Who turned in Poltava and $1m pooled cash fund? 

Who turned in Poltava and $1m pooled cash fund?

Someone had to muster the courage to go against one of the oldest and most influential thieves in law.

The detention of the extremely influential thief in law, 79-year-old Vasily Dribny, and the seizure of $1m pooled cash fund was quite an extraordinary occasion. The oldest thief nicknamed Poltava had retired long ago, it would seem, and left his criminal ways. Very few people in the criminal world knew that he actually remained the holder of a large pooled cash fund (obshchak). Meanwhile, someone managed to rat on Poltava to the Ukrainian security forces.


The closest associates of Poltava are: the thieves in law Valery Klemin (Lera), Vladimir Barkalov (Blondin), and Alexander Zakharov (Shurik Zakhar). Besides, Vasily Dribny has close ties with Igor Kokunov (Vasya Bandit), who was arrested this winter in an extortion case and Oleg Plotnikov, nicknamed Plotnik (Carpenter) dethroned in 2015.

As a reminder: the National Police of Ukraine raided one of Vasily Dribny’s Odessa houses on September 7 to find a hefty amount of cash, namely: $1.069 million, €90 thousand and 500 thousand Ukrainian hryvnia. According to the law enforcement officers, the money was the Odessa polled cash fund Poltava had been in charge of.


The sudden police raid shocked the underworld of Odessa. The question was in the air: who could have ratted on Poltava? According to the Ukrainian publication ORD, it could have been Mikhail Titov aka Multik (Cartoon), a criminal boss from Nikolaev who is now in a detention center. The thief and his gang were detained late in August. It is possible that Multik decided to turn in the powerful Poltava to make his own sentence milder. After all, his criminal enterprise is charged with grave offenses like racketeering, raiding, hijacking, abductions, murder threats, etc.

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Mikhail Titov

Apart from Mikhail Titov, ORD named the Lugansk kingpin Matrosov aka Matros (Sailor) as a likely informer. Matros’s criminal business in Lugansk region is known to have been protected by high-ranking employees of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, and some of them were actually childhood friends of the thief in law. Matrosov was seen in Odessa some time ago, but no one knows what brought him there.

Regardless of who was the actual informer, one thing is clear: the National Police has started taking care of the thieves. But as we already know, no matter how scary and ruinous the raids are, the criminal leaders will soon return to their usual ways. When Poltava was deported from the country in July 2016 just after his big 78th birthday party with other thieves, nothing seemed to stand on his way back to Odessa, where he owns a few apartments, and continue to feed the obshchak.

By the way, the cash fund that the thieves and bosses had been working for may end up not quite the way they expected. The Ukrainian authorities intend to convert the million dollars in profit of the state.



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