Crimes decreasing, bribes growing: fight against crime in Tatarstan discussed behind closed doors

The regular board meeting of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan was not closed from journalists even after the unprecedented scandal in the Dalny police department. But this year, journalists have not been allowed to attend the final meeting of the security forces, which was attended by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. There are two unofficial versions — the instruction of the federal centre and the coronavirus. According to the sources of Realnoe Vremya, a sharp outbreak of the pandemic among the department's employees resulted in that the dates of the board meeting were first shifted, and then all employees were obliged to pass PCR tests. The sick were not allowed to participate. Officially, the situation is not commented on. The department partially compensated for the non-admission of journalists who had passed the same testing with information materials. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Still not enough employees in Ministry of Internal Affairs

Speaking of coronavirus, about 1,800 police officers of the republic monitored compliance with anti-epidemic requirements daily over the past year. In total, more than 400 thousand catering, trade and transport facilities, as well as concert and other entertainment events have been checked. The result of this work was 187 thousand protocols for violators and 48 fictitious vaccination certificates withdrawn from circulation.

In general, police officers took part in ensuring the security of more than 6,5 thousand socio-political and sports events. About 2,2 million applications have been reviewed — more than 900 thousand reports of crimes and other incidents have been processed and resolved.

At the meeting, Minister of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan, Police Lieutenant General Artem Khokhorin emphasised that in the conditions of high workload and understaffed personnel of 12%, police officers together with colleagues from other services implemented a set of measures to counter criminal challenges and maintain control over the operational situation in the republic.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov stressed that in order to resolve the personnel issue, it is necessary to take a number of concrete actions, including raising salaries for employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He invited the deputies of the State Council of Tatarstan and the deputies of the State Duma from the republic to come up with a corresponding initiative.

Is crime receding against the background of Covid-19?

In 2021, almost 2,000 fewer crimes were registered in Tatarstan than a year earlier: a total of 51,933.

“For the first time in the last 4 years, crime rate has receded," Artem Khokhorin commented on these figures at the final board meeting of the department.

According to him, the number of serious crimes — murders and attempts, robberies — continues to decrease in the republic. In total, more than 23 thousand crimes were solved in a year.

“The murder solve rate has reached almost 98% — the highest figure for at least 26 years," the minister stressed. He reminded about the most high-profile cases — in particular, the detention of the accused of two murders, three intentional inflictions of harm, and two attempted rapes of Igor Ptitsin, who served in the security structure of Rosgvardiya before his arrest.

1,293 crimes of organised criminal formations have been solved

According to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan, a set of measures to influence organised crime contributed to a sharp reduction in the number of group manifestations. 823 members of organised criminal formations have been brought to justice, 1,293 of their crimes have been solved, Minister Artem Khokhorin announced the results of the work.

At the end of the previous year, the police and the investigative committee detained nine members of the Boriskovo group in Kazan — for a number of murders of the 1990s-early 2000s. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan is considering three more high-profile cases — against Sergey Neyderov, whom the security forces consider to be a “mafia enforcer” of the thieves' environment; “thief in law” Rashid Khachatryan (Dzhambulsky) and members of the Chistopol group; as well as the Kazan gang Tretyevskiye. The Vakhitovsky court of Kazan on the site of the Supreme Court is investigating the charges in the case of Tukayevsky organised criminal community.

To counteract group juvenile delinquency and identify adherents of destructive and antisocial trends, Lider specialised groups have been created in all district and city police departments of the republic.

A positive result of the work in the ministry is considered to be a reduction in the level of juvenile delinquency by more than 20% and “the absence of resonant group hooligan manifestations” among minors last year. At the same time, according to the results of the raids, about 200 administrative protocols were drawn up and 45 criminal cases were initiated. 212 participants of informal youth groups were identified.

Another result of the work is the blocking by Roskomnadzor of 390 sites with destructive content — according to appeals from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan.

“We could not reach the citizens”

Remote theft and fraud have not gone away either — in the first three weeks of January 2022 alone, Tatarstan citizens enriched IT scammers by 100 million rubles.

“Despite the placement of almost 7 thousand warning and security awareness materials in the press and the Internet, we were unable to reach citizens and bring down the wave of fraud," admitted Artem Khokhorin.

The minister noted an almost threefold increase in thefts from accounts and scams in the field of information and telecommunication technologies over the past five years. He also added that their disclosure rate in the republic and in the whole country does not exceed 25%.

Nevertheless, in 2021, Tatarstan police detained 1,079 suspects of committing 1,685 such crimes, since the beginning of the year 200 people have been detained for 563 cases.

It was announced at the board meeting: in terms of the total number of remote thefts and frauds investigated, Tatarstan is the second among all subjects of the Russian Federation, and in terms of the number of those brought to justice for these crimes — the fourth.

Besides, a case has been initiated against a group of scammers who, having received remote access to the victims' bank cards, used them to pay and cash out through mobile applications. The case of those accused of fraudulently stealing 9 million rubles from Ak Bars Bank and BaikalInvestBank has been sent to court. Another group of scammers has recently been detained for the work of a call centre to deceive the buyers of low-quality biologically active additives who allegedly were entitled to compensation.

Every third of 14,2 thousand remote thefts is committed by persons who pretend to be employees of the bank, almost every fifth (17,5%) — under the guise of employees of the online store, another 13,5% — on behalf of participants in transactions on the virtual platforms Avito and Yula, 11,5% — under the guise of providing other services. Only 6% of those deceived fall for the trick of obtaining a loan, and only 3% believe calls from a “relative” who allegedly got into an accident or other trouble.

