A group of prisoners from so-called Luhansk People’s Republic defrauded $95,000 from the residents of Ukraine of different regions, talking to them via telephone on behalf of police officers. The Department of Internal Security of the National Police in Ukraine reported this on Facebook.
In September 2018, the detectives of Ternopil police received an information that the group of con men operates under the guise of police officers in the region. They turned out to be a 43-year-old resident of Kirovohrad region and a 24-year-old resident of Kharkiv. The unknown persons from prisons, based in Luhansk coordinated their actions. The perpetrators called the residents of Vinnytsia, Volyn, Mykolaiv, Khmelnytskyi, Chernihiv, Cherkasy regions.
‘The individuals posed themselves as police officers and claimed that relatives of the subscribers had committed a criminal offense (in the overwhelming majority, a car accident), and now they faced imprisonment. Although the problem can be resolved without going to prison, to do so, money has to be brought to an appointed place and handed over to the police officers who would wait there,’ the Police reported.
Thus, the perpetrators managed to defraud from $350 to $20,000 from the victims. In total, 23 facts of criminal activity were established.
The 'police investigators' who wore civilian clothes took the money and promised that the problem would be resolved positively. The resident of Kharkiv region sent the received money to all parties of the criminal scheme.
‘Unfortunately, instead of calling their relatives to verify the given information, the victims merely did what the swindlers told them to. According to the calculations of law enforcement officers, the criminal group gained 2.7 million hryvnias (USD 96,000),’ the police said.
The law enforcement bodies managed to detain the two members of the organized band, who directly operated on the territory of Ukraine and received money from the victims of the fraud. The court chose arrest as a preventive measure, with the right of bail of $18,000 for each victim.
Further investigative actions are underway, as they aim to bring the organizer of the criminal scheme and other involved participants to justice.