Bottles with an alcohol-containing liquid seized by investigators during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

To prevent further poisoning with counterfeit alcohol, the authorities of the Orenburg region offered local residents to exchange fake vodka for food. The press service of the regional government said that the cost of food kits is several times higher than the price of cheap alcohol, which, moreover, is a danger to life. Potential participants in the action will also be asked to inform about the place where they bought the swill. The government took such exotic measures after 34 residents of the eastern region died from poisoning with an alcoholic surrogate, almost the same number are in serious condition in hospitals. Izvestia found out that Rospotrebnadzor had already found a surrogate in the store that sold the poison in the Red Shepherd, but for unclear reasons, there was no investigation.

Meatnol in a plastic bottle

The counterfeit alcohol sold in the Udacha store in the village of Krasny Chaban became, according to the investigation, the cause of the mass fatal poisoning of local residents. The relatives of the victims said later that alcohol was constantly traded in this grocery store, although there was no license to sell alcohol. Near the store were found empty, including plastic bottles presumably from vodka without excise stamps and indication of the manufacturer’s details.

In the city of Yasnoye, a couple died at the same time, leaving five children from 1 to 10 years old orphans. Also, people died from alcohol in the village of Nikolskoye, the villages of Dzhasai and Komsomolsky. As the investigation found out, a batch of alcohol with a lethal concentration of methanol was distributed to the villages of Dombarovsky and Adamovsky districts from Orsk (several people were also injured in the city itself). The Investigative Committee has already seized more than 1,200 bottles of counterfeit vodka at the trade and procurement base. Another 3,000 bottles, equipment and containers were seized at the point of production, bottling and storage of products.

Bottles with an alcohol-containing liquid seized by investigators during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

Photo: TASS / SK RF

14 criminal cases have been initiated, 15 people are already under investigation, 8 of whom have been arrested. Most of them are charged under Part 3 of Art. 238 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

– As part of the searches in the home of one of the organizers of illegal activities, cash was found in the amount of over 1.8 million rubles, measures for the imposition of arrest on which will be taken in accordance with the established procedure. As part of one of the searches, documents were also found, according to which a batch of methanol-containing liquid was brought from the city of Ufa, where the necessary investigative actions have also been carried out to date. it says in the message of the TFR.

Experienced poisoner

One of the first to go into custody was a certain Shirvan Babazade, a tenant of premises at a trade and purchasing base, from where the counterfeit vodka was seized. His investigators consider him one of the wholesale distributors of the poison. He was charged in addition to Art. 238 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, also the sale of alcoholic beverages without labeling and application of information provided for by law, as well as the illegal sale of alcohol-containing products. 30-year-old Babazade pleaded guilty, he was arrested until December 8. It is known that Babazade had previously been tried under similar articles of the Criminal Code.

According to the tax service, Babazade organized an individual enterprise in November 2016 (registered in one of the buildings of the Armada megamall in Orenburg). Wholesale trade in food products was declared as the main activity. But he took up vodka much earlier. Babazade’s commercial path speaks volumes about the ineffectiveness of existing administrative and criminal sanctions against bootleggers. In 2014, he was prosecuted under the Code of Administrative Offenses on the illegal sale of goods, the free sale of which is prohibited or restricted (Article 14.2). Orsk policemen recorded the fact of illegal sale of alcohol, but byIn this way, an error occurred with the determination of jurisdiction, and the case materials were redirected to the magistrate’s court, about which the corresponding determination of the Soviet District Court of Orsk was preserved. It is possible that there was no punishment. Practice shows that as a result of such mistakes and red tape, the perpetrators often manage to evade responsibility due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

On the territory of the trading and purchasing base, where the main storage warehouse was previously identified, an alcohol-containing liquid was additionally found in 11 metal barrels with a volume of 200 liters

On the territory of the trading and purchasing base, where the main storage warehouse was previously identified, an alcohol-containing liquid was additionally found in 11 metal barrels with a volume of 200 liters

Photo: TASS / SK RF

Three years later, Babazade still fell under a criminal article. According to the verdict of the same Sovetsky District Court of Orsk dated July 6, 2017, he was sentenced to a fine of 50 thousand rubles. Then they confiscated cardboard boxes of counterfeit vodka and several canisters with brown liquid from Babazade.

In 2017, the investigation did not identify the manufacturer of the liquid that Babazade was bottling. Then only by a miracle there were no corpses – according to the examination, the composition of the water-alcohol mixture (it was sold as vodka and brandy) included ethyl ether, acetaldehyde, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, isopropanol, isopropanol, propanol, isobutanol and methanol.

According to Babazade’s version, he purchased the alcoholic liquid at that time through an advertisement on the Internet from a buyer he did not know before. They did not look for sellers. The defendant chose a simplified procedure for the examination of the case, admitting the charges and received the minimum sentence.

