The last way: who and how earns in Russia at the funeral

Saturday’s carnage on Khovanskoye cemetery, that killed a security guard and a migrant worker, has led many to become interested in what is happening in the field of funeral services. Not only Moscow but throughout Russia. It turned out that on the death of the business - both highly profitable and extremely private. And the very burial in the cemetery - it is only the last link in a long chain of services funeral agencies provide to their clients. Ruposters figured in the shadow of the ceremonial business.


Faster “Fast”

funeral services market in Russia is divided between a huge number of ritual agency, differing scope and range of services. The work of many agencies funeral begins long before reaching a dead person to the cemetery, and manipulation at this stage are only the final stage of the company’s long relationship and a “client”. Often, they are starting with the last life. And if the client has not yet decided on the choice, he needs help. This marketing rights in all unscrupulousness have adopted and pohoronschiki.

For example, last year for the World War II veterans in Yekaterinburg funeral agency arranged a tea party on the eve of the Victory Day. The event took place right in the office, where pensioners brought deception - they were promised a tour of the city. In this event the organizers did not hesitate to admit that such a greeting was organized for “potential clients”. And this is not an isolated case. Three years ago in Murmansk on the eve of May 9 veteran received a letter with information about discounts on funeral services.

However, often such a “preparatory work” is being targeted - directly from the relatives of those citizens who feel a sharp deterioration in health. Most often this happens in the regions, bypassing Moscow and St. Petersburg, causing resonance only at the local level. For example, in 2015 in Ufa ritual agent came to my parents-year-old girl, hospitalized with angina (subsequently recovered child), and in the Arkhangelsk region undertakers find out their rights to burial alive even when the pensioner.

It happens so that the agents of funeral companies are represented by employees of the morgue, taking the body in an unknown direction and then asking for it “ransom” in the form of providing a complete set of ritual services. Therefore we tried to do in Nizhny Novgorod.

Some of the new players in the funeral business do not hesitate to use brute force to suppress the activity of competitors - for example, employees of Yekaterinburg funeral agency, whose leadership is believed to have been close to the slain crime boss Ded Hasan came to the dead with bats and tire iron - in case if someone from their “colleagues” could arrive at the scene before. As a result - the seizure of about one third of the funeral business in megacities, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits every month.

All these cases are possible due to the close working relationship between employees of “First aid” (more rarely - the police) agencies and ritual. The problem is compounded by the fact that the law, these relationships are not regulated in any way that opens the door for those who want to earn. Prices for such “beacons” to “Fast” employees of funeral firms may be different, but usually in large cities reach 5-8 thousand per call, and in Moscow - 15 thousand. Under the same scheme work and some doctors intensive care units.

Sometimes this leads to outbursts of popular anger, but more often than not emerges out - rarely heartbroken cousin finds the strength to deal with unscrupulous health workers or pohoronschikami.


The wide scope for corruption opened in cases where morgues are located on the territory of the hospital complexes. For example, in the town of Kalach-on-Don (Volgograd region) to cooperate with the city morgue, located at the hospital, allowed only organization approved by the head physician. In the case where people are ordered services in another office with lower costs, hearses simply passed on the hospital grounds.

Workers themselves mortuaries may also seek out various ways to further illegal earnings. The most common method - a bribe of “acceleration” process of opening, which is sometimes not required. Most often, this service is in demand in metropolitan areas after the holidays or weekends, when the body accumulates in the morgue of the dead, and relatives tend to have time to bury the dead in a short time.

At the cemetery

When the body is put into a graveyard, levies are not only not ceased, but has become more widespread. The first thing you should know: the earth under the disposal of Russian citizens is provided for free. Grave digging is also possible in the home, forced to this, no private or public entities are not allowed. Nevertheless, the staff of funeral agencies are well aware that the loss of a loved one watch not everyone starts to think about the laws of the Russian Federation.

The most common form of profit at the cemetery - burial plots for sale. The price varies depending on the prestige of the cemetery and, of course, the status of the city. If Sterlitamak “improved” (and free by law) of land sold for 4 thousand rubles, and in the Bryansk - for 40 thousand, in Krasnoyarsk - already 150 thousand.

In Moscow, as we know, all cemeteries are closed to burials. But the rule is valid not for everyone. By law, there is a new burial allowed only in one case - if the cemetery has buried one of the relatives. This and earn funeral agents - make out the dead as the heirs of a family. In private conversations, they emphasize that part of the sum goes to “roll back” by the employees of the cemetery. Another part of the money goes officially, over the counter, “to avoid unnecessary questions from the authorities.” Money in the budget comes from these activities a little bit - the fee for re-burial in private cemeteries - 15-20 thousand rubles.

The cost of seats on the already closed cemeteries (including the elite type Vagankovsky) up to several million rubles. In January this year, he was arrested (and received a suspended sentence) Head Khovanskii cemetery space for sale 475 thousand. Bury relative to the Ostankino cemetery, according to unofficial rates, it is worth half a million rubles, Mytishchi - from 800 thousand.

