Two suspects in financing protest activities detained in Belarus

One of them is journalist Andrei Aleksandrov

MINSK, BELARUS – AUGUST 13, 2020: Law enforcement officers guard an area outside a temporary detention facility where detained participants in mass protests against the results of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election are kept. Natalia Fedosenko/TASS
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Law enforcement agencies of Belarus detained two people, one of whom is Belarusian journalist Andrei Aleksandrov, suspected of financing protest activities in the country. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus Gennady Kazakevich said on Friday.

“While investigating the channels of financing unlawful mass events in the Republic of Belarus, officers of economic crime fighting units have tracked down two individual entrepreneurs, residents of Minsk. They were detained on January 12. It was found that 42-year-old Andrei Aleksandrov and his 31-year-old cohabitant Irina Zlobina were engaged in financing people, taking part in the riots and other protests in Minsk since August 2020”, –  said Deputy Head of the Interior Ministry in his comments, posted in Telegram-channel of the Ministry.

“More than $100 thousand and euros were left in caches, found by the geolocation coordinates”, – Kazakevich added.

According to him, the financing of the protest activities was carried out “by paying fines, reimbursement of detention in the TsIP (delinquents’ isolation centre) and TDF (temporary detention centre), etc.”. “At the same time, they received all the funds used for these purposes from abroad,” Kazakevich said. He said that the detainees spent some of these funds for personal needs – rent of expensive housing in Minsk and purchase of food. “During the interview, Aleksandrov explained that he received an offer to engage in such activities from the solidarity fund BYHELP, whose founders are Andrei Stryzhak and Aliaksei Leonchyk.

The deputy minister added that Aleksandrov and Zlobina “paid more than 250 fines in total for various names between 22 August and 9 November 2020”. Kazakevich stated that “the money was transferred by means of bookmarks on the territory of Minsk district”. Also, the deputy minister added, a “bank card was prepared for Aleksandrov in a storage room of a shop in the capital, with which non-cash payments were made, as well as cash withdrawals”.

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