Harju County Court has taken into custody altogether seven people, including six on Wednesday and one on Thursday, as suspects in belonging to a criminal organization.
The Office of the Prosecutor General requested that the court take seven suspects into custody and the court agreed, the Prosecutor's Office said. The suspects in custody include attorney businessmen Hubert Hirv and Pavel Gammer; attorney Viktor Sargava was released.
More than ten people were detained and questioned as suspects in membership of a criminal organization. Procedural acts in said investigation were launched on Tuesday. Police also searched the homes and workplaces of the suspects, located mainly in Tallinn and Harju County, but also elsewhere in Estonia.
According to the allegations, the criminal organization, which engaged in criminal activity for years, has committed numerous economic crimes and crimes against property with the aim of monetary gain for its leaders and members. In addition to physical persons, legal persons were used for the commission of criminal offenses. The exact size of the proceeds of crime is being established.
Persons arrested include businessmen Hubert Hirv and Pavel Gammer, and among the suspects is attorney Viktor Särgava. Also among those arrested is former police officer Aivar Orukas, who has worked for more than ten years at the anti-money laundering office of the Central Criminal Police, as well as former Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) staffer Viljar Subka.
Ahmed Ozdojev, an individual known in the Estonian criminal world, was also named as one of the suspects. According to the allegations, his activities were related to attempted extortion.
According to ERR's information, allegations concern several episodes of tax fraud entailing altogether at least €1 million, as well as an attempt to blackmail over $3 million from an entrepreneur.
State Prosecutor Eve Olesk, the prosecutor leading the investigation, said that the alleged leaders and members of the criminal organization were declared suspects on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Office of the Prosecutor General was set to seek custody for some of the detainees.
"As according to the allegations the actions of the detained individuals were aimed at earning illegal income, in the course of further proceedings, great attention will be paid to the identification and seizure of the proceeds of crime," Olesk noted.
Central Criminal Police Director General Aivar Alavere said that unlike the criminal organizations that have thus far come under investigation, which have been engaging in drug crime and violent crime, this group engaged in white-collar crime.
"The organization had a constant and systemic structure in which each member contributed to the earning of criminal income," Alavere said.
The investigation is being led by the Office of the Prosecutor General and conducted by the Office for the Investigation of Economic Crimes of the Central Criminal Police.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Source: BNS, ERR