Russian police arrest alleged gang members over $5.8 mln lost from oil theft
MOSCOW, April 21 (RAPSI) – Russian police arrested three alleged members of a criminal gang on charges of oil theft causing at least 300 million rubles ($5.8 million) in damages, TASS reported on Tuesday, citing the Interior Ministry.
The investigation of this case began in September 2014. Police found over a dozen illegal connections to oil pipelines, identified the criminal group’s leaders and active members, as well as the processing and transportation sites for the stolen oil and oil products.
Police caught the alleged group leader and two members red-handed and later arrested four other suspects. According to police information, the alleged criminals sold the crude oil to illegal mini-refineries.
“According to tentative estimates, they have stolen about 800 metric tons of crude oil worth over 10 million rubles ($194,100). But police have reason to believe that the group’s aggregate illegal income could exceed 300 million rubles ($5.8 million),” the Interior Ministry’s press center said.
Charges have been brought against eight individuals under an article on the organization of and participation in a criminal group. Seven of them have been detained, and one is at large and wanted by police.