In St. Petersburg, police solved fraud with “Bank of jokes” notes

On August 27, 2020, a 63-year-old resident of the Lomonosovsky District of the Leningrad Region contacted the police of the Petrodvoretsky District of St. Petersburg. The elderly man said that in the city of Peterhof on the St. Petersburg Avenue, two men misled him and exchanged his money for notes of the “Bank of jokes”. The pensioner gave 230 thousand rubles, and in return received 16 thousand euros - but they were counterfeits.

A criminal case was initiated with regard to the facts under part 2 of Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code.

As a result of operational-search activities, police officers detained two men - citizens of a neighboring state, 32 and 40 years old. They were representatives of a nomadic people. According to operational data, the offenders could be involved in a whole series of such crimes. For those purposes, they developed a deception scheme: they waited for people at the post offices, introduced themselves as refugees from a neighboring state and asked to exchange Russian rubles for foreign currency. A gullible pensioner fell for the bait: wishing to help the refugees, he withdrew his savings, and received in return worthless notes of the “Bank of jokes”.

The police also found that the swindlers had acquired a Lada Kalina car specifically for the commission of unlawful acts in Peterhof, and resold it to dealers a couple of days later. And then they again purchased a temporary vehicle - this time a blue Daewoo Matiz. According to the police, they already traveled in that car in the Vyborgsky District of St. Petersburg, where they could have deceived one more person in a similar way.

The police tracked down the Daewoo Matiz: a traffic police patrol quickly worked operatively and detained the suspects on the St. Petersburg Avenue. When inspecting the car, packs of “Bank of jokes” notes were found.

The offenders used as a temporary shelter, a rented apartment in the Moscow Region, and to communicate with each other and with the owner of the rented apartment, they used phones with a “disposable” SIM card.

During the procedural actions, the victim identified the suspects.

Both the offenders have been placed into custody. Police continue the establishment of new facts of the suspects' illegal activities.

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