Thieves in law-2018. Shakro Molodoy’s sentence, the New Crime King, Guli’s adventures, sweep in Armenia and Vagon’s death  

Thieves in law-2018. Shakro Molodoy’s sentence, the New Crime King, Guli’s adventures, sweep in Armenia and Vagon’s death
Key events of the thieves' world - in the review of The CrimeRussia Photo: The CrimeRussia

2018 was full of events for the underworld of Russia. The court’s verdict for Shakro Molodoy, the election of a new boss of all bosses of Russia, arrests, releases, gatherings, and murders – read all this in a story by the CrimeRussia.

The main event of the year was undoubtedly a sentence of the Thief No. 1, Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy). On March 29, the Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow found him and 11 accomplices guilty of committing crimes under Part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Extortion committed by an organized group with the use of violence to obtain property on a large scale), and sentenced them to various terms of imprisonment.

Shakro Molodoy’s sentence

The Crime Lord was sentenced to 9 years and 10 months in a strict regime colony, while his criminal accomplice Andrey Kochuykov (Italian) got a year less. Another assistant of Kalashov, Batyr Bekmuradov, received 9 years and 4 months of strict regime. The other nine defendants were sentenced to the terms from 7 years and 4 months to 8 years aтв 4 months in a colony. The court dismissed s case in connection with deceased defendant Andrey Kitaev. The case of the second victim, Philip Domaskin, the court returned to the prosecutor's office.

Захарий Калашов (Шакро Молодой)

Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy)

Recall that the investigation had previously planned to charge Kalashov with Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Organization of the criminal community), which meant life imprisonment. The criminal case could become a precedent in the Russian judicial practice. However, as a result, Kalashov and his henchmen were charged only with extortion.

The criminal case has two episodes. According to the first one, the gangsters demanded 8 million rubles from an owner of Elements restaurant located in Rochdelskaya Street, Zhanna Kim. The second episode is connected with extortion of 10 million rubles from businessman Lev Garamov.

Андрей Кочуйков (Итальянец)

Andrey Kochuykov (Italian)

The court found out that on December 14, 2015, Zakhary Kalashov’s people under the leadership of Andrey Kochuykov arrived at Elements restaurant on Rochdelskaya street in Moscow and demanded that its owner Zhanna Kim pay 8 million rubles under the threat of violence and property damage. Kim hired lawyers from the Law Bureau, headed by KGB ex-employee Eduard Budantsev. During negotiations, the verbal conflict escalated into a shootout, during which Budantsev killed two Kochuykov’s guards.

Elections of the New Crime Lord

As the trial against Shakro Molodoy was ongoing, discussions about the elections of the new criminal boss were carried throughout the underworld. Everyone understood that he had no chances to get away. After prosecution requested 10 years of imprisonment for him, the question of a successor raised. Oleg Shishkanov (Shishkan) was named the most likely candidate, taking into account the fact that Kalashov supported him.

Soon after the detention of Shakro Molodoy in 2016, Vasily Khristoforov (Vasya Voskres) was appointed an ‘Acting Head.’ He gained control of his clan's common fund. Also, criminal from all over Russia started coming to him with their problems or wishes.

Олег Шишканов (Шишкан)

Oleg Shishkanov (Shishkan)

Shishkan satisfied everyone with this role: he remained the only influential vor who was in Russia and walking free.

The place of the chief thief in law could easily be given to another. In many respects, the circle of potential candidates was narrowed down by law enforcement officers.

For example, in February 2017, an influential vor Yury Pichugin, nicknamed Pichuga, was detained in Moscow. The criminal elite considered him one of the potential successors of Kalashov. But now, he is awaiting a trial. The chief thief of the Komi Republic is charged with Articles 210 and 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (creating a criminal organization, illegal acquisition, transfer, transportation, and storage of firearms).

Юрий Пичугин (Пичуга)

Yuri Pichugin (Pichuga)

The arrest of Pichuga made some problems for his accomplice Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik), who was also considered as a candidate for the throne. In addition, he was declared wanted in Ukraine on charges of ordering the murder of ex-deputy Denis Voronenkov.

The leader of the powerful Greek clan, Lasha Shushanashvili (Lasha Rustavsky), has not made any attempts to return to Russia for a long time. He is prosecuted in Greece. The leader of the "Russian-speaking mafia" in Europe was detained in Thessaloniki in April.

