MOSCOW, August 27 (RAPSI) – Russia’s State Duma Committee on Security and Combating Corruption has developed a bill envisaging more serious punishments for those employing unlawful debt collection methods involving violence and threats, as well as those inflicting harm to citizens and their properties, according to the Committee Chair Vasily Piskarev.

The bill is to amend respectively Russia’s Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Central Bank has already backed the bill, responses of the Supreme Court and the Government are expected soon; after that the document is to be submitted to the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, Piskarev says.

The document envisages longer prison terms up to 5 years for individuals, in case unlawful debt collection methods are employed by organized gangs their members may spend behind bars up to 12 years.

The legislation currently in force needs to be amended as citizens submit an enormous number of complaints that debt collectors use such methods as violence, threats, and damage of property, often not only with respect to debtors, but their relatives, colleagues, or neighbors; over two preceding years the Federal Bailiff Service has registered more than 47,000 complaints against collectors, the lawmakers observes.

The measures envisaged in the bill are to improve the current situation; it was not by chance that President Vladimir Putin instructed the Bailiff Service to settle the issue, Piskarev adds.