Several persons have been detained in Moscow on suspicion of offering fraudulent bank guarantees valued at one billion rubles as collateral for state contracts, a Moscow police spokesman told Interfax on Tuesday.
"The recent operations and investigative measures conducted in the capital helped dismantle the activities of Russia's major organized criminal group that specialized in issuing and offering fake bank guarantees as collateral for state and municipal contracts," the spokesman said.
Acting allegedly on behalf of commercial banks as their authorized agents, the suspects approached organizations that recently won auctions and offered them bank guarantees.
The gang members issued false bank guarantees equipped with forged stamps and signatures and then forwarded these fraudulent documents to state-run or municipal organizations.
There are bank employees among the suspects.
After being asked by the authorities to confirm the authenticity of the provided bank guarantees, these persons referred these requests to a certain firm that issued false confirmation on behalf of the bank and without entailing any financial or legal consequences for the bank.
"As a result of the functioning of this organized criminal group, fraudulent bank guarantees were offered as collateral for state contracts valued at more than one billion rubles, posing a real threat of significant damage to the budgets of different levels in Russia," the spokesman said.
Investigators believe that the suspects offered their services to companies executing state contracts all over Russia.
A fraud inquiry has been opened and more than 40 searches have been conducted at different locations, including banks.
Blank bank guarantee forms, stamps of banks and tax inspectorates, copies of the founding documents belonging to banks and firms and other documents relevant to the investigation were confiscated during the searches.
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