The battle begins. Guli VS Shakro Molodoy 

The battle begins. Guli VS Shakro Molodoy
Photo: The CrimeRussia

The growing authority of thief in law Guli sooner or later had to lead to a clash with one of the equally influential thieves. The question was only in the level of his future opponent. It turns out that it is Shakro Molodoy, thief in law No. 1, that came into conflict with Guli. Not directly, but it is already clear that Guli’s position is incredibly strong and that he cannot be defeated “in one fell swoop.” Read The CrimeRussia’s material to learn whether the clash of thieves was an accident or a subtle operation of the special services.

In late August, a seemingly unremarkable event occurred in Turkey. At the meeting of thief in law Nadir Salifov (Guli) and Guram Chikhladze (Kvezhoevich), the latter got hit by Guli's henchman, the aspiring Kazakhstan crime lord Arman Dzhumageldiev, also known as Arman Dikiy. He considered the behavior of the hereditary Kutaisi thief – who stood up for the enemies of Guli, followers of Rovshan Lenkoransky’s clan, who were preparing an attack on Salifov’s house in Turkey in the fall of 2017, and called them his friends – too impudent.

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Guli and Arman Dikiy

After a joint photo of Chikhladze with some person related to the Dzhaniev family appeared on the Internet, Guli warned him to stay away from them – “I wouldn’t want a thief to suffer, but if the ‘boy’ misunderstood something, I’m not to blame for it,” Salifov said. However, the ‘boy’ ignored the warning.

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Rovshan Lenkoransky and Kvezhoevich

The fight was quickly stopped, but further conversation failed. Guram hastened to retreat, so that the situation did not end for him with even greater losses. Guli’s side also tried to hush up the conflict. Arman said that he did not know about the status of Kvezhoevich, and the incident got a fairly chilly reception of other thieves, who clearly did not want to argue about it with Guli. But then, Chikhladze’s godfathers – Shakro Molodoy and Badri Koguashvili (Badri Kutaissky) – stepped in.

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Kvezhoevich

Let us step back a little. Guram Chikhladze joined the family when he was 16 (!). This has no precedent. The fact is that 6 years before that, in 1994, bandits shot his father, the influential thief in law Avtandil Chikhladze (Kvezho) and his mother right in front of little Guram. Therefore, thieves took him under their protection and endowed him with thieves’ powers to give him the opportunity to avenge the death of his father. After 20 years, the man who was considered Kvezho’s killer – David Melkadze (Dato Potiysky) – was shot dead at one of the shopping centers in the Krasnogorsk district of Moscow region.

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Kvezhoevich with his father

And now, the influential thieves decided to demonstrate their responsibility for him. Badri Kutaissky even declared his intention to arrange a mob summit regarding the behavior of Guli, who allowed the beating of the hereditary thief. 

“Krasnoyarsk was in vain when some freiers beat thieves with impunity,” Koguashvili said, referring to the colonies of the Krasnoyarsk region, known for the fact that thieves are ‘broken’ there. 

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Badri Kutaissky

Shakro Molodoy support him, saying that a blow to Guram’s face is a slap in his face. Nevertheless, despite such pompous statements, the rest of thieves thought that Arman’s actions were not enough to debunk Guli. Especially since after the incident, Kvezhoevich himself is much less active than Badri.

Ignoring the hustle and bustle around, Guli celebrated his 47th birthday on August 28; the party was attended by Diky Arman. He presented a birthday cake with the flags of the Central Asian countries and the countries of the Caucasus, apparently demonstrating the appreciation of Guli expressed by crime lords representing these regions.

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Guli and Arman Dikiy

A week later, on September 6, Guli arranged a meeting, which was attended by such thieves as Zhurakovsky (Vova Pukhly), Mzarelua (Duyake), Gegechkori (Roland Shlyapa), Pipiya (Merab Sukhumsky), Dzhanelidze (Gogi Pitersky), and others. They debunked Kvezhoyevich, Kogoguashvili, and Emzar Dzhaparidze (Kvuatia), who supported them.   

Merab Sukhumsky (Pipiya) showed particular support to Guli. He said that he was fed up with the games played by Shakro, who made thieves play one off against another. These tricks are obsolete; manipulation will not work - everything will be exposed quickly. In addition, Pipiya recalled that Shakro used to be in a similar situation once. For example, when Daur Gubliya (Duka) was beaten by freiers in his presence. In addition, referring to Oleg Pirogov (Tsirkach), Merab actually accused Shakro of ordering the 2015 murder of Vadim Ivanenko (Vadik Krasnodar). 

