A new assault on a homosexual occurred in Moscow on March 22 in Bolshoi Tishinsky Lane, the victim himself told The Village. The criminals found him through a fake profile in the Hornet dating app. When they met, they called themselves policemen, and then began to threaten and extort money. At least three more similar attacks in Moscow over the past month are known.
“At one o’clock in the morning I wrote a handsome bearded guy in the Hornet. We corresponded for about half an hour. He asked how I feel about the DOB (a hallucinogenic drug. – Approx. Ed.) , And invited me to my house, – says Kirill (the victim asked not to mention his last name. – Approx. Ed.). – I had a bad premonition, because the guy was too beautiful – such photos can easily be fake. Nevertheless, I went to the shower and drove off. When I began to dial the code from his intercom, I realized that there was no “grid” button on the intercom, although there was a grid in the code sent by him. I immediately realized that this is a divorce. It was two in the morning, no one was on the street. I turned my head to the left and saw two men moving from the arch towards me. I began to walk away from them quickly, but they caught up with me and stopped me by the hand. ”
Unknowns quickly showed IDs. They talked politely and calmly. They said that Kirill “must have drugs with him,” and demanded to sit in the white Renault car with them in order to go to the police station and take tests (now Kirill claims that he did not have any drugs). The young man refused and asked to watch him on the spot with the witnesses. It did not suit the men, they demanded to pay 50 thousand rubles in order to disperse “in an amicable way”. Cyril had only 20 thousand in the account, he took them off under the supervision of one of the robbers in the Sberbank branch in the same house. Finally, the robber warned Cyril that “next time you shouldn’t swing your rights.”
The young man told The Village that he didn’t go to the police, because “I still can’t prove anything,” because I gave the money voluntarily: “I chose the option to disperse in an amicable way. It is better this way than with broken teeth, ”says Kirill.
The Village is known for at least three more identical attacks on homosexuals in Moscow in the past March: Nikolay (the name has been changed. – Ed.) Gave the robbers 30 thousand rubles on Nagatinskaya Street in the SAD – and here the same white Renault car appeared . In another case, Mikhail (the name has been changed. – Ed.) Did not succumb to the threats of the robbers, meeting with them on Saratovskaya Street. Another robbery attempt occurred on March 10 near the Shabolovskaya metro station.
Extortion through social networks for dating is not a new phenomenon. The Village did a detailed investigation about this in September 2018. Criminals post a profile of a young handsome man (they call it bait) on dating sites, in public posts on VKontakte or in Grindr, BlueSystem, Hornet, Love.Mail.ru applications. Then through this profile with the victim agree to meet at the house. Some men are being watched in the place of a man – as a rule, they are represented by the police, and then they are threatened with “consequences” and extort money.
On the same Nagatinskaya street plundered in 2018. Sergey Egorov (the name has been changed. – Ed.) Then told The Village that he went on a sex date, but at the entrance two men showed him official IDs of “some kind of anti-drug authority” and asked to drive with them. In the car, Sergey was told that he had to pay 50 thousand rubles, otherwise he would be thrown drugs.
Another gang, about which The Village wrote , operates in the Eastern District of Moscow, near the metro stations Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad and VDNKh. These robbers beat the victim and threaten outing, having previously lured into a rented apartment, where a company of young people is already waiting. Together, they beat a person, try to give him alcohol and extort money. In this case, the lure can be guys 18–20 years old, often heterosexual.
Extortionists do not act out of ideological motives, such as Tesak and his followers, explains Andrei Petrov, head of the Stimul human rights organization. They do not catch pedophiles, but simply try to make money on gays, accusing them of pedophilia – most often the victims are convinced that there is no bait for 16 years. According to Petrov, his police sources claim that the gang of the Eastern District of Moscow earns up to 500 thousand rubles a week on gays.
In April 2016, Medusa wrote about similar attacks in St. Petersburg. There, a group of at least five people who robbed gay men using Hornet operated for more than a year. Six months after the publication of the two members of the group was convicted . One of them received two years and three months in prison, the other was sentenced to two years on probation and released from court. At least three accomplices in the crime remained at large.
A year later, the Saratov court sentenced four residents of the neighboring city of Engels to six years in prison under Articles 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Extortion”) and 161 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Robbery committed by an organized group”). They also robbed homosexuals, called them pedophiles, and also uploaded videos in a group on VKontakte.
A court sentence is an exception, usually after a robbery, they do not even initiate criminal proceedings, because the victims do not write statements. According to the Stimul poll, which was attended by 1,869 people, only 4% of gay people who were attacked appealed to human rights LGBT organizations, another 20% went to the police, and 70% did not go anywhere at all. Homosexuals are afraid of criminal responsibility, because they do not know exactly how many years have been bait, and also hide their orientation from relatives and friends.
The Village sent a request to the Investigative Committee of Russia to consider all the available materials, as they may indicate the work of a certain criminal community or organized criminal group. At the time of publication, the editors received no response.