Задержание Лаши Руставского

Detention of Lasha Rustavsky

Vyacheslav Shestakov (Sliva) has been living in Europe for a long time and no longer takes an active part in the criminal life of Russia.

However, Eduard Asatryan (Edik Tbilisi or Osetrina) did his best to increase his influence and get the place of Kalashov. But he has continuously been prevented from doing it by numerous failures: conflicts with other thieves (in particular, with Vasya Voskres), searches for new sources of income that led him to Donbass. Then, his son Sergey (Sergei Bentley) was deprived of the thief status.

Among the possible candidates, there also were Dmitriy Chanturia (Miron), and Gela Kardava. They were close to late Ded Khasan. Now Gela is denied entry to Russia for five years.

The criminal world of Russia nearly faced serious changes the main enemy of Ded Khasan (and all his followers), Tariel Oniani (Taro), was released from prison. Everyone even forgot about the elections of the new crime lord. However, the court decided to extradite him from Russia to Spain, where he faces a prison sentence.

Тариел Ониани

Tariel Oniani (Taro)

Finally, at the end of August 2018, it became known that in one of the elite restaurants belonging to thief in law Mikhail Voevodin (Misha Luzhnetsky) a large gathering with the participation of such authoritative criminals such as Vasily Khristoforov (Vasya Voskres), Dmitry Chanturia (Miron), Alexey Petrov (Petrik), Sergey Aksenov (Aksen), Badri Koguashvili (Badri Kutaisi), Kakhaber Parpaliya (Kakha), Elguja Turkadze (Guja Kutaisi), Merab Gogia (Melia) took place. The main issue of discussion was the approval of Shishkan’s candidacy for the role of "boss of all bosses.”

Asatryan voted in absentia. Merab Dzhangveladze (Merab Sukhumsky) and Shushanashvili clan also supported Shishkan.

The only one who had previously refused to participate in the vote was Nadir Salifov (Guli), who said that he did not need any King.

Guli

Actually, influential thief in law Nadir Salifov (Guli) has been one of the main newsmakers. Despite the fact that he does not live in Russia, he has a great influence on the criminal world.

Надир Салифов (Гули)

Nadir Salifov (Guli)

For him, 2108 began with a struggle for the assets of Rovshan Dzhaniyev (Rovshan Lenkoransky) killed in 2016. While still in an Azerbaijani prison, Guli with the help of his associates gained control over Moscow’s assets of Dzhaniev. In 2018, he set his sights on one of the largest clan's possessions - the Food City wholesale market located on the Kaluga highway in Moscow.

By spring, the relative of the murdered criminal Zaur Akhmedov, who controlled the market, began to move between his office and home only accompanied by security guards, because at any moment he expected an assassination. The situation got out of his control, and Guli’s fighters began to convincingly “explain” to the Azerbaijanis working in the market that they must now pay exclusively to Salifov.

In April 2018, it became known that one of the most active members of the gang, Hadjibab Talybkhanly (Haji Beylagansky), a full-time killer, came to Moscow to help Akhmedov. He was among those detained by Turkish law enforcement officers in November 2017 on suspicion of organizing an assassination of Guli.

The appearance of Haji Beylagansky in Moscow was the last attempt to resist Guli’s pressure. In early June, Talybkhanly was detained by law enforcement officers.

Хаджи Бейлаганский

Haji Beylagansky

Meanwhile, representatives of Guli successfully fought off attacks of the Chechens: by representatives of thief in law Aziz Batukaev wanted to take control over Guli’s markets; and by the main follower of Rovshan Lenkoransky - Hamzat Gastamirov (Sheikh Hazmat).

Also, Guli has been expanding his influence in other countries. At the beginning of last year, the Azerbaijani community in Ukraine held a protest against pressure, extortion, and abduction.

According to some experts, nobody could resist foreign expansion in the country. Moreover, Salifov has robust support in Ukraine: Ukrainian businessman Vagif Aliyev and former criminal authority Oleg Krapivin. This native of the Azerbaijani city of Shamakhi is currently the chairman of the Kiev organization of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine.

Олег Крапивин (справа)

Oleg Krapivin (on the right)

Last year, reports about Guli’s clashes with representatives of Antimoz Kukhilava (Antik) and Mindia Goradze (Lavasoglu Batumsky) regularly came from Odessa.

