Frightened by sanctions and political persecution, “departing” from Russia for abroad, they tried to illegally take with them more than 150 million rubles – in rubles and foreign currency. Such statistics were presented to Izvestia at the Federal Customs Service (FTS). We are talking about undeclared money in excess of $10,000 and the equivalent in other currencies. Experts say this is due to – quote “the desire of citizens to find a “safer haven” for their money.”
In 2022, there is an increase in the number and volume of violations of the illegal movement of cash, the FCS commented. The amount of funds that they tried to illegally take out turned out to be 55% more than in the same period in 2021. Only from February 24 to March 31, 1078 such facts were established for a total of 158 million rubles. Last year, as experts noted, during the same period, 815 cases of illegal movement of cash worth 124 million rubles were detected.
The very nature of violations has also changed – in 2022, the vast majority or 890 cases, or about 85% of all violations, are accounted for by the removal of funds. Citizens wanted to take out without declaring 104 million rubles, or exceeded the limits established since March 2, that is, a ban on the export of foreign currency from the Russian Federation over $10,000. By the way, almost every second such violation falls under the latter case. Earlier, by the way, import and export was not limited, only for more than $10 thousand it was necessary to issue a declaration, and more than $100 thousand – to confirm the origin of money.
“In 90% of cases, money was exported by citizens of the Russian Federation, which due to their concern for their savings in the context of the aggravated geopolitical situation and sanctions pressure on the country,” said Oleg Gubaidulin, Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia. According to him, the most popular destinations for the export of cash were those countries where the “departants” mainly migrated: Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the countries of Central Asia.
“The illegal transportation of Russian rubles, dollars and euros in luggage or in clothes without concealment is more often recorded. But there are also cases when money is hidden in the lining and under the insoles of boots,” FCS experts say. At the same time, lawyers almost sympathize with the “victims”. “Often citizens give in to panic and try to take their savings and capital away to where, in their opinion, it will be safer. The events of the last month have pushed citizens to more active transactions with money, and in some cases to the sale of property in order to further withdraw the proceeds abroad. Such a desire of people is dictated more by emotional manifestations than by criminal schemes,” Polina Gusyatnikova, senior managing partner at PG Partners law firm, told the publication. However, there is no legal possibility to take out of Russia a large amount exceeding $10,000, the expert stated.
According to the law, for non-declaration or false indication by an individual of the amount of cash and instruments moved across the customs border of the EAEU (Article 16.4 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation), an administrative fine is provided. Its size can range from one half to two times the amount of unspecified funds or monetary instruments. Upon reaching the threshold values of a particularly large size, as well as in the case of a crime committed as part of a group of persons, liability is provided in the form of restriction of liberty or forced labor for up to four years.
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