1 billion fake rubles printed in Nizhny Novgorod

The Bank of Russia found a competitor in the darknet.
As it became known to Kommersant, the clandestine Bank of Russia, which actively used IT technologies and managed to print about 1 billion rubles, was revealed by the Interior Ministry. Fakes of very high quality were made in Nizhny Novgorod, from where they were delivered to almost all regions of the Russian Federation via a conspiratorial network, using the Hydra Internet resource and its “mirrors” regularly blocked by Roskomnadzor. The criminal organization included several dozen people, none of whom personally knew each other. As they say in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there have not been similar cases in their practice yet.

Criminal case under Part 3 of Art. 186 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (the manufacture, storage, transportation or sale of counterfeit money or securities) was instituted last year by the Tatarstan police, where the first counterfeit notes were discovered. After that, counterfeit money, similar to those that were withdrawn in Kazan, began to appear in many regions of Russia. According to employees of the Main Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption (GUEBiPK) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who participated in operational activities, it turned out to be very difficult to document the activities of members of this criminal group. For the purpose of conspiracy, all its participants communicated exclusively through the “mirrors” of the Hydra Internet resource periodically blocked by Roskomnadzor, access to which is possible only through a Tor connection, and the installed program did not allow identifying IP addresses. Thus, police say, accomplices knew each other only in absentia by nicknames. Counterfeiting was also carried out in a non-contact manner through specially equipped hiding places.

Employees of the GUEBiPK, their colleagues from Tatarstan and other regional divisions succeeded in reaching the organizers of the underground business through several ordinary distributors.

From them, the chain stretched to the 25-year-old Muscovite Yulia Isaeva and her peer, a resident of Balashikha, Moscow Region, Alexander Porkhunov. The latter, as the investigators found out, was the creator of online stores on the Hydra site, through which fake money was sold. And according to investigators, Mrs. Isaeva was engaged in it. Wholesale lots (from 500 thousand rubles) left for 10-15% of the face value. But the main income was brought by small parties - from 10 thousand to 150 thousand rubles, which were in greatest demand in the regions, and they could be bought from counterfeiters for 30% of the nominal value.

After the buyer made payment through an impersonal wallet all on the same Hydra, and exclusively with cryptocurrency, a consignment of fake money was sent to Moscow accomplices using fake passports through a transport company. Those, in turn, made bookmarks in hiding places, as a rule, in a deserted forest-park zone and transmitted coordinates to customers. The latter communicated with the seller also only through the Hydra online resource.

Police officers were able to establish the identities of the organizers of the underground business and the direct producers of counterfeit money only this spring.

They turned out to be three residents of the Nizhny Novgorod region Oleg Efimov, Ivan Aferov and Andrey Skvortsov, whose detention was held with the force support of the detachment of police special forces "Thunder". During the search, they seized two sets of printing equipment that produced very high-quality counterfeit money, color laser printers, laptops, mock-ups of banknotes, a laminator, and threads for gluing emblems into banknotes and blanks.

At the moment, it has already been established that the criminal group existed for about a year and during that time managed to crank out more than 3 thousand transactions for the sale of counterfeit money.

In total, counterfeiters could have time to print and put into circulation about 1 billion rubles. with a face value of 5 thousand, 2 thousand and 1 thousand. Moreover, even in stores, not every detector could detect a fake.

All detainees are now in custody. According to Kommersant, in addition to the original Art. 186 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation the other day they were charged with a much more serious crime - the organization of a criminal community or participation in it (part 1 and part 2 of article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The defendants in this criminal case are several dozen manufacturers, distributors and buyers of fake money from almost three dozen Russian regions. According to some reports, most of them, including the organizers, have already pleaded guilty to the alleged act. Given the scale and inter-regional branching, the business itself is going to be transferred to the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.