Guli enjoyed great influence in the criminal circles. However, it drew attention of the law enforcement. In May of this year, it became known that Turkey, where he settled immediately after his release from prison in October 2017, declared him a persona non-grata. After this, the criminal left for the United Arab Emirates.

In August, Guli was detained in the capital of Montenegro, but almost immediately released. His nephew Magomed Kurbanov was not released with him, and there is no information about his current ware bounds.

Finally, in early October, the criminal was detained in Istanbul by an Organized Crime Department. The likely reason for the detention was numerous publications in Russian media about his criminal activities in Russia. In particular, it was reported that representatives of the criminal had recently managed to establish complete control over the Food City wholesale market and get a tribute from its employees.

Фуд Сити

Food City wholesale market 

It was also reported that Turkish law enforcement officers also had questions to Salifov regarding the murder of his main rival, Rovshan Lenkoransky, in 2016 in Turkey.

Finally, in late October, it became known that Turkey was seeking extradition of the criminal to Azerbaijan or Russia, where he is wanted on charges of Kidnapping (Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and Extortion (Article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

In early December, it was reported that Turkish authorities extradited the 46-year-old thief in law to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, where they placed him under house arrest.

And just the other day, the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan refuted the information that Salifov was extradited to Baku.

Tyurik

After Shakro Molodoy was arrested, Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik) was considered a candidate for the post of Crime Lord #1. Yury Pichugin (Pichuga) was actively promoted him. They expected that a Lasha Shushanashvili (Lasha Rustavsky) will control the situation abroad. In the autumn and winter of 2016, Pichuga often met Lasha in Greece, and then Tyurik in Moscow. Pichugin was among the honored guests at Tyurik’s birthday party in November 2016. However, in February 2017, Pichugin was arrested. Now he is accused of creating a criminal community and a number of murders. In addition, Tyurin became one of the defendants of the murder of Voronenkov. So, he completely lost any chances for the throne.

In May 2018, Ukraine declared Tyurin internationally wanted via Interpol, calling him the customer of Voronenkov’s murder.

Мария Максакова и Владимир Тюрин

Maria Maksakova and Vladimir Tyurin

The reason for the murder of Voronenkov, according to the version of the Ukrainian prosecutor's office, was a combination of the interests of the Russian special services and the personal motives of the criminal. In October 2017, Ukraine sent Russia a request for the extradition of Tyurin. However, Russian law enforcement agencies, which are also investigating the murder of Voronenkov, answered they have no complaints against Tyurin. After Ukraine’s accusations, the thief in law came the Investigation Committee and declared his non-involvement in the murder.

Tyurik claimed that he did not have any disagreements with the murdered, who was the husband of his ex-wife Maria Maksakova.

На месте убийства Дениса Вороненкова

At the site of the murder of Denis Voronenkov

However, Tyurik seems to be not very upset regarding losing the title. At least, he threw a 60-year-old birthday party at the end of November, and the entire elite of the criminal world arrived to congratulate him.

Armenia

The change of power in Armenia, which occurred in April 2018 during the velvet revolution, brought renewal in relations with the local mafia.

In mid-May this year, law enforcers carried out mass arrests. At first, it was reported about preventive conversations with thieves in law. Then, criminal gathering held in a Yerevan hotel was prevented. In addition, law enforcement agencies forced the grandson of criminal “patriarch” Aslan Usoyan (Ded Khasan) Ierakly to leave the country.

Никол Пашинян (фото - ТАСС/Артем Геодакян)

Nikol Pashinyan (photo - TASS / Artem Geodakyan)

Later, the security forces came personally to the main thieves in law of Armenia: Samvel Arutyunyan (Samvelich), Zhirayr Brutyan (Giro Shaumyansky), Norayr Piloyan (Koncho), Suren Avetisyan (Surik Leninakansky), Artem Gazaryan (Artan) (Arturean Gazetherne (Arturo), Suren Avetisyan (Sourik Leninakansky), Artem Gazaryan (Artist), Suren Avetisyan (Sourik Leninakansky), Artem Gazaryan (Arturean Gazelan). Armen Manukyan (Sevo), Gevork Melikyan (Gevorik Oshakansky), as well as previously detained Samvel Arutyunyan (Maneti Tha Samo), Rafael Khoetsyan (Afo) - the son of another thief in law Rafik Hoetsyan (Hoi) and many others. During the searches, the police found weapons, ammunition, and drugs. Some of them were arrested. Subsequently, Andranik Arutyunyan (Ando Khromoy) and Alexander Makaryan (Alo) were charged with possession of narcotic substances.

