15 officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) were alleged to have taken part in a robbery case, Interfax reported.
Initially, the criminal robbery case involved 7 individuals, but has since gone up to 15. Five of them were previously arrested, two are under house arrest, the rest have arrest warrants for them, a source in the FSB claimed.
According to him, eight people who are in development are members of the special division “Alpha”.
There is no official confirmation of the information provided by Interfax.
Anonymous Interfax sources noted that in connection to the case more than 15 searches were carried out – approximately the number of defendants.
“As for the amount of money taken from the accused and suspected employees, it is currently estimated at hundreds of millions of rubles,” said the source.
Earlier, on July 5, a military court ordered the arrest of five FSB officers suspected of robbery, they are to be kept in jail until August. Two more were put under house arrest.
Persons involved in the case are H. Margiev, D. Kapyshkin, A. Karelin, R. Obolensky, V. Urusov, D. Chikvin and A. Vlasov. They are employees of the Economic Security Service (ESB) of the FSB, who previously worked in the administration of the “K” department (the counter-intelligence support department of the credit and financial sphere), as well as officers of the special units “Alpha” and “Vympel”.
All of them are suspected of a crime under article 162, part 4 (robbery, by an organized group or in a large scale).
According to RBC, so far, officers of the Main Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia have gathered evidence of the involvement of the accused in the attack on a man, from whom on June 10th, 2018 they took 136 million rubles in cash at the office of a small Moscow bank Metallurg.
The suspects reportedly started being monitored after the increasing incidence of missing money during searches when hefty sums were seized. The thefts were noticed after investigative measures were ordered by Dmitry Zakharchenko’s, Colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Kirill Cherkalin, Head of the Banking Department of the Directorate K of the FSB.
Money disappeared after the searches, in which the same employees of the Alpha sub-unit took part. Allegedly they had taken out iron plates from their body armor beforehand, and during a search, they put bundles of money in the thus created gaps.
Kommersant wrote that employees of the “K” branch of the FSB “took control” of a company allegedly engaged in cash withdrawal.
The Rosbalt agency reported that a part of the officers of these special units were allegedly involved in providing security to large sums of money transported by shadow bankers and ‘cashiers.’ They were attracted to this business by operatives from the K Directorate of the FSB.
Some sources in the special services quoted by media claimed that the operation to detain the suspects from the FSB “successfully fit into a purge”, started in the special services by people from the FSB’s own security department, who over the past three years have been appointed to key positions in the department. Among them are the head of the economic security service Sergey Korolev, his first deputy Sergey Alpatov, the head of the K key department for the SEB, Ivan Tkachev, and the head of the counterintelligence operations department Alexei Komkov.
Whether the arrests are part of a purge or are actual comes down to speculation. Nonetheless, the anti-corruption campaign, which is ongoing within Russian government bodies and security services, is obvious.
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