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MOSCOW, June 19 (Itar-Tass) — Police in Moscow detained members of the organized group suspected of stealing budget funds allocated to the Federal Agency for Special Construction /Spetsstroi/," the press service of the Interior Ministry's department for economic security and combating corruption /GUEBiPK/ told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
Detective zeroed in on the group back in April. Surveillance was divided into several stages using complex combinations of operations.
"It was ascertained at the initial stage that the members of the group had used the financial data of more than 30 dummy firms to win an open electronic auction to supply equipment for the Spetsstroi needs in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Penza and Kostroma," a GUEBiPK official said.
Under the terms of the tender, the winner had to supply 75 million roubles worth of equipment to Spetsstroi. The contract envisioned the transfer of 16 million roubles of advance payment to the supplier.
GUEBiPK said the fraudsters had planned to misappropriate the funds without meeting the commitments stated in the contract.
Criminal proceedings over this fact were opened under Article 30, Part 3, and Article 159, Part 4 /attempted grand fraud/.
"At the second stage, police ascertained the names of the criminals and their roles, and recorded the information that the suspects' sphere of interests covered more than 100 state contracts worth over 300 million roubles," the Interior Ministry underlined.
Next, police in Moscow and St Petersburg arrested seven active members of the gang and three representatives of a private insurance agency suspected of forging documents for participation in open auctions, such as bank guarantees and legal entities' letters of comfort. The suspects are in custody.
Police carried out 15 searches at the suspects' apartment, seizing documents and objects that proved their illegal activities.
A police representative underlined that efforts were continuing to ascertain the identities of other members of the group and possible other episodes of their crime.
The operation was carried out jointly with the Federal Security Service FSB/, economic crime police units, prosecutors and Spetsstroi representatives.