Two Russian former National Guardsmen found guilty of extortion and bribery walk free

Alexander Boikov and Nikita Lavrentiev. Photo: Mediazona

Alexander Boikov and Nikita Lavrentiev. Photo: Mediazona

Two former members of Russia’s National Guard were allowed to walk free on Tuesday despite being found guilty of extortion and bribery by a St. Petersburg court.

Alexander Boikov and Nikita Lavrentiev, both of whom submitted partial guilty pleas, were both found guilty of extortion, large-scale bribery, abuse of office and possession of illegal drugs, though several more charges against the pair had to be dropped due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Boikov and Lavrentiev were found guilty of extorting up to 140,000 rubles (€1,400) from six people while working for the National Guard, Russia’s internal military force. The defendants were also both found to be in possession of methamphetamine upon their arrest.

One of the pair’s victims was a 16-year-old schoolboy who they illegally detained in 2019, according to prosecutors. The court heard that the boy was instructed to transfer 30,000 rubles (€300) to the men in exchange for his release and was told that they would falsely accuse him of being intoxicated if he failed to comply. After receiving the bribe, Boikov and Lavrentiev nevertheless filed a report about the schoolboy regardless.

Despite sentencing Boikov and Lavrentiev to four years in prison for their crimes, the court ruled that both could walk free, having taken into account time already served by both men either in jail or under house arrest since their arrest in 2019.

While both men were stripped of their police titles and banned from working in law enforcement for seven years, a fine of 3.5 million rubles (€37,000) given to both men was reduced to 1.2 million rubles (€12,000) by the court.

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