Pichuga prefers elite armor
As it turned out recently detained thief in law known as Pichuga loved luxury: a three-story mansion in Rublyovka (prestigious residential area), vehicle park and top-class hotels.
Thief in law Yuri Pichugin (Pichuga) arrested last week on suspicion of Creation a Criminal Community (Art. 210 of the Criminal Code) could know about the impending arrest. Kommersant writes about the details of his detention. As an interlocutor of the publication said, the operation to arrest the criminal was planned for February 18, the day when the criminal case was initiated. On that day Pichuga moved from his house in Rublyovka to closed elite cottage settlement in Khovrino. Later Georgian thief in law Merab Gogiya (Meliya) with a friend came to him, and they went together in the direction of St. Petersburg. Moving at a speed of 200 km/h, they attracted the attention of traffic police who tried to stop them. However, criminals ignored the requirement of state inspectors. In the next post of Road Patrol Service special forces of the FSB were already waiting for them. During detention nobody maintained resistance, and Pichuga was quickly brought to Moscow. When searching him seven cell phones and 350 thousand rubles ($6 thousand) were found.
At the same time the security forces visited his place of residence – a house in luxury villa community Barvikha Hills located near Moscow on Rublevo-Uspenskoye highway. The three-storey family house with a total area of 3 thousand sq. m, where Pichugin’s family lived (wife and four children) has a pool, sauna, cinema, gym, prayer room with old icons and library, the largest part of which is occupied by literature on Orthodoxy.
In the garage investigators discovered a fleet of armored executive class cars: Bentley, two Mercedes, Toyota Land Cruiser, the total value of which, according to preliminary estimates, is over 100 million rubles ($1.7 million). Besides, Pichugin often spent time in the capital's luxury hotels – the detectives found annual passes worth 1 million rubles ($17 thousand) each for living in them.
On the same day associates of Pichugin were detained. In Pyatigorsk security officers arrested his closest ally – Hadis Azizov (Lomano). The operation was carried out in restaurant Bellissimo, where he came to the meeting with a friend on Mercedes S500 with the state number of the 11th region (Komi Republic). In Syktyvkar they found other members of the gang and businessmen close to them – Alexey Rokhlin, Sergey Soldatov, Sergey Vanuyto, Maxim Abubakarov, Alexander Egorov, Oktay Efendiyev and Akhmed Isaev.
According to a source of Kommersant, they were taken after the leaders on purpose in order not to frighten them off as Pichugin could flee to Saudi Arabia. When it comes to Komi, he payed short visits to it, and got there only on other people's cars, and Azizov has been recently making trips mainly between Georgia, Ukraine and mother Dagestan.
On the same night Pichugin and Azizov were taken from Moscow to Syktyvkar by plane, accompanied by a special group of the FSB, where later a local court decided to arrest them.
At the same time during the interrogation Pichugin claimed that he was not a thief in law.
The criminal proceedings against Pichuga and other detainees took place based on materials relating to their acts committed back in 90s. According to the investigation, the criminal created a criminal group in the Komi with the aim to patronize businessmen. In the 2000s the bandits began to launder money obtained by criminal means through the legal business: catering, entertainment and services, passenger transport, timber companies. The investigation believes that former athletes and former officers of law enforcement agencies and special units of the Russian Armed Forces were also involved in the crime gang. As for Pichugin, in criminal circles he was called one of the main candidates for the place of thief №1 Shakro Molodoy.
The billionaire colonel who held the post of head of the regional Economic Security Department, and then Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department for more than 12 years, kept his 1 billion ($15.2 mln) in bank accounts.