To recall, having returned from Spain after the death of Ded Hasan in 2014, Kalashov began to conduct an audit and revealed a shortage of $6 million in the part of the common fund entrusted to Vadik. In response, the latter said that the money was allegedly seized by the Adygei police, and went to Turkey. In Antalya, he was shot to death by a killer. Pirogov knows this story firsthand, as it is believed that the so-called ‘aspirant’ nicknamed Mongol committed the murder. At that moment, Tsirkach, whose group included Mongol, was with him. In March 2017, Istanbul court sentenced Mongol to lengthy imprisonment. Despite the fact that in the thieves' world, the theft of the common fund can be punishable by death, Kalashov can now be reproached with the fact that he made this decision on his own, without taking into account the opinions of other thieves. And this already looks like a serious bite on Kalashov. Previously, Guli had already showed his disagreement with some of Shakro’s positions, as if emphasizing his independence. For example, last summer, when choosing a successor to Kalashov in the person of Oleg Shishkanov-Medvedev (Shishkan), Salifov said that he did not intend to participate in the vote, since he personally “did not need a king.” However, he was forgiven for that. Especially since he played nice and did not mess with anybody all these years after his release, quietly recapturing the assets that previously belonged to Rovshan Dzhaniev, who was killed in 2016. The current situation is totally different. At the gathering held by Salifov, the floor was given to the ‘guest of honor,’ Arman Diky, who explained his motives for beating the thief and did not encounter any opposition from the people present. In addition, it turned out that each of those three who had the drop on Guli – Badri, Kvezhoevich, and Kvatiya – themselves had conflicts with thieves. Badri with Roland and Mzarelua, Guram with Gogita, and Kvatiya with Taro and Merab can hardly raise questions about someone’s debunking until they solve their own problems. In conclusion, Guli said that he will “jab” anyone who would build on their opinions. After all, Kvezhovich almost no chance to redeem his character in the near future. The authority of Badri Koguashvili, who intervened in the case, and who never gathered a mob summit to discuss Guli’s deed, has significantly frayed. Moreover, rumor has it that Guli swore on the Qur'an that he would get him by any means. 

But this did not end there. Shakro’s next move was an attempt to weaken the position of Merab Sukhumsky through Artyom Sargsyan (Artyom Saratovsky). Recently, Kamo Safaryan (Kamo Gorkovsky) suddenly recalled him, saying that he has got a gambling debt since the time when he was not a thief. Artyom lost $1000 in backgammon, but paid only half of the amount. However, Kamo’s interest did not find any understanding from the community. With his lunge, Safaryan only brought problems upon himself. In particular, rumors from the early 80s, according to which Kamo was “broken” by transfer to the lower caste in prison at the direction of the administration, were recalled. Allegedly, the prisoner, who committed indecent actions with him, was subsequently killed. And when thieves directly asked Kamo about this, he only asked if they were looking through the peephole. His answer was not to their satisfaction, but they did not dare “touch” Kamo without solid evidence. Now, in addition to this incident, members of the Dzhangveladze-Oniani clan may also have complaints against him because of his participation in circular letter from crime bosses in relation to Taro, which deprived the latter of his status.  

There was a rift among the Russian thieves. They all supported Badri Elgudzha Turkadze (Gudzha Kutaissky) and Asatryan Sr. As for Vagif Bakinsky and Miron, they did not want to mess things up with Guli. Of course, the conflict has not yet reached its peak phase, but for now there are no ways to resolve it. As a result, through their actions, thieves can easily destroy the already fragile world that reigned among them in recent years. By the way, not without the efforts of Shakro Molodoy, who took control of the situation in 2014 and made several important decisions. For example, the ban on new vettings in order not to fuel the warring clans. The question is who will benefit from the new inter-clan war? Certainly not thieves.

The battle between the opponents is now taking place on the information field, in the framework of which Dzhumageldiev’s accusations of having links with Kazakhstan’s special services appeared in some media. Allegedly, Guli is quite aware of this, but he does not take any actions since he gets his benefit from this. For example, he continues to live quietly in Turkey and the UAE without fear of being caught by any security forces. To recall, he is on the wanted list in Russian on charges of ordering the kidnapping of a businessman and extortion.

Indeed, the 34-year-old native of Shymkent Arman Dzhumageldiev was not previously widely known even among people related to the criminal world, and then all of a sudden, he became the main newsmaker.

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Although, he has already managed to prove himself more than once in his native Kazakhstan. As one of the senior Kazakhstani policemen once described him, “Arman is a risky and desperate guy. He can beat a man for no reason, have a mass brawl in a public place, or even start a shootout with competitors.” He has been engaged in boxing from his childhood, and hence got his nickname – Diky (‘Wild One’) – for his passion to brutally beat his rivals on the ring.

He became well-known in 2005, when he, along with about 50-80 other men, attacked participants in a conference of opposition representatives in one of Shymkent hotels. Waving posters with slogans saying “You are the shame of the nation” and “We stand for Nazarbaev,” the thugs for hire beat the people who gathered at the event and then destroyed the premises.

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Similar fear campaigns against the opposition are also used in Russia, when “unknowns” attack citizens, and law enforcement agencies cannot find them. Nevertheless, the most active provocateurs were detained in Kazakhstan back then. Later, the trial showed that they were undoubtedly connected with the official authorities. Despite the fact that Dzhumageldiev was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan at once, including Hooliganism, Moderate Bodily Harm and Carrying Firearms, he received only a suspended sentence. One more curious circumstance emerged at the trial in 2003. Arman Diky and a dozen thugs attacked two men, as a result of which one of them was hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the stomach. A criminal case was initiated, which never made it to court. 

