TASS: Police bust real estate scammers who defrauded hundreds over apartment rentals15 November 2019 | 11:47 | FOCUS News Agency
"Police officers and the Russian National Guard Troops Service detained 10 people," Volk stated.
She said that a criminal case on organized fraud (Part 4 Section 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) was launched after a female victim from the Chuvash Region had informed the police. She said that she tried to rent an apartment in Cheboksary through a free advertisement website and transferred 5,000 rubles ($78) to a bank account that she was told to send the money to, but the agreed-on meeting with the apartment’s ‘landlord’ did not take place and his telephone number was suddenly blocked. The subsequent police investigation revealed that in October 2018, a Kazan resident created an interregional criminal network that offered ‘assistance’ in renting apartments and private homes over the Internet. The real estate fraudsters would receive money from clients, but they never fulfilled their obligations.
"According to the information available, this gang raked in roughly 600,000 rubles ($9,344) in daily revenues," the Interior Ministry’s spokeswoman reported. "More than a thousand people became victims of these crimes — residents of the Smolensk, Chuvash, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, North Ossetia-Alania, Karachay-Circassian and Mari El Regions." Volk noted that computers, cellular phones and documents that constitute evidence for the criminal case were confiscated during the searches. The gang’s supposed ringleader was arrested, along with eight accomplices — employees of the call center, the dwellings’ owners and managers — who have been placed under travel and additional restrictions.
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