“Investigator of the Investigation Department of the MIA of Russia Administration for the Novgorod Region completed the preliminary investigation of the criminal case against one of the defendants charged of stealing valuables from the Valdai Iversky Mother of God Svyateozersky Monastery. The 46-year-old native of the city of Volkhov, Leningrad Region, is charged of committing crimes under part four of Article 158 and part two of Article 164 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
The audacious crime was committed a year ago. Two offenders sailed to the island, made a dig under the gate and penetrated the ancient monastery. Then, after squeezing off the window, they climbed into the temple. One of them, entered the altar, stole the altar cross and the Iver icon of the Mother of God, which in 2001 was donated to the monastery by the President of the Russian Federation. In addition, the accomplices broke the kiot of another especially revered icon and removed the chains, crosses and rings that were donated by the parishioners. The damage amounted to about five million rubles.
The suspects were detained by operatives of the MIA of Russia Main Directorate for Criminal Investigation in cooperation with Novgorod colleagues and officers of the FSB of Russia. During the searches in the garage of one of the defendants, the altar cross and the Iver icon of the Mother of God were found, as well as more than 120 gold items stolen from the monastery. The relics were returned to the monastery.
Currently, the criminal case against one of the defendants, with the indictment approved by the Prosecutor's Office has been sent to the Valdaisky District Court of the Novgorod Region for consideration on the merits. The preliminary investigation against his accomplice continues,” said the official spokesperson for the Russian MIA Irina Volk.
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