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The chief of Russian association of copyright protection in internet (AZAPI) is suspected in fraud attempt while protecting copyright

Many Russian media resources have reported one interesting thing. The chief of organisation, protecting copyright and fighting piracy in Russia, like with the case of Librusec, Maksim Ryabiko as reported has been detained on suspicion of racketeering.

Everything began with one meeting of “old friends” at café. During this meeting one man has given to other 5 million roubles (actually it was 150 thousand roubles, other banknotes were dummies). It should be a price for freedom and compensation for injured person. These 5 million was only a part of 50 million. This meeting was under control of enforcement authorities.

 What happened? In relation to founder and member of one internet store in Russia it was initiated a criminal case for illegal trade of digital products. Some clever people decided to use right circumstances in their behalf. They claimed themselves as representative of injured person and proposed to pay 50 million roubles as compensation to such person. Injured person did not know about such arrangement. As it flows logically, one of such “representative” was Maksim Ryabiko. Ryabiko denied his detention. “I don’t know where this information about my detainment came from, but I hear it first time. It is everything fine with me.”

But other source has reported that it is about Maksim Ryabiko and his business partner Artem Sherbakov. They were detained after receiving of 5 million roubles from CEO of internet portal Imobilko Nikolay Beloysov. For this sum of 50 million roubles Ryabiko and Sherbakov have promised to assist in a ceasing of criminal proceedings against Beloysov. After detention Ryabiko and Sherbakov have been brought to interrogation. After that they have been released under recognisance. They are only suspected; there is no indictment yet.

This story is remarkable for one reason. Maksim Ryabiko is a chief of AZAPI – organisation fighting with piracy in Russia. This association has asked enforcement authorities to inspect internet store Imobilko and to check his owner Nikolay Beloysov on the subject of connection with Librusec. After inspection it was initiated criminal case under article 146 of Russian criminal code.

As explained Beloysov, Ryabiko and Sherbakov after Beloysov’s interrogation clarified to him his “position” in this case. He was told that he is witness in this case, but it very easy to make him indicted. He also was told that for 50 million roubles it is possible to “resolve” this problem – no criminal case and he will be free of any charges. He was given 2 hours to think and 48 hours to get the money. There were two meetings. Initially Ryabiko and Sherbakov wanted to take money in their office, but enforcement officers insisted to meet in public place where it would be easier to detain suspected red-handed. It happened at the second meeting in café.

Before this meeting Beloysov received official paper from LitRes company. This company also was a claimant in criminal case against Beloysov. The paper stated that LitRes does not have any claims to owner of Imobilko. Nikolay Beloysov is a victim in criminal case of attempt fraud and enforcement authorities check possible relations between suspected and police officers.

AZAPI itself denied the fact of Ryabiko’s detainment. One source has informed that Ryabiko has used Skype for conversation. “If he would be detained, he could not do it.”