry hidden in Yeida's car.

The FSB's investigation department opened criminal proceedings over contraband against a number of Altyn executives on October 5, 2009.

The Altyn company was established in 1990 and sought to attain the image of one of the largest jewelry holdings in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the United Arab Emirates. Altyn opened three supermarkets in Moscow, two in St. Petersburg and one in Omsk. It had eight hypermarkets in Kazakhstan, three in Kyrgyzstan and one in Dubai.

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