Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gang Scams Thousands of Veterans

Police have detained more than 40 members of a gang accused of orchestrating a nationwide scam that involved thousands of retirees, mostly veterans, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

The veterans were promised medals and cash prizes in commemoration of the Victory Day holiday on May 9 but were told to pay an 18 percent tax on the gifts, said police spokesman Filipp Zolotnitsky.

The swindlers also sold expensive fake medicine, Zolotnitsky said.

Early estimates say at least several thousand retirees were targeted, and the scam brought in 1.5 million rubles ($47,000) a day. No figure was offered for the total amount of money collected.

The swindlers even called veterans who complained to the police and told them that the perpetrators had been caught but the victims needed to pay the 18 percent tax again to receive the prizes, Zolotnitsky said.

The report did not say how the gang was busted, only saying that it had involved a complex operation.