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27 Jan, 2020 12:36

Man 'in difficult financial situation' abandons young children at Moscow airport – Russian cops investigating

Man 'in difficult financial situation' abandons young children at Moscow airport – Russian cops investigating

Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against a man who dumped his children at the country's busiest airport.

According to authorities, 41-year-old Viktor Gavrilov from the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur arrived on a long-haul flight from Khabarovsk to Moscow's Sheremetyevo before abandoning his two sons.

The man then boarded a different plane to Rostov, near the Black Sea, leaving his kids with their identifying documents and a note: "Please help my children. Please place them in a temporary shelter, because at the moment I have a very difficult financial situation. I'll pick them up later. I ask that the children not be separated. The children's documents are in the backpack. Sorry, but at the moment I have no other choice."

The two boys, six and nine-years-old, told their story to airport employees, who in turn took them to the police. The abandoned children spent half a day in the transport police's juvenile unit, before a decision was made to send them to a hospital near the capital.

The Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Khabarovsk region Victoria Tregubenko told the press that they had found the mother of the children and that she didn't know anything about the situation. According to Tregubenko, the boys' parents have not been in contact for some time.

The children may be returned to their mother, or assigned to an orphanage.The father is being investigated under article 125 of the Criminal Code ("Abandonment"), which has a potential sentence of up to one year in prison.

According to the note found with the children, Gavrilov has poor finances. But the cost of a flight from Khabarovsk to Moscow typically costs around 13,000 RUB (207 USD) per person, while the average official wage in Khabarovsk, regarded as a prosperous city, is higher than the national average.

Unemployment in Khabarovsk Krai is currently at 2.5%, almost half the nationwide figure of 4.8%. Incomes in Rostov, by contrast, are considerably lower.

Meanwhile, Moscow Oblast Governor Andrei Vorobyov announced on Social media that he had visited the children in the hospital. Vorobyov published a photograph showing him sitting at a table with the two children, who said they loved their father very much. Vorobyov promised to find Gavrilov a job, and has arranged that the boys go on a trip to an aquarium.

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