Secret witness in case of Armen Kanevskoy’s gang
According to the state prosecution, the OCG created by the thief in law continues to function. Witnesses are threatened, and one of them has been recently beaten by unknown persons.
The Krasnodar Court has interrogated a witness (whose name is sealed for security reasons, and who appears in court under the surname ‘Ivanov’) on the murder of Сhairman of Novokubansky Cognac Distillery’s Board of Directors Suren Egiazarov. As noted by Kommersant, Ivanov was in another room during the interrogation, and his voice was disguised.
A week ago it became known that witnesses are threatened, and one of them had been recently beaten by unknown persons. Public Prosecutor Svetlana Nekoz noted that despite the fact that crime lord Armen Kanevskoy has died, the OCG he had created continues to function and “represents an increased danger due to years of criminal experience and extensive corruption links.”
The secret witness questioned on the case told that on the day of Egiazarov's disappearance in January 2007, he was in a car together with thief in law Armen Kanevskoy near the café where the distillery co-owner and his companions were seen for the last time. Ivanov, who admitted that he also belonged to the criminal world, said that he had heard Arutyunyan's telephone conversation with Egiazarov when he had been driving his car along Trudobelikovsky Street. From the content of the conversation, he realized that Egiazarov refused to pay for ‘protection’.
After that, Ivanov got in his car and headed to Krasnodar. Driving past the café Uyut (Comfort) on the exit from Trudobelikovsky Street, he saw his acquaintances Erik and Alik (whom he knew as people close to Armen Arutyunyan) moving from the parking lot to the entrance to the café. In his words, one of them had an automatic rifle, and the other had a pistol.
Then, according to the witness, he got a call from Arutyunyan, who told him that there had been a murder in the café, and he needed help in reburialing corpses, who had been buried in a field near the café. “There’s been a heavy frost for several days, and then Armen said that that the issue had been resolved,” the witness told.
Let us recall that co-owner and chairman of the Novokubansky Cognac Distillery’s Board of Directors Suren Egiazarov and athletes Vladimir Mollaev and Artur Ovasopyan (World champion in sambo among students), who accompanied him, disappeared without a trace on January 30, 2007 at the Trudobelikovsky farmstead of the Krasnoarmeysky district, Krasnodar region.
According to the investigation, all three were killed by members of thief in law Armen Kanevskoy’s gang in the Uyut café at the Trudobelikovsky farmstead, however, their bodies have not yet been found.
The court began reviewing a criminal case against four members of the gang in February 2017. The defendants were 48-year-old Oleg Vanchenko, 45-year-old Ernest Lalabekov, 54-year-old Manuka Torosyan, and 55-year-old Aleksandr Zhigalko. They were charged under part 2 of Art. 209 (Participation in a stable armed group), items (a, b, and с) part 3 of Art. 163 (Extortion committed by an organized group), items (a, g, h, j), part 2 of Art. 105 (Murder of four persons committed by an organized group), and part 3 of Art. 222 of the Russian Criminal Code (Illegal Acquisition, Storage, Transportation, and Bearing of Firearms). All four were detained in 2015; they all categorically deny their guilt.
The criminal community created by Armen Kanevskoy was eliminated after the thief in law’s death in prison in 2010, where he had been serving a sentence for another crime.
According to the criminal case, Armen Kanevskoy and his henchmen had demanded that Egiazarov pay them 30 thousand dollars monthly under threat of reprisal against him and his family. After paying once, Egiazarov then refused. Following that, he and the accompanying athletes were assassinated on the order of Armen Kanevskoy. The criminals abandoned Egiazarov's car on a road in the suburbs of Anapa; they threw the victims’ phones in bushes near the Krasnodar airport to make it look like Egiazarov had fled.
Two weeks later, the criminals murdered the café owner Sergey Khachatryan, fearing that he could have given them away (he had helped them get rid of the bodies). His corpse was found in a well in the territory of a facility for production of tiles in the Kanevsky district.