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MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Russian police have identified an international organized criminal group, which included Russians and citizens of some African countries, Interior Ministry spokesperson Yelena Alexeyeva told TASS on Wednesday.
"Using the services of Russian Internet companies, they registered websites, where they posted information on transportation and other Russian companies, which in actual fact have stopped commercial activities," Alexeyeva said. "On their behalf, they engaged in business correspondents online with foreign entrepreneurs. If they succeeded, the money transferred to the account of an individual opened using false foreign passports (the names were in sync with the relevant Russian companies), the money was cashed, and a ‘Russian company’ disappeared," she added.
Alexeyeva noted that at the end of last year the suspects concluded a contract with a Chinese company on heating oil supplies on behalf of a limited liability company. Under this contract, a partial prepayment of $620,000 was transferred for its transportation to China.
"In total, the members of the group have stolen $990,000 from the Chinese company by fraud. Police officers informed the affected company about this through the Interpol and the Russian Interior Ministry. Its representatives were invited to come to Russia to take part in the criminal proceedings," Alexeyeva said.
According to the Russian Interior Ministry, on August 5 more than 20 searches and seizures were conducted in Moscow and the Moscow region, including in the bank’s offices.
"As a result of the investigative activities, 13 members of the organized group were detained, including the organizers. During the interrogations confessionary evidence was obtained and the role of each participant was ascertained," the spokesperson said.