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The Investigative Committee
of the Republic of Belarus
Main Media information News

Investigation of a large-scale car leasing fraud is completed

Administration of the Investigative Committee for the city of Minsk has completed the investigation of a multi-episode criminal case of fraud. Illegal activity was revealed by employees of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBOPiK) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

During the investigation, it was established that a 35-year-old man from November 2013 to April 2018 by deception and abuse of trust of 10 citizens took possession of their funds in the total amount of more than 170 thousand US dollars.

According to testimony of the victims, the accused asked to lend him money under various pretexts, including for the development of a gambling or plumbing business, the purchase of an apartment or personal needs. Realizing his criminal intent, he gave citizens knowingly false information about his highly profitable commercial activities, including the presence of illegal gambling business in the capital. The investigation established that the accused disposed of the funds for personal purposes, only occasionally returning part of the funds to the victims in order to lull their vigilance.

Since June 2018, his acquaintance, a 35-year-old resident of Minsk, has joined the defendant. Later acting by a group of persons acting together by prior agreement, they managed to commit a number of fraudulent actions on seizure of money from 15 citizens for a total amount of more than 125 thousand rubles.

It seemed to the accused that the stolen funds were not enough, and he decided to build his illegal activities on the principle of a financial pyramid. Upon involvement of three more accomplices, they organized a criminal scheme in the field of car leasing.

In their criminal activities, the defendants used dummies with whom they entered into leasing agreements for the purchase of cars. The defendants in the case held themselves out as successful owners of the rental business who wanted to expand their car fleet. Those interested agreed to the deal for a one-time fee of up to $500 and on the condition that the defendants would pay the monthly lease payments for them. Promises were not kept, and debt obligations fell on the shoulders of nominee lessees.

In the course of the investigation, it was established that in a number of cases leasing companies transferred money to the accounts of car sellers, who were also dummies and were in collusion with the criminal scheme organizers. Technique was registered on them only formally. Thus, the defendants took possession of the companies' funds and at the same time retained the cars.

According to the investigation, the vehicles involved in the sale were sold without re-registration on the territory of the Russian Federation. Thanks to the coordinated actions of police officers and investigators, the location of 5 vehicles was established.

As a rule, the defendants were only interested in luxury cars, the cost of which was estimated at several tens of thousands of dollars. For example, one of the episodes featured a car at a cost over $100,000.

Thus, in the period from June 2018 to July 2020, five defendants managed to take possession of the property (cash and cars) of 5 leasing companies and 6 citizens for a total amount of more than 700 thousand US dollars in equivalent. In total, dozens of episodes of the unlawful activities of the accused have been documented. The criminal scheme involved 25 cars.

In the course of the investigation, searches were made at the place of residence of the accused, hundreds of witnesses were questioned, and the documentation of leasing companies was examined. The materials of the criminal case were attached to the conclusions of the examinations carried out by the employees of the State Forensic Examination Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

Based on the results of the investigation, the investigator made submissions to all leasing companies on elimination of the causes and conditions that contributed to the crime, for failure to take measures to properly check the creditworthiness and reliability of lessees.

The actions of the men were qualified by the investigation under Part 4 Art. 209 (fraud committed on an especially large scale) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention were applied to 2 citizens of the Republic of Belarus, two defendants were put on the interstate wanted list. In relation to another accused, the case was previously separated into a separate proceeding and sent to the prosecutor for referral to the court.

The investigation is completed. The materials were transferred to the prosecutor.

Official representative of Administration of the Investigative
Committee for the city of Minsk
Ekaterina Garlinskaya