The security forces also came to an office of the criminal authority of Artyom Arutyunyan (Artyom Kanevsky) - a brother of the famous criminal Armen Arutyunyan who died in 2010. Artyom has not a title of thief in law, yet enjoys influence in Armenia and abroad.

Андраник Арутюнян (Андо Хромой)

Andranik Arutyunyan (Ando Khromoy)

It was noting it was the first time authorities started such an active struggle against the criminal world. Thieve in law were used to feel free in Armenia. That is why Armenia was the only of all the former Soviet republics that was chosen in 2015 to hold a global criminal gathering headed by Shakro Molodoy. The country did not attract criminals from other countries, yet local mafia could easily find a common language with the former authorities.

The only one was managed to establish relations with the new authorities was thief in law Andranik Sogoyan (Zap), who has long been known for cooperation with the security forces.

In December, it was reported that Narek Sargsyan, the nephew of the ex-President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan detained in the Czech Republic, was handed over to the police by Zap. Recall that Narek Sargsyan, who was previously put on the wanted list, was detained on December 7 in Prague by law enforcement officers of Armenia together with foreign colleagues and the Interpol National Bureau. They found a passport in the name of a citizen of Guatemala, Franklin Gonzalez, at him. In summer, a criminal case was initiated over the acquisition, storage, sale and transportation of weapons, ammunition, explosives, and also narcotic substances in Armenia. Later information about Sogoyan’s assistance was denied by the official authorities of the republic.

Андраник Согоян (Зап)

Andranik Sogoyan (Zap)

Cooperation of Zap with authorities began after he returned from the Czech Republic in 2009, where he was accused of murder. In 2013, he was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 22 years in prison. The Czech Republic sent a request to extradite the thief in law from Armenia. But Armenian authorities refused this request, and Sogoyan stayed in his homeland.

Detentions and arrests

On January 16, thief in law Guram Chikhladze (Kvehzoevich) was detained in a Moscow apartment and sent to an isolator. The criminal was announced illegal migrant. Earlier, the court found that Kvezhoevich received a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation illegally.

Гурам Чихладзе (Квежоевич) слева

Guram Chikhladze (Kvehzoevich) on the left

Several criminals were arrested in 2018 with drugs. In April, Chechen thief in law Omar Bekaev (Omar Ufimsky) was arrested outside Moscow. The police stopped his Land Cruiser Prado and found 4.76 grams of heroin. Thief in law Gagik Asaturyan, known in the criminal world as Gago Rostovsky, was arrested in Rostov-on-Don. The police found 3.85 grams of hashish at him.

The Presnensky District Court of Moscow sentenced former thief in law Vardan Asatryan, known in the criminal world as Bdje. Operatives of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department detained Vardan Asatryan on April 6 with 15 grams of heroin. The 56-year-old criminal was charged with illegal possession of drugs on a large scale.

Вардан Асатрян (Бдже)

Vardan Asatryan

Ahmed Yevloyev, 45, of Ingushetiya, better known as Ahmed Sutuliy, was detained by the police in the village of Gavrilkovo, Krasnogorsk district. During a personal search, 3.4 grams of heroin was found and seized from him.

Heroin and a fake passport were seized from 41-year-old thief in law Roman Sychev (Sych or Roma Kazansky).

Recall that in January 2016, he had been previously detained on the M-7 Volga highway in the Orekhovo-Zuevsky district of the Moscow region. During a personal search, a TT pistol and a bag with spice were found and seized from him. After that, a criminal case under part 1 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code (Illegal storage of weapons) and part 2 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Large-scale drug trafficking) was initiated against him. However, on December 26, 2016, the Orekhovo-Zuevsky Court of the Moscow Region decided to acquit the thief in law and on the eve of the New Year Sychev was released in the courtroom.

Роман Сычев (Сыч)

Roman Sychev (Sych)

In August, Ahmed Yevloyev (Dulat Yolu), 45, of Ingushetia, better known as Ahmed Sutuly, was arrested. He is accused of possession of drugs. According to the prosecution, during his detention, 3.4 grams of heroin were found and seized from him. Lawyers of the thief in law pointed on the absence of the primary evidence - a protocol on the seizure of drugs.

