At its Thursday meeting, the State Duma of the Russian Federation passed a law that increases punishment for repeated unauthorised connection to oil and gas pipelines.
The law adds an article to the Criminal Code, in accordance with which unauthorised connection to oil, petroleum products and gas pipelines made by a person who previously came under a penalty for the above actions is punished by a fine of up to RUB 80,000 or by up to 2 years of confinement. If the crime is committed by a group of individuals by previous concert and in relation to trunk pipelines, the fine may amount to RUB 200,000, or the violators may face up to 3 years of imprisonment.
By the second reading, the law was complemented with a provision under which, if the unauthorised connection entailed a person’s death or other severe consequences by negligence, the guilty may be sentenced to a maximum of 8 years in prison. “A repeated tapping into a pipeline is not an accident, this is a proof of direct intent and criminal negligence of potential tragic consequences, which means the crime shall entail a criminal, rather than an administrative penalty,” said earlier deputy Nikolai Petrunin, one of the bill’s authors.
As of now, the maximum fine is RUB 15,000 for citizens and RUB 80,000 for authorities.