Shakro Molodoy provokes reshuffles on both sides of law
When thief in law Zakhar Kalashov, also known as Shakro Molodoy, was arrested, no one could predict the escalation of such a high-profile scandal. The shooting a la the 1990s near the Elements restaurant in Moscow claimed lives of two Shakro Molodoy’s fighters and uncovered corruption links between the criminal world and the law enforcement so outrageous, that even if some suspects manage to escape responsibility, this case will make it into the history of modern Russia anyways.
It is hard to remember a situation in recent years when such high-ranked officials of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (the ICR) were suspected of relations with criminal bosses. The arrest of an influential crowned thief Zakhar Kalashov may lead to a complete reshuffling – both in the criminal world and among those who are supposed to combat the crime.
After the murder of Ded Hasan, Shakro Molodoy became the thief number one in the criminal hierarchy. Upon his return to Russia from a Spanish prison, Kalashov has sorted out issues in his ‘diocese’: decrowned and deprived of thieves’ powers and associated privileges some 20 people. Of course, some criminals were not happy with Kalashov’s purge of the ranks and other decisions, but he managed to establish balance in the criminal world. Furthermore, his candidacy for the position of Ded Hasan’s successor was acceptable for law enforcement authorities. Back in October 2015, officers of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MIA) met Shakro Molodoy in the Moscow airport and had a preventive talk with him. As a result, Kalashov has not been not spotted in criminal squabbles before the ill-fated gunfight on Rochdelskaya street.
None of the detained participants of the shoot-out near the Elements restaurant provided useful evidence against Shakro. His right hand Andrey Italian Kochuikov was charged with hooliganism. The thief in law offered $1 million for his release, and apparently, the generous reward attracted people willing to get it. On June 14, 2016 Italian was released from the pretrial detention facility because the investigator ‘forgot’ to submit an application to extend his detention period. However, Kochuikov was immediately arrested again by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) and charged with extortion of 8 million rubles from Joanna Kim, the restaurant owner. And in less than a month, Department M of the FSB arrived to the Kalashov’s mansion. He was also charged with extortion.
Video: Arrest of thief in law Shakro Molodoy
Many people noted that on the arrest video, when asked by operatives: “Are you a thief in law?” – Shakro Molodoy did not answer in the affirmative, as the thieves’ code requires. It is not actually the first time when crowned thieves respond vaguely to this question. They imply that, when the time comes, they will respond to those who have the right to ask this question – while law enforcement officers are not worthy an answer. However, this episode has already been discussed in the criminal society and diminished the authority of Shakro. Also, taking the eagerness of law enforcement authorities in their striving to put Kalashov behind bars, it is unlikely that he avoids a real prison term. Therefore, contenders for the vacant position will inevitably appear.
It is premature yet to speculate who might replace Shakro Molodoy. There are several crowned thieves, whose authority allows them to pretend to this high post in the criminal hierarchy. Sources name Vladimir Tyurik Tyurin, Vasily Vasya Voskres (Vasya the Risen) Khristoforov, Aleksey Petrik Petrov, and Yuri Pichuga (Little Bird) Puchugin. No one can say whether the matter would be settled peacefully, or some daredevils attempt to escalate the situation in this troublous time. It is still unknown how far the Kalashov’s men would go in their attempts to save him from prison.
On the other side of the barricade the situation is even more complicated. The arrest of Shakro Molodoy has initiated a purge of ranks among the law enforcement authorities. And this sweep will not stop any time soon.
Ildar Shakirov and Rinat Zinnatulin in court
Officers of the Presnensky District MIA Administration Ildar Shakirov, a criminal investigation operative, and Rinat Zinatullin, the local district police inspector, became the first rogue cops to fall under suspicion. As it turned out recently, they were on Shakro’s payroll and had been notified in advance of possible issues in connection with the squabble on Rochdelskaya street. After a call to police, Shakirov and Zinatullin arrived on site, but just had a dinner and watched the bloody skirmish from the sidelines. The arrest of these pawns was just a small episode in the big game of the FSB Department M. Yesterday, the period of their detention on suspicion of neglect of duty has been extended. In addition, some operatives of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of MIA might be charged in the framework of this criminal case as well.
Evgeny Surzhikov, the former officer of the MIA General Administration for Combatting Organized Crime, became a key person in this case. At the time of arrest, he was one of Kalashov’s fighters – although during his service in the MIA, he used to struggle against the Kalashov’s brigade. However, after the disbandment of the General Administration for Combatting Organized Crime, he became, jointly with Italian, a boss of a private security company controlled by Shakro Molodoy. Surzhikov was arrested in June 2016 and also charged with extortion – because he was present on Rochdelskaya street on that ill-fated day.
Then a service audit has been initiated against the investigator who failed to extend the detention period for Italian. FSB officers were aware of Shakro’s offer to pay $1 million to buy out Andrey Kochuikov back in May 2016. According to Rosbalt.ru, Mikhail Maksimenko, the Head of the Security Service of the Main Investigations Directorate for the City of Moscow of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), was approached by Dmitry Zvontsev, a henchman of Shakro Molodoy. Then Maksimenko notified Denis Nikandrov, the Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate for the City of Moscow of the ICR, of the lucrative reward. The first installment was paid to the investigators in the beginning of June 2016 under the surveillance of FSB officers.
Aleksander Lamonov, the Deputy Head of the Directorate for Physical Protection of the ICR
Photo: Artem Korotaev/TASS
On July 19, 2016, operatives of the FSB Department M arrived to the Investigative Committee to perform searches. On the same day, 3 persons have been arrested: Mikhail Maksimenko, the Head of the Directorate for Physical Protection of the ICR; his Deputy Aleksander Lamonov and Major-General Denis Nikandrov, the Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate for the City of Moscow of the ICR.
In total, 7 people are suspected of involvement into the Shakro Molodoy's case.
The chain of arrests in the ICR is coming closer and closer to Alexander Bastrykin. Dmitry Peskov, the Presidential Press Secretary, called unacceptable "hypothetical speculations" about the further career of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee amid the ongoing investigation. However, according to sources familiar with the matter, the fate of Bastrykin totally depends on the arbitrary decision of President Vladimir Putin.
Corruption is overwhelming in the Republic of Bashkortostan. It infiltrates all branches of power. The recent arrests in the Bashkir Prosecutor’s Office clearly show that justice can be bought and sold there, while the verdict of Themis depends only on the purse size. All powerful officials and businessmen in the republic know how much it costs to institute or dismiss a case. After the replacement of the regional head, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation has found out that not only the supreme authorities of the Republican Prosecutor’s Office are involved in the corruption scheme – but judges and high-ranked police commanders as well. What officials have sullied their reputation with bribe-taking and are going to fall victims to yet another sweeping purge? What are millions of rubles paid for? What is the true scale of corruption in the region – champion among national republics by that parameter?