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The investigation of a series of assaults related to robbery in Minsk and the Minsk Region has been completed

07.08.2020
The Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus completed the investigation of a criminal case against a criminal group that committed thefts and assaults related to robbery in Minsk and the Minsk Region for the period from 2014 to 2019.

As previously reported, on the morning of August 17, 2019, at about 11.30 am, two unknown persons entered the sales area of the jewelry store “Yakhont” in Minsk, used a pepper spray, and handcuffed the sellers' hands. Then they smashed the store windows, took away mostly gold jewelry and disappeared. Property worth over one million rubles was stolen from the store.

Investigators, together with the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, carried out extensive work to collect material evidence, obtain significant information, hundreds of investigative actions aimed at identifying the persons involved were carried out. Two men aged 37 and 38 were detained on suspicion of committing a crime, and on the same day a 44-year-old man was detained who was involved in other episodes of illegal activity. Pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention was taken against them with the approval of the prosecutor.

While investigating, crime scenes were inspected, victims, witnesses and accused were interviewed, with their participation the testimony was checked at the place of occurrence, CCTV footages from various locations of Minsk and the Minsk Region were examined, routes of movement of the accused were established, and more than 90 expert assessments conducted by the SFEC staff were added to the criminal case files, where the objects examined were items seized at crime scenes, stolen jewelry and traces found. Characterizing material has been collected in respect of each defendant, according to which all three men are unemployed and one of them is with prior criminal convictions.

It was found that the criminal activity of men has of a long-term nature. The members of the group, led by a 37-year-old resident of Minsk, are incriminated the committing of 3 thefts, one of which is a grand theft, and 5 assaults related to robbery at private houses and organizations in Minsk and the Minsk Region, depending on the role of each.

According to the investigation, on December 4, 2014, a 37-year-old resident of Minsk, acting as a group with an unidentified person, entered the territory of a warehouse rented by an individual entrepreneur in the agro-town of Zhdanovichi, Minsk Region, breaking down the entrance door of the building. A safe and money were stolen from this premises. The total damage amounted to more than 43 thousand rubles.
Shot from a CCTV camera recording in one of the houses

Later, with the aim of the theft of property, he chose a private house in the Tsentralny District of Minsk, which he actively monitored from 2016 to 2019 in order to study the situation, collect and analyze information about the owner. It is also known that the accused were communicating with a man who carried out work on the improvement of the site of the abovementioned house, from whom the information of interest was also obtained. At the same time, the employee did not know about the illegal actions of the interlocutors. However, the criminal intention was not realized.

Photo from verification of testimony at the place of occurrence with the participation of the accused

Using a similar system for searching and monitoring objects, the man, together with his 44-year-old partner, committed another robbery at a private house in the Tsentralny District of the capital.

In order to continue their criminal activities, in December 2018 the accused created an organized group to carry out robberies on wealthy citizens, and therefore decided that it was necessary to arm them. Thus, a gang was formed in which the duties and roles of its members were clearly defined.

Places where thefts and robberies took place from 2014 to 2019

After the creation of an armed criminal group, from April to July 2019, these individuals committed three more robberies in the Sovetsky and Pervomaysky Districts of the capital, including the theft of ammunition. The final point in their criminal activities was the attack on the jewelry store “Yakhont” on Kiselyova Street in Minsk. At the same time the gang members were changing and a 38-year-old resident of the Minsk Region joined them.

For reference: In the course of criminal intelligence operations and investigative actions, from the bottom of the Svisloch River, a recording device from the CCTV cameras of the store “Yakhont” was removed, which the men took during the robbery and then thrown into the river.

For the realization of criminal intention, the men used gas weapons and metal mounts. With their help, they caused actual bodily harm to the homeowners, or threatened. By inflicting psychological and physical suffering on the victims, the accused received information about the location of money and jewelry in the house. During the attacks, the men acted according to a pre-developed plan, with prepared weapons and moved along well-developed routes. In some cases, they also used pneumatic weapons visually similar to the Makarov gun.

For reference: Pneumatic weapons, as well as other items used in highway robberies, one of the accused threw into a water well in the yard of his mother's house. This material evidence was found and seized.

The total damage amounted to more than 1,300,000 rubles. Jewelry and other property worth 1,176,056 rubles were stolen from the jewelry store “Yakhont”, and property worth 147,688 rubles was stolen as a result of thefts and highway robberies on private houses. Victims in the criminal case recognized 15 people, including young children, who were in the houses during the gang attacks. 

Members of an armed criminal group are accused according to the role of each under the following articles:
- Part 4 Article 205 (grand theft) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;
- Part 1 Article 13, Part 4 Article 205 (preparation for grand theft) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;
- Part 1 Article 14, Part 2 Article 205 (attempted theft) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;
- Part 3 Article 207 (robbery) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;
- Article 286 (gangsterism) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus;
- Part 4 Article 294 (theft of ammunition) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Pre-trial restrictions have not changed during the investigation. The materials were transferred to the prosecutor for submission to the court. With regard to unidentified persons, the criminal cases were separated into separate proceedings, investigation is continuing.

Information and Public Relations Department