December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
A racketeer who used Russian Premier Vladimir Putin’s name on forged identity documents has been told he will lose £17,000.
Vladimir Tugusi, of Cullingham Road, Ipswich, received at five-year jail term at the town’s crown court in April.
Now, the 31-year-old has been brought back to court for a proceeds of crime hearing to confiscate his money and possessions.
Tugusi used a selection of identities on various fake documents. These included two forged driving licences and a Cypriot identity card in Mr Putin’s name.
The father-of one’s illegal activities were discovered when police went to his home after a report of a domestic dispute at around 10.30pm on July 28 last year.
Tugusi, who had £10,000 on him, was detained as he tried to flee the scene in a BMW.
After the Lithuanian-national’s arrest officers found an extensive and elaborate forger’s kit.
Police discovered a number of identity documents which included false passports and driving licences.
Suffolk Constabulary’s financial investigation unit began confiscation proceedings which culminated with Ipswich Crown Court forcing Tugusi to hand over his entire known assets of £16,871.
Following the hearing financial investigator Andy Gould said: “ Yet again the Proceeds of Crime Act has been used to its full effect by our specialist staff by stripping an individual who was engaged in identity crime of the wealth that he had accumulated from his involvement in his illegal trade, the very thing that had motivated him to engage in that activity in the first instance “
Tugusi was convicted of 11 offences after a trial.
He was found guilty of seven counts of possessing identity documents, including an Estonian and two Polish passports. There were also four false ID cards from Poland, Cyprus and Lithuania in different names.
Tugusi was also convicted of three offences of possessing the false identity documents relating to Mr Putin.
In addition he was found guilty of money laundering between January 6, 2012 and July 30, 2012 amounting to a benefit of £34,864.