The Tverskoy District Court arrested until April 2 the owner of the electronic version of the Vek newspaper, the administrator of the Novy Vek Telegram channel Alexander Gusov. He is a defendant in the case of extortion of 12 million rubles. for the installation of so-called blocks – temporary blocking of the output of negative information. Alexander Gusov is in the status of a suspect, but, according to Kommersant, the prosecution under the relevant Art. 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation will be presented to him within a few days.
The Main Investigative Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs filed a petition for the arrest of the administrator of the Novy Vek Telegram channel and the owner of the electronic newspaper Vek with the Tverskoy Court. This department, we recall, is also investigating a criminal case of extortion against the administrators of the “Extinguish the Light” Telegram channel.
The district court considered the petition for a couple of hours.
Speaking during the hearing, the investigator gave standard arguments in support of his claims, assuring the court that, while remaining at large, Alexander Gusov could hide, put pressure on witnesses or destroy evidence.
Three lawyers suspected of large-scale extortion, in turn, urged the court to reject the petition and limit it to a preventive measure not related to the detention of their client. However, after listening to the arguments of the parties, the court considered the arguments of the investigation more weighty, arresting Alexander Gusov until April 2. According to Kommersant, the investigation will soon charge him under part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
The administrator was detained on the eve of his arrest, and the events were attended not only by employees of the “K” department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who specialize in investigating crimes in the field of high technologies, but also by the FSB.
Chekists, according to Kommersant, are in charge of the police investigation, carrying out its operational support. A search was conducted in the administrator’s apartment, during which computer equipment, telephones, etc. were seized.
According to investigators, the owner of “Vek” is rather the perpetrator of the crime. He, according to the investigation, coordinated the activities of the group, which for a long time “blackmailed citizens” by publishing “inaccurate and negative materials.” Another participant in the extortion and organizer of the group, the investigation believes, is a journalist from the Rosbalt agency (recognized as a foreign agent) and one of the administrators of the Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, Alexander Shvarev. The latter is wanted as part of a case of extortion of $50,000 from Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev and has been living in Riga for several years.
The investigation into this case began after businessman Albert Avdolyan filed a complaint with law enforcement agencies in early February. As follows from the case, unknown people extorted 12 million rubles from the founder of Yota, threatening, in case of refusal to pay, to publish a series of negative articles in several popular Telegram channels that contained “fictitious information” that harmed his business reputation.
In the case of payment of money, the establishment of so-called blocks was stipulated – a temporary ban on mentioning a businessman in a negative way.
Mr. Avdolyan paid part of the amount to the extortionists, but then, considering these demands illegal, he turned to the police. According to investigators, the money received was divided among the members of the group.
Moreover, Alexander Gusov knew, according to Kommersant, about the investigation that had begun and tried to slow it down. Lawyers for the detainee declined to comment on the investigation. The representatives of the victim also abstained from them.