In 2002 the Federal Tax Police Service of Russia will have additional ways to fight economic crimes, Major-General Viktor Vasilyev, head of the Moscow Federal Tax Police Service Department, said at a news conference. The introduction of the new Criminal Proceedings Code beginning July 1, 2002 will allow the Federal Tax Police Service to use four of its articles. The Tax Police will be able to file criminal cases for 53 kinds of crimes. According to Vasilyev, the Tax Police support stricter sanctions for crimes related to tax evasion. In particular, for crimes comprising complex tax evasion schemes that cause substantial damage to the state as well as for repeated tax crimes. These proposals are being considered by the respective committee of the State Duma, Vasilyev pointed out. He expressed hope that they would be adopted by lawmakers this year. There will be better guarantees for protection of Russian citizens' rights and freedoms after the introduction of the Criminal Proceedings Code, Vasilyev believes, since criminal cases for tax evasion will be filed only with the consent of the Prosecutor's Office, and many actions, such as searches, seizure of documents, arrests, will need court authorization. It was especially emphasized at the news conference that not only the number of tax and tax-related economic crimes had increased in the past year, but these crimes had reached a principally new level. Actions by the Federal Tax Police Service in 2002 were aimed against interregional tax crimes and use of complex schemes by criminals.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)