Not averse to earn on the ground for a cemetery and ordinary Muscovites, who have a “quota” for burial. For example, if you enter the query “place in the cemetery” on a popular bulletin board “Avito”, easily find a number of options. How are ads appear on a voluntary basis, is difficult to judge.

Since the funeral business is not homogeneous (there are municipal funeral service, self-supporting in its essence, and private), between its individual players as there are conflicts. The reason for these differences is simple - if the “municipalities” are buried, for example, for 50 thousand rubles, the private traders dumping and offer their services in several times cheaper. As a result, almost every attempt to dig up the grave is not the efforts of the municipal company leads to conflict not only with rival organizations, but also with the relatives of the deceased.

Some people have to guard the grave dug, that they are not bombarded with competitors

Another possibility to earn money on the cemetery - burial at a place where there are already grave. By law, such disposal is carried out after 20 years. However, the director of cemeteries tend to turn a blind eye, for a fee, allowing dozahoroneniya after five or 10 years.

In addition to providing land for burial, and imposed “additional services.” Often cemeteries employees impose the purchase of coffins is made - otherwise refusing to carry through the cemetery “foreign” products. Digging graves - is also in the work of the theory, which can take on themselves relatives (if they wish). In practice, it becomes imperative to a paid service from which the refuse does not work. The average price of one digging the grave and can reach 40 thousand rubles, and even more. For the money kopschiki not only choose a good place for graves, but also help to bring the coffin to the place, and even perform a “non-standard” order - if the growth in the deceased more than 2 meters, from the pressing of the button will have problems because of the graves of the law that permits the grave of no more than 1.80 to 2 meters.

If the seats in the cemetery is not all, it also solved. Employees of one of the municipal unitary enterprises of the Sverdlovsk region began to dig up corpses from graves and sell the remaining seats. The price of such dumping has reached 100 thousand. Do not refuse and by now traditional tricks (such as oil cloth with water on the bottom of the grave), which are sung even in the domestic film industry.

Most illegal immigrants working in cemeteries, with no work permits. In this case the lion’s share of orders for the digging of graves, transport and disposal of the body, and subsequent landscaping is done by them. The remaining 10% comes from the official MUPy cemeteries. In addition, income migrants bring and repair work on the restoration of monuments and graves. This, of course, are the workers themselves, destroying graves, to subsequently receive an order for recovery. There are also other orders. So, in April of this year, it became clear that migrants for 40 thousand rubles agreed to dig a human body and sell it to the skull.

It is clear that the cemetery - a place of increased kriminagennosti where not only earn serious money, but also to hide the evidence of crime (including the victims themselves) and virtually uncontrolled storage of weapons and drugs. For example, a year ago, a drug dealer was arrested in Moscow, which is arranged in cemeteries so-called “Bookmarks”.

Why is this happening?

According to Rosstat, in 2014, Russians spent on the funeral more than 54 billion rubles - but this is only the legal market. The main part of the business (60%) is “in the shadows”. According to various sources, the proceeds of illegal business can range from 60 to 200 billion rubles. At the same time, according to vice-president of the Union of Funeral Organizations and Crematoriums Russia Alexey Suloeva, the cost of funeral services is overstated by 400%.

Gone underground funeral business in 2002 when it was abolished compulsory licensing of funeral companies - a result of the industry rushed businessmen who did not have special education and putting themselves one goal - nobody uncontrolled earnings.

However, it is recognized that criminal funeral business began well before the cancellation of licenses. For example, in St. Petersburg “redivision” of the market began in 1995, when due to gang warfare, which decides who control the funeral market, killing dozens, or even hundreds of people. The victims’ funeral mafia “were employees of morgues and firms providing funeral services, medical professors, priests, doctors, drug treatment, ie, everyone who could be involved in the profession.

As a result, almost 15 years without effective legal restrictions funeral business is almost completely lost the ability to control by independent organizations, and even the state itself. In some cases, the scope of funeral services in the largest cities of the country “guarded” by local officials and has already become an important part of the “gray” economy.

Ruposters asked for a comment to Elena Andreyeva, executive director of the Union of Funeral Organizations and Crematoriums, which noted that the state should take control over the industry back, because “Currently do not have any criteria for assessing how and by whom can work in this area, as the services to be provided and what they should be quality.” According to her, after the abolition of licensing of funeral activities in 2002. All control is reduced to a discussion of the bill, according to which the Ministry of Construction should be responsible for this area, but in the position of the Ministry no changes are made and it is still not in charge of anything.

“The situation turns out, when the state is governed by the Act of 1996, which includes a license, and self licensing already abolished. The new bill includes licensing activities, which will significantly improve the situation, but it is still being developed. So far, there is no oversight departments, there are no clear standards and requirements governing the quality of our services, we will have what we have - illegal workers who provide substandard services, organize pogroms in cemeteries, and other problems in the field “, - said E. Andreev.

17 May 2016

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