Ahmed Sutuly had been previously arrested in January 2017. He was detained in a Moscow restaurant Chayhana Al-Halal during a thieves’ gathering. Police found drugs at him. He told that the drugs had been planted on him, and he had not smoked or drunk for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Gela Kardava (Gela Galsky) was sentenced in Minsk. He was detained in January 2018 while trying to leave the country when trying to fly to Istanbul from Minsk airport. In May, the criminal was found guilty under part 2 of Art. 380 (Forgery, production, use or sale of forged documents). Kardava had a fake passport and other fake documents with him. He was sentenced to three years in a penal colony.

Гела Кардава (Гела)

Gela Kardava (Gela Galsky)

In September, the Presnensky District Court of Moscow found Georgiy Gugushvili (Goga Potisky) guilty of murdering businessman Alexander Kharchenko in 2013 and sent him to a special regime prison for 13 years.

Gugushvili was charged with part 1 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Murder). On June 8, 2013, during an argument with Moscow-based entrepreneur Alexander Kharchenko, he stubbed his chest with a knife and disappeared from the crime scene.

The businessman was hospitalized, but the doctors could not save him. Gugushvili was wanted for more than four years and finally detained in March 2018 in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region.

In October, Sergei Aksenov (Aksen), an influential Slavic thief in law, was detained in Moscow. His Mercedes was stopped when he returned from a meeting with Tyurik in the Moscow region. Aksenov was taken to the building of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow, where they had a preventive conversation with him and then released him.

In the Altai Territory, thief in law Andrei Tkachenko, known as Tkach Nyagansky was accused of the creation of an organized criminal community. Together with him, 13 members of his gang also appeared before the court.

Андрей Ткаченко (Ткач Няганьский)

According to investigators, in 2015–2016, a gang headed by Tkach was engaged in extortion, fraud, theft, and hijacking in Altai. Under far-fetched pretexts, racketeers demanded money from businessmen and, in the event of a refusal, took their cars and other personal property. Also, gangsters were involved in the theft of metal from freight trains en route to Kazakhstan. Part of the money from each crime was transferred to a common fund. In total, 14 people and seven companies suffered from their actions in the Altai Region.

On December 7, a member of Shakro Molodoy’s clan, Kakhaber Parpaliya (Kakha Galsky), was detained in the north-west of the capital in the Kuntsevo district during an operation carried out by the operatives of the Moscow criminal investigation department and the FSB with the support of the fighters of the Russian Guard. During a personal search, have a package with 8 grams of cocaine was found. A driver of his armored Mercedes, who had previously been convicted, carried an unregistered combat pistol.

According to some information, representatives of the criminal world paid $1 million for his release. However, the court left him in custody and Parpaliya had to meet the new year behind bars.

Кахабер Парпалия

Kakhaber Parpaliya (Kakha Galsky)

According to unconfirmed information so far, in addition to the charge brought under part 2 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code (Possession of drugs on a large scale), the criminal was accused of Article 210 (Organization of a criminal and participation in it). He faces a life sentence.

Ражден Шулая (Ражден Питерский)

Razhen Shulaya (Razhden Pitersky) 

In the United States, the case of thief in law Razhen Shulaya (Razhden Pitersky) which was repeatedly postponed has finally been closed. He was convicted of abduction, fraud, extortion, money laundering and having links to organized criminal groups and got 45 (!) years in prison.

The released

Nevertheless, 2018 was a good news year for some of them.

In February, thief in law Aslan Kobuladze (aka Aslan Batumsky) was released from the 40th correctional facility. The thief served a few months of his almost 7-year term in Kemerovo region. Batumsky was transferred to Kuzbass in January 2017. Let us remember Aslan Batumsky was sentenced by Moscow city court for possession of drugs on an especially large scale. In the criminal world, he is known as a supporter of a deceased Ded Khasan.

In May, 54-year-old thief in law Badri Koguashvili (aka Badri Kutaissky) was released from the 31st correctional facility in Krasnoyarsk. Unlike many other thieves, he was not extradited from the country; however, in February 2018, it was decided he would be supervised in the space of 2 years. Badri had earlier also been held in high estimation among the representatives of the criminal world. Now, after seven years of his daily confrontation against the prison authorities, his ‘weight’ became indisputable.