In 2008, Arman once again reappeared in the news when there was an attempt on him in Shymkent. Unknown people were shooting up Dzhumageldiev and several henchmen, who were leaving a multi-story building. As a result, two of his bodyguards were killed on the spot; Arman himself was wounded, but managed to escape. At the scene, the police found an arsenal of three pistols (which, however, most likely belonged to the murdered comrades of Diky Arman), as well as an abandoned Kalashnikov assault rifle.

The attack was associated with a long-standing conflict between Arman and local oligarch Tokhtar Tuleshov. Its root cause is not known. In Shymkent, it was believed that everything happened because of Tuleshov’s children, who became infamous for their hectic and cheerful life. Allegedly, there was drunken quarrel between one of Tuleshov’s offspring and Arman in a nightclub. This was the beginning of their confrontation. At the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that both claimed control over the city (at a minimum), and collisions could not be avoided. 

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Tokhtar Tuleshov

Despite being the official owner and head of Shymkentpivo LLP, Tuleshov run his business in a very specific way. His subordinates from among the employees of a private security company and even drivers were often involved in crimes. In 2016, Tuleshov appeared in court along with another 23 close associates, many of whom held high posts in law enforcement agencies. The ‘Beer King’ was found guilty of a number of charges, including the preparation of a coup, and sentenced to 21 years in prison. Among the charges brought against the gang, there was Murder, Robbery, Kidnapping, Illegal Imprisonment, Creation, Leadership, and Participation in an Organized Criminal Group, and many others.   

By the way, shortly before the incident with Arman, the Congress of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) unanimously elected Tuleshov as the head of one of the association’s committees in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei in 2007. At that time, well-known gangland businessman Gafur Rakhimov (Gafur Cherny), whom the US Treasury named one of the members of the united criminal group Brother’s Circle and the leader of the Uzbek drug trade in February 2012, was the executive vice president of AIBA.  

So, one of the employees of Tuleshov’s brewery turned out to be Arman’s shooter. After only six months, he and his brother, who also worked at the brewery, were overtaken by a backlash from Dzhumageldiev. On the outskirts of Shymkent, unknown people shot them at point-blank range. As law enforcement officers later found out, Arman Diky first hid in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, and then after a few months he appeared in Almaty, where part of his group remained. That was where he was detained with drugs and ammunition. Sentencing him to a real term, security forces practically saved him from reprisal. While he was serving his time, Tuleshov’s people were still trying to find out who exactly had shot the members of their gang, for which they even abducted one of the Arman’s men, but the latter did not rat out anyone and was released. Soon the oligarch’s gang itself came to an end.

Meanwhile, Dzhumageldiev continued his criminal path after being released. A few years ago, he had a conflict with another major Kazakhstani mafia head, leader of the Adyl Kytay organized crime group, Adilzhan Zaynaudin. 

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Adilzhan Zaynaudin

A certain Baygabatov, who later testified as a witness in this gang’s case, said that in 2016, Zaynaudin told him that he had made unnecessary statements during one of the events in Shymkent. In particular, he said that he would crush this city and used obscene language when talking about Arman. Later, he refuted his words and asked his interlocutor to help him. Since Baygabatov knew Arman, he called him to peacefully resolve the conflict. The parties seemed to have had agreed on that. However, at the same time, Baygabatov found out that Adyl Kytay militants had begun to actively purchase weapons, clearly preparing for some sort of major showdown. 

Large-scale bloodshed was prevented by security forces, who detained Adyl Zaynaudin along with active members of his group in 2017. In addition to Adyl Kytay, by that time, law enforcement officers had defeated such powerful groups as Deputatsky Korpus (‘Deputy Corps’), Chetyre Brata (‘Four Brothers’), and others, which made it possible for Arman to come to the fore.    

Perhaps the fact that all of his enemies fled the race precisely thanks to security forces sowed doubt on him. He has made life for law enforcement officers even easier by going to Turkey, where Guli currently is. 

According to insiders, Guli’s cooperation with ‘Kazakhstan’s freelance state security agent’ is the reason why Interpol is not looking for him at Russia's request. By the way, let us recall Salifov’s relationship with the Turkish authorities. He was detained, but soon released. He was asked to leave, and he left. And then he returned without any hindrance. In addition, he enjoys the support of other thieves who need protection and a little break from persecution in other countries.

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There were also statements by experts from among the ex-operatives that Guli might even renounce the title, since he would be forced to do so by the ‘anti-thief’ law and blackmailing with the use proofs of his cooperation with special services. However, there are absolutely no prerequisites for this. He is not afraid of Russian laws, and most likely secret services need something else from him. Although it is difficult to believe in Guli’s connection with them and completely impossible to prove it.

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