Six murders, extortions, frauds, thefts: ICR completes investigation into Pichuga OCC criminal case 

Six murders, extortions, frauds, thefts: ICR completes investigation into Pichuga OCC criminal case
Vor Pichuga is still at large Photo: Investigative Committee’s press service

There are 21 defendants in the case.

ICR in the Republic of Komi has completed the investigation into the criminal case against the leaders and members of the organized crime community founded by thief in law Yury Pichugin (Pichuga). This is reported by the press service of the Investigative Committee. 

There are 21 defendants in the case. All defendants, including the crime community leaders Yury Pichugin, Viktor Karpov, Khadis Azizov, and Sergey Vanuyto, are in custody. Depending on the role of each of them, the defendants are charged with Organization of a Criminal Community and Participation Therein (Art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code), Organization of a Gang and Participation Therein (Art. 209), six murder episodes committed by an organized group, associated with banditry, Attempt at Murder (Art. 105), Kidnapping by an Organized Group (Art. 126), Illegal Sale of Arms and Explosives (Art. 222 and 222.1), Extortion (Art. 163), Swindling (Art. 159), and other crimes. 

According to the investigation, Pichugin founded the OCC in the period from 1992 to 1994. Previously convicted persons, athletes, as well as former siloviki and military joined the gang. 

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One of the OCC members

The group members were engaged in business protection. The collected funds and property were transferred to the common fund, which was also replenished with the proceeds of crimes that were committed by those who were already serving a sentence or were in a pre-trial detention center. In addition, the group members were engaged in robbery, large-scale thefts from grocery and industrial stores, theft of oil products, and real estate fraud. 

Since the late 90s, Pichugin introduced a uniform code of conduct for all members of organized crime groups and a system of punishments for its violations, as well as rules of safety and conspiracy. Since that time, the group acquired the hierarchical organizational structure, cohesion, stability, the system of conspiracy and protection from law enforcement agencies, as well as the scale of actions that are unique to the local crime community. 

The arsenal of the gang included pistols, submachine guns, machine guns, a shotgun of a hunting rifle, silent shooting equipment and silencers, cartridges of various calibers and an electric detonator.

The group members committed six murders. In January 2005, Syktyvkar saw the gangsters shooting a businessman who did not return a debt in time. In May of the same year, they killed one of the members of their own group, who wanted to leave it. In August, the gang members eliminated a man that gave testimony to the security forces about the fraud schemes they implemented.

In June 2010, one of the members of the group, to whom its leaders had significant claims, was kidnapped and killed. The man, his hands tied, was taken to the territory of the production base in the village of Verkhnyaya Maksakovka, kept there, and then killed with strikes to the head with an ax. The body was thrown into a hole dug in advance, doused with flammable liquid and burnt.

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Pichuga 

In September 2015, another victim of the gang became the Director of a private security company, on the basis of whose testimony Yury Pichugin and several other gang members were convicted in the past. The man was shot from a machine gun and a pistol near the house in Pervomayskaya Street in Syktyvkar. The experts recorded more than 20 gunshot wounds on the body of the deceased.

The law enforcers detected the gang only in February 2017. Case materials against the gang amounted to 311 volumes. As part of the investigation, 123 forensic examinations were conducted, more than 680 witnesses were questioned, over 60 confrontations and 200 searches were conducted in various regions of Russia.

The case file was passed to the accused for review. The Investigative Committee reports that during the investigation, pre-trial cooperation agreements were concluded with the three persons involved in the case. Materials concerning them were separated from other proceedings.

The indictment against one of the three defendants was approved, the cases against two more were sent for approval of the indictment and subsequent transfer to the court for consideration on the merits.

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