Thief in law Zhora Tashkentsky established gambling business

Thief in law Zhora Tashkentsky established gambling business
Tsirkach and Zhora Tashkentsky

Stakes reached millions.

Shymkent (Kazakhstan) convicted the former Head of strict regime colony ICh 167/3, known among people as the “31st”, Ayzhan Bakirov.

He was accused of complicity in the financing of a transnational organized group, abuse of official powers in the interests of a criminal group, fraud using official position, negligence, exceeding power or official authority. In particular, according to the materials of the investigation, in 2013-2014, crime lords and their accomplices organized an underground business in gambling in the Shymkent colony headed by him.

Earlier, the court has already passed sentences on convicts that organized this underground casino. Then the administration staff of the institution that patronized them were also convicted. Now time has come for the Head.

According to the national security agencies, wealthy convicts were involved in the game with professional card-sharpers, as well as masters in chess, checkers and other intellectual games, the stakes reached several million tenge (1 tenge = 17 kopecks). It was impossible to beat the ‘professionals.’ As a result, the relatives of the losers had no choice but to pay the debts to the “special representatives” of the prison casino at large.

According to operational data, the entire gambling system in the Shymkent colony was organized on the direct instructions of thief in law Georgy Sorokin (Zhora Tashkentsky), who ‘oversaw’ the criminal life of Kazakhstan from Moscow.

Part of the winnings went to “professional players,” the needs of blatnye prisoners (members of the highest caste in Russian prisons) and so on, and a third of the income was transferred to Moscow - to the common fund.

During one of such transfers of 30 thousand dollars from Shymkent to Moscow, the special services arrested all the accounts and six members of the top thugs who controlled the games directly in the colony. In April 2015, all of them were found guilty of financing the transnational criminal community and received extra 12–16 years on top of their terms.

A year later, other hearings on a case into a ‘prison casino’ were launched. 5 employees of the colony - including policemen operatives and accountants - found themselves in the dock.

With that, other crime instances were found out during the inspection. For instance, large number of rounds of ammunition from Makarov gun were stolen during target practices. Soon after, operatives of the National Security Committee found the whole ammunition: one of the policemen had stolen it and kept at home. Besides that, government funds were stolen, as well. Employees of the colony obtained cash through a tender on purchase of foreign TV-sets. The colony did not receive the TV-sets. The suppliers got a kickback for the trouble.

After the colony got audited, the colony’s administration turned to the ‘holders’ with a request to find money to buy the TV-sets. The ‘holders’ helped. As a result, 10 new TV-sets were brought to the colony.

Durin all this time - starting from 2014 - there had been investigation into the colony’s head Ayjan Bakirov. Nevertheless, it was closed and resumed a few times.

Finally, the case was transferred to court in 2018. The investigation theory is that all the criminal combinations in the colony were happening upon unspoken agreement and concerned protection by the colony’s head.

However, court concluded most of the accusations are unproved. For instance, transfer of money from Shymkent colony to Moscow occurred after Bakirov stood down.

As for theft of the rounds of ammunition, court concluded it was an order by the Minister of Defense. As a result, Bakirov was only found guilty under one article and released due to the expiry of the statute of limitations. He was let go home straight from the courtroom.

The Prosecution Service is going to appeal the decision of the court of the first instance. The prosecutor demands for 15 years of deprivation of liberty for Bakirov.

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