FSB conducts searches at Russian customs

The FCS management was suspected of monetary re-qualifications.
Large-scale searches took place on Monday at the main office of the FCS, as well as two Moscow customs. The events ended with the detention of the head of the customs inquiry department, Lieutenant General Alexander Kizlyk, who supervised this area ten years ago in the Prosecutor General's Office. His deputy Aleksey Serebro and deputy chiefs of Vnukovo and Domodedovo customs were also brought for interrogation. They are suspected of malfeasance.

According to Kommersant’s information, investigative and operational measures were carried out by officers of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service as part of a criminal case regarding the abuse of official authority (Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) in the leadership of the Federal Customs Service, as well as Domodedovo and Vnukovo Customs. An investigation began with the arrest by security officers several months ago for a bribe of an employee of one of the police units of the USB. Allegedly, it was through him that the FSB officers went to the 35-year-old deputy head of the department of their own security of the transport administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Central Federal District Nina Salnikov. On November 29, 2019, the TFR petitioned the Moscow Basmanny District Court for the detention of an officer accused of especially large fraud (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). It was noted that "not all participants in the crime have been identified." However, the court determined Nina Salnikova under house arrest.

Ms. Salnikova, like her colleague, claims a Kommersant source, also went to cooperate with the investigation. Allegedly, after her testimony, the investigation had questions to the head of the customs inquiry department, Lieutenant General Alexander Kizlyk and his deputy Alexei Serebro, as well as to the deputy chiefs of Vnukovo and Domodedovo customs Konstantin Mishin and Yuri Cherkashin.

On Monday, early morning, the security forces rushed to one of the offices of the FCS on Novozavodskaya Street, where the customs investigation and inquiry department is located. FSB officers immediately went to the offices of chief Alexander Kizlyk and his deputy Alexei Serebro. The first, apparently, the security managed to report that the Chekists were going to him. In any case, from his mobile phone, Mr. Kizlyk managed to send three words to a friend's lawyer. After that, the phone seemed to be taken away from the customs officer and the defender was no longer able to contact him on Monday.

The search in the offices of Messrs. Kizlyk and Silver ended in the seizure of paper documentation and electronic media. The customs officers themselves were taken for interrogation to the Investigative Committee, which lasted until late in the evening. According to some reports, Alexander Kizlyk was detained after him for two days, but the fate of Alexei Serebro is not clear.

In parallel, two other groups of investigators and FSB officers conducted similar events at Domodedovo and Vnukovo customs. There, searches were carried out in the offices of two deputies - Konstantin Mishin and Yuri Cherkashin. Both were also taken to the TFR building in Technical Lane. What ended their interrogation is also still unknown.
Note that the criminal case itself, which involved high-ranking officials of the FCS, may also be related to the case of the receipt of numerous bribes by the employees of Domodedovo and Vnukovo customs. Ten people, including deputy heads of special customs procedures departments No. 3 and No. 4 at the Domodedovo Airport customs post, Konstantin Bagraev and Oleg Shevchenko, were detained this summer as part of a criminal investigation under the same TFR under paragraphs “a” and paragraph “ in "h. 5 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (extortion of a bribe by a group of persons by prior agreement). According to investigators, from November 2018 to March 2019, members of the criminal group received bribes in the amount of $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 from airport passengers trying to smuggle undeclared goods and money through Domodedovo. The essence of fraud was reduced to the fact that at first criminal cases were instituted on detainees at airports, which were subsequently re-qualified for bribes, and the defendants got off with an administrative penalty in the form of a small fine.

According to a Kommersant source, this whole scheme was known not only to the CSS officers, but also to the leadership of the customs inquiry, which could also receive kickbacks from its subordinates. In any case, according to Kommersant’s information, the investigation is now considering the question of re-qualifying the actions of customs officers at Art. 290 of the Criminal Code.

It should be noted that Lieutenant General Kizlyk came to the FCS Investigation Department in 2007, and before that he worked in the prosecution authorities: from 1996 to 2001 he was the prosecutor of the Ryazan Region, and after that he headed the department for supervision of investigations, inquiries and operations for six years - search activities in the internal affairs bodies of the Prosecutor General.

On Monday, the FCS confirmed only the fact of the searches, noting that investigative actions are carried out in respect of its individual employees.