Later Babazade became a little more cautious. Two weeks before the announcement of the verdict, he formally ceased entrepreneurial activity, as there is a record in the USRIP. But in fact, he continued to trade in poisonous counterfeit goods, as the current tragedy shows.

Dangerous ties

According to local media reports, in connection with the investigation and parallel departmental checks of his position lost the first deputy prosecutor of the Oktyabrsky district of Orsk Sergey Khvorov. The warehouse where the alcohol-containing liquid was seized within the framework of the Babazade case allegedly belongs to his relative.

There is also an explanation for why counterfeit vodka was traded in rural food stores with impunity for years.

An employee of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

An employee of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

Photo: TASS / SK RF

One of the persons involved in the investigation – Gulnara Tashirova, whom the investigation considers the owner of the point of sale of alcohol in the Red Shepherd, until recently held the position of director of the municipal unitary enterprise Krasnochabanskoe ZhKKh. In addition, she was engaged in entrepreneurial activity, and was registered as an individual entrepreneur at the same address as Babazade – in one of the buildings of “Armada” in Orenburg (Sharlykskoe shosse, 1/2). The rural official, according to the investigation, in addition to the communal sphere, was also responsible for the food supply in the village – the Udacha store in Krasny Shepherd formalized on her husband Radik Tashirova. He is registered as an individual entrepreneur in the same Orenburg “Armada”. The listed activities include retail trade in food, beverages and tobacco, as well as restaurant activities and food delivery. In addition to “Good luck” in the village, he also has a cafe “Aray”.

The family business of the Tashirovs has already fallen on the pencil to the controlling structures. An unscheduled inspection of a store on Tselinnaya Street dated September 9, 2019, arranged by the regional department of Rospotrebnadzor, among other violations revealed lack of shipping documents confirming the origin, quality and safety of alcohol presented on the shelves. The local administration probably did not care about this issue. Somehow, the administrative investigation did not develop into a criminal case, or the sanctions for gross violation turned out to be insignificant. The surrogate trade continued.

Strange indulgence

In February 2020, a court in Irkutsk sentenced one person involved in the case of mass alcohol poisoning to 2.5 years in prison, the other to 2 years 7 months in prison. Recall that in December 2016 in the Irkutsk region as a result of mass poisoning with the Hawthorn bath concentrate, 62 people died.

Sultan Khamzatov, State Duma deputy, head of Sober Russia, believes that there are questions to law enforcement agencies.

“You don’t have to be an expert in detective work to determine on the spot who is engaged in illegal, deadly bootlegging. Instead of an instant reaction, employees themselves are often engaged with people who are engaged in the illegal alcohol business.

Bottles with an alcohol-containing liquid seized by investigators during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

Bottles with an alcohol-containing liquid seized by investigators during the discovery of a warehouse and point of production of counterfeit alcohol

Photo: TASS / SK RF

The interlocutor of Izvestia sees perspectives in the development of sober villages.

– The regions should, at their level, encourage the widespread, and most importantly, the voluntary refusal of people from alcohol. Instead, we see how regional authorities, under pressure from “entrepreneurs”, are literally flooding small towns and villages with alcohol. Plus, officials need personal responsibility for such chaos in the region. Every problem has a name.

In the rating of “Sober Russia”, the Omsk region is ranked 30th (between Crimea and Bashkiria).

Demographic problem

All settlements, with the exception of Orsk, are sparsely populated: Dzhasai – 372 (according to the All-Russian Population Census 2010), Nikolskoye – 1144, Komsomolsky – 1458, Krasny Shepherd – 604. In the past, these were centers of agriculture on a regional scale, where they grew grain, were engaged in cattle breeding … But in recent decades, there has been a steady outflow of the population. Mainly middle-aged and elderly people suffered from poisoning. Investors have no desire to develop and invest in such settlements. According to Igor Kosarev, President of the Union of Alcohol Producers, about 45% of settlements in the country Dont Have on-site stores licensed to sell alcoholic products. This niche, in his opinion, is occupied by shadow workers who supply the population with low-quality alcohol, among other things.

OMON officer during the arrest of suspects in the case of the manufacture and sale of counterfeit alcohol

OMON officer during the arrest of suspects in the case of the manufacture and sale of counterfeit alcohol

Photo: TASS / SK RF

Psychologist Maxim Kovalenko, in the light of the tragedy near Orenburg, remembered the problem of alcoholism in remote regions of the country.

“People who, in principle, are ready to drink all sorts of nasty things from plastic bottles, who try various denatures, are more or less subject to a certain degradation,” says the specialist. – For them, as a rule, there is no question of quality, there is only a question of price and quantity. Alcoholism is a disease that has several degrees. In a person with this disease, the sense of self-preservation is dulled.

Leave a Reply