Candidate for throne of Shakro Molodoy detained 

Candidate for throne of Shakro Molodoy detained
Yuri Pichugin

Judging by the latest events, the Russian criminal world has lost one of the candidates for the vacant place of ‘Crime Lord No. 1’ Shakro Molodoy.

As reported by the press service of ICR in the Republic of Komi on February 18, Slavic thief in law Yuri Pichugin, nicknamed Pichuga in the criminal world, has been detained.

Seven members of an OCG headed by Pichugin have been detained along with him. According to TASS, Pichuga has been detained in Moscow without resisting. The detention of six members of his organized crime group has taken place in Syktyvkar, that of another one – in Pyatigorsk.

As reported by the ICR's press service, employees of the regional offices of FSB and MIA had previously conducted searches at the place of residence and stay of Pichugin and active OCG members in Moscow, which revealed weapons' caches.

Based on the operative materials provided by the MIA and FSB in the Republic of Komi, the regional investigative department of ICR has initiated a criminal case against the leader and member of Pichugin’s OCG. They are suspected of forming a criminal organization and participation in it, as well as the illegal acquisition, transfer, transport and storage of firearms, their parts and ammunition (Art. 210 and 222 of the Russian Criminal Code). 

According to the criminal case materials, in 1994,  thief in law Yuri Pichugin created a criminal group "for joint commission of grave and especially grave crimes aimed at obtaining financial or other material benefit" on the territory of the Komi Republic. According to investigation, former athletes and former officers of the law enforcement bodies and special units of the Russian Armed Forces were invited to participate in the OCG.

The investigation has information that in the early phase of the Pichugin OCG's activity, the participants engaged in 'protection racket' of local entrepreneurs, forcing them to accept it by damaging their property and threatening physical violence.

Money and property received as a result of the OCG members' unlawful activities would be transferred to the general treasury ('the common fund'). According to the case materials, funds from persons serving sentences in custody and continuing to commit crimes being convicted, and from other persons systematically engaged in criminal activity, were also sources of the common fund replenishment. Large embezzlement from stores, robberies, theft of oil products, telephone swindling, and fraudulent activities with real estate are among the crimes, the revenue of which would be added to the Pichugin’s common fund. 

It is reported that in late 90's, the OCG leader introduced common rules of conduct for all members of the ogranised crime group and developed sanctions for their violation, as well as the rules of safety and secrecy. From that moment on, Pichugin’s OCG acquired “a hierarchical structure, cohesion, and an elaborate system of secrecy and protection from law enforcement, as well as the scope of actions that are unique to a criminal organization,” as reported in a message by the ICR press service.

In the 2000s, the era of of rampant money laundering, the Pichugin's OCG began to invest the money resulting from crimes into legitimate business. According to investigation, a wide range of business areas – from catering, organization of recreation and personal services to timber harvesting, as well as passenger and freight traffic – became the object of investment.

A preventive measure in the form of detention against the detained members of Pichugin's OCG is currently being selected. It is reported that Pichugin himself and a member of his crime group detained in Pyatigorsk will be soon taken from Moscow to Syktyvkar for election of a preventive measure. Investigation into this criminal case is ongoing.

Let us recall that, according to the CrimeRussia, thief in law Pichugin used to be one of the main candidates for the throne of ‘Crime Lord No. 1’ Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) , who had been arrested in summer 2016. Other possible candidates for the Thieves' Crown of Russia from the 'Slavic' wing included Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik), Oleg Shishkanov (Shishkan), Aleksey Petrov (Petrik), and Vyacheslav Shestakov (Sliva).

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Zakhary Kalashov

According to the CrimeRussia's source, immediately after Zakhary Kalashov’s detention, the power structures of the Russian Federation were ordered to disrupt the ‘election’ of Shakro Molodoy’s successor up until the presidential elections. Judging by the detention of Pichugin’s OCG, this is what we are seeing now. It is possible that detention of other influential thieves in law, who have claimed this criminal office, will follow in the near future.

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