April 6, 2018 – Nefteyugansk, Russia

The Chief of Nefteyugansk MIA Nikolay Plaksin was arrested on three charges related to an ongoing investigation. Chief Nikolay Plaksin was charged with bribe taking and abuse of powers under the criminal code of the Russian Federation. Also charged was Roman Nedyba an official in The Ministry of Internal Affairs in charge of local government interactions.

On March 28, 2018, a court ordered search was conducted of the residences and property of high ranking police officers. The investigation centered on the protection of a counterfeit alcohol operation centered in the city of Nefteyugansk. After the searches and seizures of various police and government officials, a criminal case was initiated that included violations of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation which included charges relating to Storage, Transportation of Products that do not meet safety standards, as well as Counterfeiting.

The investigation into official misconducted began with the seizure and liquidation of a warehouse containing 30,000 bottles of counterfeit alcohol. Government officials noted that the counterfeit alcohol contained fusel oils, undisclosed impurities and methanol. Fusel oils are mixtures of several different alcohols, mainly amyl alcohol, which is a by product of alcoholic fermentation. Fusel oils are used in the production of lacquers. Methanol is an industrial form of alcohol used in cleaning solvents, windshield washer fluid and other industrial applications. Officials noted that the toxic mixture contained in the confiscated counterfeit alcohol could lead to blindness and death when consumed.

The owner of the warehouse was detained and identified as the chairman of the Uzbek diaspora of Nefteyugansk Arifdzhan Khudayarov, known as Timurlan. In a plea agreement Timurlan stated that he was only the manager and that the decisions of the operation were made by those in uniform, which seems to implicate the high-ranking Police Officials that were searched and the two that were charged.

Investigating officials have pieced together how the operation counterfeit alcohol operation was run after arresting seven natives of Central Asia. According to information obtained through interrogations of those arrested the counterfeit alcohol was purchased outside the region and stored at 2 warehouses in the city of Nefteyugansk that were under the protection of Government Officials and the Police. The Counterfeit Alcohol was then distributed to 22 retail locations with the City and district of Nefteyugansk, Surgat and Khanty-Mansiys for sale to the public Investigators noted that the 22 retail locations did not have valid licenses to sell alcohol. All 22 retail stores were also owned by either the charged suspects or their relatives.

Russian Police Chief Charged with Aiding and Abetting Counterfeit Alcohol Ring Click to Tweet

This investigation has prevented potentially deadly health problems for those that consume this bootlegged liquor. It also is a firsthand look at how counterfeit alcohol is distributed in such massive quantity. The money made by these illegal alcohol gangs are used to pay off government and police officials allowing them to continue making their deadly profits at the expense of the health and lives of consumers. The investigation is ongoing and other indictments and arrests are expected.

SafeProof.org commends the Investigators in this case who perused this inquiry even while challenging government and police officials that wield significant power using it in a corrupt way to line their pockets with money from poison alcohol.

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