Pop singer Grigory Leps denied entry to Israel over mafia ties 

Pop singer Grigory Leps denied entry to Israel over mafia ties
Grigory Leps

The Israel authorities do not officially comment on the reason for the denial of the singer’s entry. A Knesset deputy from the repatriate party, Yuliya Malinovskaya, sent a request to the Minister of Internal Security of the country and the Police General Inspector with a demand to sort out the situation.

Russian singer Grigory Leps was denied entry to Israel. Yulia Malinovskaya, a member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) from Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party, reported this on her Facebook page.

The concerts of Grigory Leps were to be held in Tel Aviv and Haifa on May 24 and 26, 2018. According to organizers of the singer’s concert tour, at least 3 thousand tickets worth from 300 to 800 shekels (from $80 to $230) for the two Israeli shows were sold.

Deputy Malinovskaya, who was contacted by the organizers of Leps’ tour, sent inquiries to Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan and the General Inspector of Police with a request to explain on what grounds the popular singer, who is to arrive with tours to Israel from Europe, where he had repeatedly performed, was denied entrance to the country without any explanation.

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Yulia Malinovskaya's request

According to the deputy, 17 musicians and technical workers accompanying the singers in the tour received entry permission without any obstacles. The only one who the Israeli authorities unexpectedly stopped is Leps himself.

"The Israeli police have nothing more to do - all cases are detected, all criminals are punished. There is nothing else I can link the amazing fact that the police are now dealing with the issue of the entry of popular Russian singer Grigory Leps to Israel to," Malinovskaya writes in Facebook.

Yuliya Malinovskaya expressed her hope that the Israeli authorities would "promptly react to this absurd situation, as a result of which it will be possible to avoid an extremely unpleasant diplomatic incident with Russia and prevent moral damage to thousands of fans of the famous singer’s talent." 

The Israeli authorities did not officially announce reasons for the refusal, but it may be connected with the accusation of Leps by the US authorities in 2013 of involvement in Eurasian criminal organization Brothers' Circle.

According to the American authorities, in the criminal community, Grigory Leps served as a carrier of money for thief in law Vladislav Leontyev (also known as Vadik Bely). For this reason, the singer, who was featured on the sanctions list of the US Treasury, was not allowed to enter the United States and Great Britain before, The CrimeRussia reported in April. According to the singer himself, in the British diplomatic mission, his documents were "examined for 120 days and eventually wrapped up with reasons not explained."

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Grigory Leps calls the US accusations absurd, although he never denied his friendly ties with many representatives of the underworld, which is evidenced by numerous photographs with criminal ‘authorities’ and thieves in law. At one of the press conferences, he also acknowledged the fact of a long-standing friendship with crime lord Vladislav Leontyev, nicknamed Vadik Bely, but noted that "he does not get involved in the affairs of his friends."

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Grigory Leps at the birthday of thief in law Sergey Asatryan (Osetrina Mladshy) in 2012

It is worth noting that Grigory Leps is not featured in the list of Russians associated with crime updated by the US authorities in December 2017.

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Instead of him, two thieves in law - nephew of Ded Hasan Temuri Mirzoyev (died in 2014) and Vladimir Vagin (sentenced to 7.5 years) and three more defendants of Brothers’ Circle-2013 Vadim Lyalin, Almambet Anapiyaev, and Artur Badalyan were included in the updated sanction list of the US Treasury. These are thieves in law Yury Pichugin (Pichuga) and Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik), as well as authoritative Russian businessmen Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (Tayvanchik) and Ruben Tatulian (Robson).

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