Jury do not believe in innocence of thief in law Armen Kanevskoy’s Kuban gang

Jury do not believe in innocence of thief in law Armen Kanevskoy’s  Kuban gang
Monument on the grave of Armen Kanevskoy

Four members of the criminal group were convicted.

Wednesday witnessed the jury of the Krasnodar Regional Court passing a guilty verdict to four members of the gang of thief in law Armen Arutyunyan, known in criminal circles as Armen Kanevskoy, acting in the Krasnodar Territory. This is reported by Interfax with reference to the prosecutor's office of the region.

The agency notes the jury's decision was unanimous.

"Oleg Vanchenko, Ernest Lalabekov, Manuk Torosyan and Alexander Zhigalko were found guilty of banditry and not deserving indulgence. In addition, depending on the role of each, the defendants were found guilty of the murder of four people, extortion and illegal circulation of firearms", said a representative of the prosecutor's office.

The jury recognized M.Torosyan's guilt in one of the ‘minor’ episodes of extortion not proven.

As previously reported by The CrimeRussia, Armen Arutyunyan and his gang emerged in the Krasnodar Territory in the late 1990s. There was a strict hierarchy and discipline in the group, and the crimes committed by the members of the group were characterized by relentless impudence. The bandits took business and property away from entrepreneurs, and also ‘put them on the counter’, the proceeds were then divided among themselves and spent on a noble scale.

The main place where the members of the gang rested and held ‘business’ meetings was Krasnodar casino Shambala.

During the trial the prosecutor stressed that Armen Kanevskoy was crowned by Ded Khasan, and members of his gang Oleg Vanchenko and Ernest Lalabekov were good at handling firearms. In addition to pistols with silencers they had machine guns and grenades. This information was obtained from the testimony of witnesses.

The representative of the state prosecution also told that in October 2006 Armen Kanevskoy persistently offered a ‘roof’ to businessman Suren Yegiazarov, who was a co-owner of cognac factory Novokubanskoe LLC. In exchange for his patronage, he demanded that the entrepreneur pay him $30.000 each month. Yegiazarov paid the bandits the required amount only once. His subsequent refusal to pay ‘tribute’, in the opinion of the state prosecutor, became the reason for a reprisal against the businessman.

The gang members killed Yegiazarov and his two sportsmen-guards in the afternoon of January 30, 2007. They were shot in Uyut cafe, located on Trudobelikovsky farm in Krasnoarmeysky district of the Kuban, and subsequently the bodies were hidden.

The participant of the triple murder was owner of this cafe Sergey Khachaturyan. Law enforcers went to his trail and tried to prevent the attempt to hide, they expected that during the detention he would rat out his accomplices. To prevent this, Armen Kanevskoy ordered to get rid of Khachaturyan. His body with a bullet in the head was found only in 2015. It was in a pit, filled with concrete, in the territory of a factory for the production of paving slab in the village of Kanevskaya.

In 2010 Armen Kanevskoy was convicted of organizing an especially grave crime. However, the criminal case against him was terminated, as the thief in law died in hospital №2 of the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Astrakhan region in December of the same year.

When it comes to Oleg Vanchenko, Ernest Lalabekov, Manuk Torosyan and Alexander Zhigalko, their case was passed to the Krasnodar Regional Court.

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