ST. PETERSBURG, March 26 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) — Former St. Petersburg Baltic customs inspector Alexander Zharin was found guilty of taking 51 bribes in the amount of $178,500 for falsifying documents related to the export of tobacco products and sentenced to 7 years in a strict regime colony, the United press service of St. Petersburg courts informs RAPSI on Friday.

This decision was made by the Petrogradsky District Court of St. Petersburg. During the trial, Zharin was under house arrest, so he was taken into custody right in the courtroom. His property was also confiscated by the court, the statement reads.

Zharin was a senior state customs inspector. As it follows from the materials of the case, from December 2018 to March 2019, the man acting in conspiracy with two other customs officers Alexey Ermolaev and Alexander Maklakov received bribes from the head of the primary trade union organization of the Baltic Customs Gennady Rogachevsky for each instance of false exports procedure; altogether, he registered 51 consignments of tobacco products, which, in fact, did not leave the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union and were sold without the payment of the respective excise taxes to the budget.

Moreover, Russian entrepreneurs, the owners of the said tobacco products, which they purchased in Belarus, could refund VAT on the territory of the Republic, the decision reads.

The criminal case against Rogachevsky and Maklakov was submitted to the Petrogradsky District Court for consideration on the merits, but was returned to the prosecutors due to certain violations found in the indictment. This decision of the court is now being appealed on the proposal of the prosecutor's office in the St. Petersburg City Court.