Бадри Когуашвили (Бадри Кутаисский)Badri Koguashvili (aka Badri Kutaissky)

Thief in law Tengiz Korsagia (aka Tengo Ochamchirsky) was also released from the Omsk-based 7th correctional facility. Korsagia was sentenced in 2015 by Chertanovo district court to 3 years behind bars on charges of possession of drugs. He was detained in summer, the same year at the parking lot where he had arrived in his Toyota Land Cruiser he had bought a short time before.

In June, thief in law Ruben Kosyan (aka Ruben Invanovsky) who had been an underboss of Ivanovo region was released from prison. In August 2015, he was sentenced by St.Petersburg-based Kuibyshevsky district court to 3 years behind bars. A few months before that, the ‘thief’ was detained in the capital of the North with 30 grams of hashish in his bag which is considered an especially large scale and stipulates ten years of imprisonment. Nevertheless, the court took into account Kosyan’s serious health issues: tuberculosis and an absence of a lung. 

Воры в законе Рубен Косян и Армен Мкртчян

Thieves in law Ruben Kosyan and Armen Mkrtchyan

40-year-old Arsen Mkrtchyan (aka Arsen Erevansky) who was arrested for the first time in September 2017, when Kaluga region court found him guilty of possession of drugs on an especially large scale and sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison, was released prior to the scheduled date in 2018 - unlike his Ivanovo ‘workmate’. Mkrtchyan got out of jail because of ill health two years and ten months earlier. However, despite the fact that the doctors diagnosed this fearsome disease Arsen Erevansky, who had walked with a cane or in a wheelchair before the disease, left the Kirov-based 6th known as Chyorny dyatel (The Black woodpecker) at the wheel of his Mercedes 222. 

In July, ‘thieves in law’ Salikhdzchan Shamazov (aka Sasha Shamaz) and Rashid Khachatryan (aka Rashid Dzhambulsky) who had been sentenced for the building of a criminal community (article 210 of Russia’s Criminal Code) were released from the colony in Krasnoyarsk region after many years spent behind bars. In October 2018, 45-year-old thief in law Yura Usoyan (aka Yura Lazarevsky) was released from the 3rd correctional colony in Dimitrovgrad. 32-year-old thief Zaur Shipilov (aka Zaur Nakhichevansky) was released from the Minusinsk-based prison on the same day. 

Саша Шамаз и Рашид Джамбульскии

Sasha Shamaz and Rashid Dzhambulsky

Yura Lazarevsky was sentenced in July 2015, by Moscow’s Presnensky district court under article 228 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Illegal Acquisition, Storage, Transportation, Making or Processing of Narcotic Drugs) to 4 years in prison. Shipilov was detained by representatives of the Main Administration of Criminal Search of Russia’s MIA at the Chaykhana Alaysky bazar restaurant on Chertanovskaya street in October 2015. A doze of heroin was found in his bag during the searches. After that, the criminal case against him was initiated. 

57-year-old ‘thief in law’ Andrey Belyaev-Voznesensky (known as Khobot in the criminal world) was released from the Kostroma-based 1st correctional colony in the same month. 

Шалва Озманов (краинии справа)

Shalva Ozmanov 

32-year-old ‘thief in law’ Shalva Ozmanov (aka Kuso) was released straight from the court hearings’ hall. The court sentenced him to 2 years on probation. He was accused of illegal transportation of firearms (item 1 of article 222 of Russia’s Criminal Code). In early November 2018, the relative of the number one thief in law Zakhar Kalashov was detained on Yan Poluyan street in Krasnodar by law-enforcement authorities. Austrian made Glock 22 off with a 40 mm caliber and 18 cartridges. 

The deceased

In March, the dead body of a thief in law Goga Khatoev (aka Kocho Gogi) was found in his apartment in the center of Tbilisi. The 61-year-old man was killed by a shot in his head in the morning on Sunday. According to the Georgian media, there were various theories as to the reasons for his murder: from Khatoev’s enormous debt to revenge for the past.

In April, thief in law Gayoz Zviadadze (aka Giya Kutaissky) was assassinated in Turkey. He was a close friend of Lasha Shushanashvili (aka Lasha Rustavsky). The ‘thief’ was shot by 3 riflemen wearing masks in Antalya when he was returning from a birthday party of another ‘thief in law’ Roman Barbakadze (aka Remen). Another ‘thief in law’ - Giga Petriashvili (aka Professor) was injured during the shooting.

