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Criminal case opened against travel agency executives

January 31, 2012, 10:55 UTC+3

Russian Investigation Committee opened a criminal case against the administration of Lanta-Tour Voyazh travel agency

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MOSCOW, January 31 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Investigation Committee opened a criminal case against the administration of the Lanta-Tour Voyazh travel agency, whose actions caused damages to 3,500 Russian citizens.

"The Invetigation Committee's main department in Moscow opened a criminal case against senior executives of the Lanta-Tour Voyazh over the signs of crimes envisioned by Article 159, Part 4, of Russia's Criminal Code "grand fraud committed by organized group", committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.

"During the pre-investigation check which was launched after media reported about numerous violations of Russian citizens' rights, it was ascertained that more than 3,500 Russian citizens had been hurt by illegitimate actions of Lanta-Tour Voyazh executives, which caused considerable damages," Markin noted.

"In the period from late 2011 through to January 28, 2012, the company, at the instruction of its administration, signed  numerous contracts for the provision of tourism services, including flights, hotel and airport transportation, hotel accommodation, and sightseeing tours. The clients paid in full to the company for the services stipulated by the contracts. However, the Lanta-Tour Voyazh administration did not meet its commitments, and announced upcoming bankruptcy on January 27 and misappropriated the clients' money.

"The investigators will establish the identity of all the company executives whose actions resulted in the violation of Russian citizens' rights in and outside of the country.

"Also, the investigators will assess actions or inaction of government officials whose duties include supervision over the compliance with the law and observation of citizens' rights in the tourism industry.

"The Investigation Committee  intends to take all possible measures to help the tourists receive compensation for moral and material damage. The injured parties are requested to forward their statements to the Investigation Committee's main department for Moscow, the spokesman said.

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