Bolgar named as suspect in Vladimir Plahotniuc’s assassination attempt

Bolgar named as suspect in Vladimir Plahotniuc’s assassination attempt
Grigory Karamalak (Bolgar)

Moldovan and Ukrainian security forces reported that they had completed a joint special operation to prevent attempted assassination of the Ukrainian oligarch and politician. Moldovan mafia boss Grigory Karamalak turned out to be the alleged mastermind behind the murder attempt.

Law enforcement agencies of Moldova said they had exposed an attempt to murder Vladimir Plahotniuc, Democratic Party chairman and an oligarch. It was a joint operation of Ukrainian and Moldovan security forces that was carried out on April 7, said Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov. Initially it was reported that 17 people had been detained, of whom 8 were in Moldova and 9 more in Ukraine.

The siloviki have already said the detainees were a criminal group and accused them of orchestrating a contract murder. As for the masterminds, their names have also been divulged.

"The paymasters are two citizens of the Republic of Moldova, one of whom is currently in Moscow and is a criminal leader, well-known in Moldova and in Russia," said Vitalie Busuioc, the Deputy Prosecutor for combating organized crime and special cases in Moldova.

Later reports showed that among the detainees was Valery Zabolotny, the deputy chairman of the IFAVIS (International Foundation for Assistance to Veterans and Invalids of Sport). IFAVIS chairman is no one else but Moscow mobster Grigory Karamalak, nicknamed Bolgar.

Karamalak’s close ally and partner in Solntsevskaya gang Renato Usatii hurried to comment on the matter:

"They want to link the whole assassination story to Russia. There is a reason they said quite vaguely that one of the paymasters was a Moldovan citizen residing in Moscow. At first I thought it was about me, but then I heard that the hirer was running some criminal gangs and saw it was not about me," Renato Usatii summed up.

Ренато Усатый и Григорий Карамалак

Renato Usatii and Grigory Karamalak

Karamalak is known in the underworld as an influential criminal lord close to Solntsevskaya gang. In Moldova, he represented the gang’s interests along with the current Balti Mayor Renato Usatii, who seems to be Solntsevskaya’s political project so that the gang would have their man in Moldovan Government, according to CrimeRussia sources. Moldovan authorities declared Karamalak internationally wanted in late January 2017. He is suspected of running a criminal group and committing other grave crimes. Bolgar’s gang engaged in robberies in Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, was busted in February 2017. That operation was also conducted jointly by Ukrainian and Moldovan security forces.

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