The scammer charged 10,000 US dollars to four south Asian immigrants for taking them to the other side of the false frontier he had built.
Russian authorities have arrested a man who built a fake frontier zone in the middle of the the Karelian forest, near the Finnish-Russian border. He is accused of collecting around 10,000 US dollars from four South Asian migrant workers in exchange for the false promise to introduce them illegally into the European Union.
According to the Russian border guard service, the incident took place last week. The scammer even erected fake signs and fence posts imitating those which mark the boundaries of Russia and Finland. The objective, as he told his victims, was to reach the "other side" of the fence without being detected by the Russian border guard.
Later, he took the four immigrants on a trip around the Vyborg (Viipuri) region, first by car and later walking in the woods. At some point, he even led them around a lake, where he was carrying an inflatable boat "just in case" it would had been necessary.
All of them were later arrested.
According to Russian media, the conman was from central Asia. Now, he could be charged with fraud but not with human trafficking, since the Russian authorities believe he never had a real intention to bring the migrants across the border into Finland.
On Wednesday, a court in Saint Petersburg imposed a fine on the immigrants and ordered their deportation. Their nationalities have not been specified.
Having a border with many countries, Russia is increasingly becoming a country of transit for many migrants trying to enter the European Union.