Hitmen out of job as contract killings lose momentum
Law enforcement bodies of St. Petersburg have studied the record of contract killings and concluded that since 2000 the number of professional murders of businessmen and gangsters has considerably decreased.
The St. Petersburg Criminal Investigation Department has studied the statistics of contract killings and came to the conclusion that the current legislation has indeed made a difference as the number of murders by order has reduced. Now, rather than physically getting rid of a rival, it seems more reasonable to use lawyers and ties in law enforcement agencies. If seizing other people's assets had required ordering to kill the competitor before, now gangsters resort to raider seizures.
It is noteworthy that the Custom Murder Department established on April 1, 1999, was later renamed into High Profile Department, as they have to investigate a mounting amount of high-profile crimes not related directly to custom murders, while just 18 years ago, the department investigated custom killings day in and day out. In fact, that was when the great clash between the criminal clans was just over, and the biggest bosses were finishing their remaining competition. Then, people murdered by hitmen were counted in dozens, but by 2007 and 2008 this kind of murders had happened no more often than 10 per year, with the main target audience remaining people from the criminal community.
Changes in methods of work were noted by the end of the decade. Now the criminal world could not appropriate a competitor’s assets after he is killed, as businesses became more legally protected. They started using scheme involving raider seizures, while links in economic bodies of law enforcement agencies and arbitration courts got to be valued more than guns.
In 2013, the number of contract killings continued to decline, and the subsequent years had no more than 5 or 6 annually. The average customer has also changed: before, it was a criminal boss, and now it is a jealous husband or wife who is increasingly resorting to hitmen’s services.
2016 marked a new record: just 4 contract killings.