National Guard colonel detained for extorting $48k from businessman under state protection
An OMON special forces battalion commander promised to extend the term of a protective order in exchange for a bribe.
OMON Special Forces Battalion Commander Mikhail Pytalev was detained by FSB officers the day before on suspicion of extortion. According to siloviki, he demanded 3 million rubles ($48 thousand) from the founder of several construction companies Karen Mkhitaryan for the extension of security interventions. At the time, he was already under state protection as a defendant in a criminal case. Earlier, a thief in law Sergey Asatryan (Serezha Bentley, Osetrina Mladshy) and his uncle Artur Bagdasaryan had previously asked him to give them money. Threatening the businessman, they extorted $1.2 million.
A criminal case was initiated into this incident, as part of which Mkhitaryan was placed under state protection as a victim. However, it has been recently removed. In early February last year, Asatryan and Bagdasaryan were sentenced to 9 and 8 years of special and strict regime colony, respectively.
After the case was initiated, according to The CrimeRussia’s source, Mkhitaryan himself became an extortionist, expressing readiness to change his testimony in exchange for $400 thousand, which he demanded from thief in law Eduard Asatryan’s wife. After that, he was dissatisfied with the published materials about him. He even showed up at Rosbalt’s editorial office accompanied by two OMON soldiers and insisted on having a talk with the news agency’s employees.
Pytalev promised to give part of the money to employees of the Center for State Protection of the MIA Main Directorate in Moscow, which is engaged in the protection of victims, witnesses, and other participants in criminal proceedings.
At the same time, the investigation believes, the colonel was just trying to trick the businessman, because he had no authority to cancel or extend security measures.
Pytalev was detained when receiving about 2 million rubles ($33 thousand). In the near future, the Court will decide whether to arrest him. A criminal case against him has been initiated under Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code (Swindling).
However, as Moskovsky Komsomolets found out, back in 2004, a subordinate of Pytalev (who then served in separate battalion No. 2 of the OMON), a commander of the platoon, and militia captain Karpov complained about him to the Police Trade Union over being beaten by the platoon fighters right in front of Pytalev. In addition, according to the complainant, a voice recorder, a police badge, and a ticket were stolen from him. He was diagnosed with a bruised face and shoulder injuries. However, the conflict was settled with the help of the Police Trade Union, and Pytalev continued his service in law enforcement agencies.
In 2018, the official became a founder of a fund that deals with shooting and entrapment of wild animals in a hunting sector he supervises. With that, the official did not report about it to his senior executives.