Camera facial recognition technologies — in every yard?

Also, at the board meeting of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan, Artem Khokhorin asked President of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov to include in the agenda of the meeting of the Security Council of the Republic of Tatarstan the proposal to include video surveillance systems Safe City in the republican programme of yard improvement.

Besides, the head of the law enforcement agency proposes to create in a short time in all major cities an effective environment for transmitting a video signal with maximum coverage of public places and the residential sector. Moreover, it's about coverage with cameras, the picture from which then allows them to work with face recognition programmes.

A tonne of drugs and seven closed drug labs

During the year, the number of drug crimes investigated has also increased, including serious and especially serious categories related to sale and storage. For example, in the village of Novy Kyrlay, Arsky district, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan found a laboratory for the production of mephedrone, a number of underground production facilities were closed in garages in Nizhnekamsk and Kazan. In just a year, the republic's police eliminated seven drug laboratories in Tatarstan and beyond.

Three criminal cases have been sent to the courts against the participants of organised criminal community in the field of organising the contactless sale of synthetic drugs in the regions of the country. As part of their investigation, almost a tonne of narcotic substances were seized. Forty-nine people are brought to criminal responsibility. Also, in three criminal cases, the defendants are charged with the legalisation of drug proceeds in the amount of more than 37 million rubles.

It was also announced at the board meeting that 49 drug supply channels were blocked together with the FSB. Tatarstan, taking into account the developed transport infrastructure, is usually used as a transit region for the supply of drugs to other subjects of Russia.

Bribes have “risen in price” in Tatarstan — threefold in a couple of years

In just two years, the average size of a bribe in Tatarstan has more than tripled. Back in 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan called the figure of the average bribe — 102 thousand rubles. Artem Khokhorin shared fresh data — by the results of 2021, the average bribe was 330 thousand rubles.

The Minister of Internal Affairs of the republic reminded about the successful detention of the head of the regional branch of the Social Insurance Fund, Pavel Lokhanov, who, according to the prosecution, managed to receive 2,4 million rubles — part of a bribe of 4 million rubles from a supplier of goods for the disabled under the fund's contracts.

A total of 169 officials were involved in receiving bribes last year, and almost 100 more people were involved in giving. 62 officials were involved in cases of abuse of official powers. 97 people became involved in cases of commercial bribery.

In general, by the end of 2021, almost three thousand economic crimes were registered in Tatarstan with a total damage of 2,4 billion rubles. In particular, the security forces sent to court a case on the sale of counterfeit banknotes with a face value of 2 thousand rubles by members of an organised criminal community through the HYDRA Internet portal and a case of an organised criminal community for the supply of counterfeit cartridges.

313 people killed in car accidents

Along with crime rate, according to the results of 2021, a decrease in all major accident rates was recorded on the roads of the republic. In the previous year, 3,684 road accidents were registered in Tatarstan, in which 313 people were killed and 4,542 were injured of varying severity. With the participation of children, 450 accidents occurred, as a result of which 15 children were killed and 485 were injured of varying severity.

In cooperation with the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Healthcare and the Main Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise, the Ministry of Internal Affairs cancelled 3,085 driver's licenses for persons with mental disorders and diseases of the nervous system, including those related to alcohol consumption. Decisions were made to terminate the right to drive transport in respect of 378 drug addicts.

In general, the important figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the results of 2021 in Tatarstan look like this:

  • 1,3 billion rubles in taxes were reimbursed by the defendants in criminal cases;
  • 10 thousand grave and especially grave crimes are listed as unsolved — the investigation on them is suspended;
  • 3,5 thousand drug addicts, alcoholics and people with mental disorders lost their driver's license.

“It is necessary to work in parallel — both with the guys themselves and with their teachers”

At the end of the board meeting, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov noted the work of police officers and rejoiced at the reduction of crimes in the republic (-3,6%), including particularly serious ones (-16%), a decrease in the number of crimes committed by minors (-20,5%), as well as in a state of alcoholic (-5,8%) and narcotic (-18,7%) intoxication, improvement of the operational situation in public places (-12%).

However, Minnikhanov also focused on problematic issues, such as an increase in the number of crimes related to digital technologies and cyber fraud (+8,3%). Here, the president asked to establish a clear interaction with the banking community, Internet service providers, mobile operators. He instructed the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Digital Development and Tatmedia to intensify the work on public awareness and improving financial literacy of citizens.

Minnikhanov also touched upon the topic of high-profile crimes committed by students of colleges and universities who deliberately went to murder out of feelings of hatred and revenge.

“It is necessary to work in parallel — both with the guys themselves and with their teachers. Together with colleagues from other departments, first of all from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Education, as well as the FSB, it is necessary to monitor the Internet space, more actively identify those who involve minors in illegal actions in the Network, increase their immunity to recruitment by destructive organisations," the president outlined the tasks.

The head of the republic called decriminalisation of the economy and combating corruption at all levels of government one of the priorities. Rustam Nurgalievich noted the positive dynamics of work in this direction. But at the same time, he pointed out the need to more actively identify and suppress the facts of bribery, embezzlement of budget funds, including those allocated for the implementation of national projects, to react harshly to attempts to create shadow schemes of illegal withdrawal of capital abroad.

Irina Plotnikova, Daria Pinegina