The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation

06/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2021 04:03

Activities of inter-regional organized group specializing in smuggling timber abroad have been suppressed in Trans-Baikal Territory

'Officers of the Trans-Baikal Linear Administration on Transport of the Russian MIA in cooperation with the FSB of Russia Department for the Trans-Baikal Territory and the Chita Customs suppressed the activities of an organized group whose members were suspected of smuggling timber to one of the foreign countries.

It was preliminarily established that in 2013 a criminal scheme was developed, according to which the accomplices carried out the purchase, processing, storage and transportation of illegally harvested wood in the Irkutsk Region. To legalize those activities, limited liability companies were established, on behalf of which leases of forest plots were made and fictitious contracts for the purchase and sale of roundwood were concluded. Subsequently, within the framework of foreign economic contracts with various foreign firms, those documents were provided to the Chita Customs for customs clearance and movement of timber outside the Russian Federation.

According to available information, more than 48,000 cubic meters of timber were exported from the country in this way during 2013-2015. The total damage exceeded 211 million rubles.

Currently over 30 criminal case have been instituted on the grounds of the crime stipulated by part 3 of Article 226.1 of the RF Criminal Code. All of them were merged in one proceeding. In Moscow, Irkutsk and Chita searches were carried out during which office equipment and documents of evidentiary value for the criminal case were seized.

Remand in custody was selected by court as the preventive measure for three defendants. Their alleged accomplice is on a recognizance of non-exit and proper conduct. Currently, operative investigative steps are being taken to establish all the circumstances of the unlawful activity,' said the Spokesperson for the Russian MIA Irina Volk.