Last week, Alexander Smirnov, founder and director of the forex broker STForex was placed under arrest, the Tverskoi District Court of Moscow said on Wednesday. According to the Court, Smirnov is suspected of violating the law under the article “fraud in an especially large amount” with a prescribed penalty of imprisonment for between three and 10 years.
Smirnov was detained at the airport two weeks ago and is still in jail, according to sources familiar with the situation. Moreover, another co-founder and managing director of forex broker STForex, Evgeny Filippov, is currently wanted by authorities.
According to eyewitness reports, authorities searched offices of STForex on April 10, and on April 13, whilst Smirnov himself was taken into custody pending trial on Friday. The case was registered with the Tver district court on April 13, 2018.
The charges against Smirnov are in relation to Article 159 part 4 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: “fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale or resulting in the deprivation of the citizen’s right to a dwelling,” which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years, a fine of up to 1,000,000 rubles ($15,670) or the amount of wages and other income of the convicted person for a period of up to three years.
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Judge M.V. Sizintseva decided to place Smirnov in custody in accordance with Clause 1, Part 2, Article 29 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, namely: “detention as a preventive measure is applied by a court decision in respect of a suspect or accused person the commission of crimes for which the criminal law provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for more than 3 years, if it is impossible to apply a different, milder measure of restraint”.
In this case, the judge’s decision should specify the factual circumstances on which the judge made such a decision. Such circumstances cannot be verified during the court session.
According to the court register, Smirnov’s lawyers appealed the court decision on April 18, 2018, but, apparently, at this moment in time, the measure of restraint has not been altered.
STForex is formally registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The company has comfortably been operating on the Russian market for over eight years.
The brand successfully obtained a license from a forex dealer in neighboring Belarus, where it now officially offers its services on behalf of STF Capital, whilst last year they were given category A membership by the Financial Commission.