Far Eastern thief in law Sakhno comes to the fore

Far Eastern thief in law Sakhno comes to the fore
Eduard Sakhnov (Sakhno)

Every week, the dominance of the crime boss is growing, covering an increasing number of prisons of the Sverdlovsk region.

The influence of Eduard Sakhnov (Sakhno), the leader of the once largest Russian gang Obshchak, continues to grow in the Urals, despite the resistance of the opposing forces. As PrimaMedia notes, Sakhno manages to control the situation in the jails quite successfully.

Sakhno is serving his 22-year time in the Nizhny Tagil strict-regime prison No 12, where he was moved at the end of 2018. Yekaterinburg’s prison No 10, where the photographer Dmitry Loshagin is serving a sentence for killing his wife, has new Sakhno’s underbosses in almost every detachment. The sources of AIF-Ural said that they were living according to the thieves’ code now, i.e. the thief in law has his people there.

However, the underbosses may also be a part of a big game of security officials, which may result in the application of the recently adopted “anti-thief” law. In that case, the power pyramid lining up under Sakhno may, in fact, be controlled by the prison authorities and even used against the boss himself. The law, which provides for criminal liability for leadership in the criminal hierarchy was signed by President Vladimir Putin the other day (Art. 210.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The punishment is between 8 and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 5 million rubles.

Creation or leadership of a criminal community shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of 12-20 years and a 5 million rubles ($76 thousand) fine; participation in ‘conventions’ of leaders of organized crime groups shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of 12-20 years and a million rubles ($15 thousand) fine.

At least 2 persons fall within the new law in Sverdlovsk region. They are a ‘thief in law’ Giya Akoev (commonly known as Giya Sverdlovsky) who lives in Yekaterinburg, and Eduard Sakhnov. The former tries to stay low-profile following his release; in contrast, the latter is ‘gaining weight’ on the wings of the wind.

Besides Akoev and Sakhnov, there were a few people who had the same high status in Yekaterinburg; and again, they were of different ‘weight categories’. They are, for instance, Karoogly Mamedov (Karo), Andrey Trofimov (Trofa), and Oleg Sukhochev (Sukhach). The latter is serving his term beyond the region; Mamedov and Trofimov do not officially possess their ‘crowns’ any more (which is disputable though). Akoev and Sakhnov are expected to face the new law. To all effects and purposes, authorities can play the card by laying a challenge at feet of the ‘thieves’: either publicly refuse from the status or get a long term for it.

Transfer of Sakhno to the Urals had earlier been considered a plan of the prison authorities to keep the balance and controllability in Sverdlovsk region’s colonies. Sakhno who adheres to the customs of ‘thieves in law’ was allegedly supposed - by his presence - to even out the situation that had been stirred up by the uncontrolled crime of the ‘active’ side: perpetrators of a will of the prison authorities among the convicts.

As soon as the news on his transfer emerged, many analysts started predicting the redistribution of power in the region’s criminal world due to the fact that Sakhnov was expected to bring everything to heel by pushing out less competitive players and finding accomplices in the new spot.

Eduard Sakhnov and other members of Obshchakovskiye - including Lepekha (Sergey Lepeshkin), and Leshy (Oleg Shokhirev aka Malek or Pensioner) - took the control over the region in quite an extreme way: they burnt relatives of businessmen who did not want to share their earnings with them, beat the unwanted reporters who had published exposes, and hired underage persons who later gathered tributes from entrepreneurs for them.

In 2001, Sakhno became the gang’s leader following the arrest and death of Jem. In 2005, Sakhno was arrested during the period of the destruction of Obshchak by law-enforcers. In 4 years, Sakhnov and other ‘thieves’ - including Oleg Semakin (aka Eva) and Shokhirev and a few other ‘authorities’ - were convicted by Khabarovsk regional court.

The accused got from 12 to 25 years of deprivation of liberty for several serious crimes including creation of a criminal community. With that, Sakhnov got 25 years. Later, the court of appeal reduced it to 22 years.

URA.ru had earlier reported that Sakhno had had high-ranking protectors including those within the State Duma. In particular, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov (as well as other deputies of the Russian parliament) had sent a letter in support of Sakhnov to the Supreme Court and the General Procurator’s Office. 

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