An industrious conman made a hefty sum of money from four illegal migrants for a walk in the forest, making them believe they were crossing the Russian border. The group, however, was later nabbed by legit Russian border guards.
Details of the bizarre affair were revealed to the media by the Border Service of the Federal Security Service on Tuesday. The incident occurred last week when the border guards apprehended a group of four illegal migrants from South Asia and their guide, also said to not be a Russian citizen.
While it looked like an attempt to illegally cross the border at first, the ‘guide’ turned out to be a con artist. He created a fake Russian-Finnish border somewhere in the forest on Russian soil, and then led his clients on a long hike to it. The ‘guide’ tried to make the forest trip look like an actual illicit border crossing attempt, and even carried around an inflatable boat, claiming it “might come in handy.”
The conman charged the migrants for the journey – which was basically a walk in the forest – the hefty sum of €10,000 ($11,100). His plan was ultimately to abandon his clients in the forest, waving them goodbye and sending them off in the general direction of Finland.
Violating the border is a criminal offence in Russia which can result in up to six years in prison. However, since no actual border was violated by the group, the migrants got away with a fine and will be deported from the country. The conman remains in custody and faces fraud charges.