Гайоз Звиададзе (Гия Кутаисский)

Gayoz Zviadadze (aka Giya Kutaissky)

Merab Dzhangveladze (aka Merab Sukhumsky) and Andrey Nedzelsky (aka Nedelya) are considered the instigators of the crime.

In April, ’thief in law’ Mukhamed Petov (aka Mishka Cherkes) was buried in Armavir. He is known as the first and only native of Adygea who was ‘crowned.’ The dead body of 50-year-old Petov was brought from Germany where he had been living over the last years and died of cardiac arrest. He was paralyzed and had to take potent drugs.

In September, Georgian ‘influential’ ‘thief in law’ Revaz Bukhnikashvili (aka Peso Bukhnikashvili) died of oncology disease. He was 67.

In July, Georgian ‘influential’ ‘thief in law’ Avtandil Khetsuriani (aka Avto Boxer) also died of cancer in Italy. He was 48

Автандил Хецуриани (Авто Боксер)

Avtandil Khetsuriani (aka Avto Boxer)

In October, funerals of ’thieves in law’ Vitaly Borisov (aka Delets) and Anatoly Belov (aka Bely) took place in Moscow and Rostov region. They were considered the oldest ‘thieves in law’ of Slavic appearance in their regions. According to some reports, 77-year-old citizen of Moscow Borisov was the second oldest ‘thief’ in Moscow. There’s the only 81-year-old native of Kutaisi David Pakhuridze (aka Minago) who was older than him. Borisov had ‘retired’ due to his disease issues over the last months.

However, what blew our mind most of all was a mysterious death of a ’thief in law’ Vladimir Vagin (aka Vagon) who was found dead in his cell in the 11th correctional facility in Perm region on September 21. It is known that he had been transferred there from the 10th neighboring colony three days before his death. His lawyer said the ‘thief’ had told him the police officers had threatened him of transferring to the 11th colony where another ‘thief’ Maksim Novikov (aka Maks Pioner) had been found dead two years ago. The defense says the 11th colony is known as ‘a torture room.’ Moreover, Vagon complained about the threats he received. This was reported by one of his lawyers. 

Владимир Вагин (Вагон)

Vladimir Vagin (aka Vagon)

Former MIA representative Vagin with three years left on his sentence had been sentenced for attempted murder. His lawyers said he had been in a good mood and made plans for the future all the while - including the day when he died. Fifteen minutes before the incident, he allegedly took a blood-pressure pill. In other words, he took care of his health. He did not leave his suicide-note.

Despite the fact that the Investigation Committee of Russia in Perm region stated there were no injuries of a criminal nature found on his body, the defense is seeking for investigation. 

The rumbles and other stories

First of all, he backed the thief’s status of Akhmed Evloev (aka Akmed Sutuly) who was put in the remand prison in early 2017. Evloev was detained on January 18 in the Moscow-based Chaykhana Al-Khalyal restaurant for possession of synthetic drugs. With that, Evloev was deprived of his ‘crown’ in 2009. A few of ‘infuential’ ‘thieves in law’ including Zakhary Kalashov (aka Shakro Molodoy) contested his status. After that, he did not claim the status. However, Seryozha Bentley spread a message stating Akmed Sutuly should be considered a ‘thief in law.’ 

Осетрина-младшии и Ахмед Сутулыи в СИЗО

Osetrina Mladshy and Ahmed Sutuly in jail

When Seryozha Bentley was transferred to another prison - Matrosskaya tishina - he started quarreling with a ‘thief in law’ Talekh Dagliev (aka Tolik Noginsky)

As a result, he was sent to Vladimirsky central. Before he was sent to serve his term for swindling in Nizhny Novgorod region, the message about his status had been sent there. So, he was not considered a ‘thief in law.’

After that, Asatryan was convoyed to Kirov region, and his situation was not changed. The area was controlled by a ‘thief in law’ Cheburashka (who is a close friend of Vasya Voskres who commenced the ‘uncrowning’ of Bentley). 

Василий Христофоров (Вася Воскрес)

Vasily Khristoforov (Vasya Voskres)

Seryozha Bentley’s father Eduard Asatryan (aka Edik Tbilissky, Osetrina) who is more ‘influential’ is doing his best to improve the son’s issues, however, so far, it has not been a success. 

Initially, the former assistant of the Moslems’ directorate Gastamirov who now lives in Germany hyped himself through an alleged conflict against a ‘thief in law’ Guli. Through his assistants who were in Russia (mainly a former criminal and a participant of military actions in Donbass Timur Diky (aka Tamaev), he offended and threatened the ‘thief.’

