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Crypto frauds among other cybercrimes is eating deep into several sectors of the economy of countries across the globe. This called for governments to create special task forces to oversee the cyber circle to ensure unsuspecting citizens are not defrauded of their hard-earned cash. Sadly, today’s story is actually the opposite. Two law enforcement officers who are in charge of ensuring citizens are not defrauded in Russia are being charged for defrauding a suspect of 65 million rubles (a little over $1 million).
The suspect, who is a renowned media figure in Russia was secretly arrested last year. The former director of the media firm Izvestiya, Erast Galumov, was detained secretly while the family thought he was out on a business trip. The devious officers of the FSB security agency (successor to the KGB) did not stop at that, but they went further to threaten Galumov into admitting to the crime and paying them a sum of 65 million rubles in Bitcoin.
Sergei Belousov and his assistant Kolbov were the head of the investigation team set aside to uncover details of the crimes Mr. Galumov supposedly committed. At the time, the accused was charged with 43 million rubles fraud; however, his legal team refuted the claim, saying it has no base.
Instead of allowing the justice system to take its normal course, Belousov and Kolbov pressured the suspect into admitting to the crime and paying them a sum of 65 million rubles to get out unscathed. According to a local media outlet, Belousov and Kolbov threatened to frame Mr. Galumov with other crimes if he does not comply with their requirements. And they kept to their words when they manufactured another different bogus charge to Mr. Galumov’s charges.
Left with no choice, the accused had to comply with their demands. Meanwhile, Kolbov has been in contact with Galumov’s son all along. He ordered him to leave the country if he doesn’t want to serve jail term alongside his father. To stay out of jail, Alexander Galumov had to flee to Cyprus. Kolbov under the disguise of Mikhail contacted him yet again demanding for a sum of 65 million rubles in Bitcoin as ‘bail’ for the father. He assured him that the charges will be dropped and his father with be home with them soon if he meets their demand.
Seeing how far the corrupt officers are bent on taking the case, the father and son agreed to play along while working secretly with FSB internal security service.
Alexander paid a total of 3 million rubles in Bitcoin to the wallet of the said Mikhail. The payment was made in several payments and each one was carefully monitored by the security service team. After payments were executed, the officers made life a little easier for the accused.
While they were at it, the FSB security team traced the wallet address and gathered enough evidence to put the corrupt officers behind bars. Although they pleaded guilty, the investigators believes that about 15 FSB officers are involved in this blackmail and extortion affair. The case will soon be handed over to the prosecutor’s office, where it will be transferred to court.