Шейх Хамзат

Khamzat Gastamirov (Sheikh Khamzat)

However, as a result, he was put out of commission. With that, Guli did not do anything for this purpose. At least, openly.

‘Thieves’ Aziz Batukaev, Khuseyn Akhmedov (aka Khuseyn Slepoy), Islam Edilgireev (aka Islam Bolshoy) and Akhmed Dombaev (aka Akhmed Shalinsky) gathered in Chechnya for a ‘convention.’ They decided that Sheykh Khamzat “sows dissension, and he’s nobody.” For the innocent do not suffer from his actions, everyone was told not to perceive him.

One of the criminal world representatives said: “this businessman from Europe has always been a real nothing and has not ever been known as aspiring.” After that, his most devoted followers started turning away from Khamzat - including Tamaev who called him “a devil” and promised to organize a meeting with God for him.

Тимур Дикий (Тамаев)

Timur Diky (Tamaev)

Meanwhile, the Chechens are expecting the return of the ‘thief’ Akhmed Dombaev (aka Akhemd Shalinsky). Everyone hopes he would unite significant powers around himself. Now, the thief’s status allows him to oppose himself to many heavy-weight representatives of the criminal world. He is to achieve much more, as soon as he is released. The ambitious and religious ‘thief’ who is keen on sports and is serving his sentence in the Kashmytsk-based 10th correctional facility has no potential competitors in his mother land with some of them being drug-addicts, others - not so ‘influential.’ The term of Dombaev who was sentenced to 10 years for robbery with violence will be over in 2019.  

Ахмед Домбаев (Ахмед Шалинский)

Ahmed Dombayev (Ahmed Shalinsky)

In February, representatives of Megrelsky and Sukhumsky clans got into a fight in the Noginsky remand prison. The scuffle took place between Valera Bagdatsky, a protege of a thief’s gang of Merab Dhzangvelidze (aka Merab Sukhumsky), and a representative of ‘thieves’ Gela Kardava and Merab Mzarelua - Irakly Abkhaz. The latter became the instigator: he wanted to replace Bagdatsky in his post of an alpha dog of the prison. ‘Thief in law’ Shedeli Zarandia (aka Beso) supported him from the outside. However, instead of supporting the ‘family,’ he set it up. As a result, he lost a lot in his status. Valera manhandled his opponent. Moreover, he cut Abkhaz with a blade. There was “his own atmosphere” in the clan of Guli.

In May, one of the thief’s representatives shot another in the St.Petersburg-based market Apraksin Dvor. That was a result of the confrontation. Certain Makhir Mammadov shot a 32-years-old Fizuli Garaev. He was detained hot on the trail. Mammadov was responsible for the taxes in St.Petersburg. However, he was replaced by Garaev a while ago. Mammadov wanted to get back his post.  

Махир Маммадов

Makhir Mammadov

There’s a life in Istanbul, as well. There’re so many ‘thieves’ so that they bother each other. 36-year-old Teymuraz Churadze (aka Aleko Shoshia), a representative of Kutaissky clan was manhandled there. Gia Nizharadze and Gocha Alpaidze (aka Alphason) delt away with an ‘influential’ ‘thief’ Temur Nemsitsveridze (aka Tsripa). With that, Nadir Salifov (aka Guli) was in their company.

In autumn, there was another opposition in Turkey between the representatives of Turkish and Greek clans. As a result, 31-year-old Irakly Rekhviashvili lost his thief’s status.

At the end of the year, another shooting took place. Guli’s friend was injured. With that, another friend of Guli was injured. Ruslan Akhmedli was a member of Rovshan Lenkoransky’s clan.

During the incident, Akhmedli got two injuries in his hand and leg. However, after he was helped by the doctors, he was released. 

Важа Биганишвили (Важа Тбилисский)

Vazha Biganishvili 

With that, Vazha Tbilissky said the fact that the ‘thieves’ are given the rights with can be explained with the fact that this is obligatory for every ‘thief.’ Only police officers, in his words, can stop this process.

Now, many others can follow Biganshvili’s example. There’re always aspiring to wait for their turn. So, the Biganshvili’s violation can become the trigger for the whole criminal world.

We’re going to learn it in the nearest future. So far, Happy New Year!

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