Former Kursk police commander ‘covered up’ ‘Dima Volobuy’?

Former Kursk police commander ‘covered up’ ‘Dima Volobuy’?
Investigators believe that Nikolai Zaitsev had wrestled away garages a la ‘turbulent 1990s’ Photo: The CrimeRussia

Kursk Vice Mayor Nikolai Zaitsev had served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for his entire life, but in the end of 2015, he has transferred to the Mayor’s Office, thus, leaving the chair of the Head of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region. It is unknown for how long was he acquainted with criminal ‘authority’ Dmitry Volobuev, but their friendship could explain why Volobuev had committed crimes for many years unpunished.

The ties between the Kursk criminal world and superior functionaries of the city, including those in the uniform, have been uncovered after the arrest of famous criminal leader Dmitry Volobuev also known as ‘Dima Volobuy’. This person is well-known both to the businessmen, law enforcement structures, and governmental officials. In the 1990s, being a combat athlete, he was providing protection racket ‘services’ to private security companies, then he switched to raidership and machinations – and now it turns out that he was the mastermind behind several high-profile murders. Concurrently Volobuev is known as a businessman owning Renter Limited Liability Company travel agency and Stroytrest Limited Liability Company specializing in property management and leases. He also owns 80% of shares in Lessor Limited Liability Company (real estate), 50% of shares in Bis Limited Liability Company (restaurant business), 50% of shares in Saturn Limited Liability Company (construction), and 30% of shares in Video-Sfera Limited Liability Company (repairs of telecommunication equipment). Interestingly, despite all his ‘popularity’, not a single photo of the ‘authority’ can be found in open sources.

Dmitry Volobuev has been arrested on March 7, 2017 in his home by operatives of the Investigations Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) backed by SWAT. The Kursk ‘authority’ is suspected of masterminding the contract murder of his ‘colleague’ – another leader of the regional criminal world Sergei ‘Dilya’ Delyukin. ‘Dilya’ was gunned down on February 9, 2013 on Sergeeva drive in Kursk – when he left home to take out garbage and buy groceries. The assassin was waiting for the ‘authority’ near the garbage bins. The killer has shot at least nine 5.6 mm rounds into the victim from the distance of some six meters. Delyukin was alive for some time but succumbed to his wounds in the ambulance.

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Locale of the assassination of ‘Dilya’

The murder of Sergei Delyukin had remained unsolved until the police has picked up the trail of ‘Volobuy’. It was found that Volobuev had sent his henchmen Dmitry Lifinsky, Maksim Pakhomov, and Evgeny Kozheikin to do the ‘job’ and they ambushed Delyukin near the garbage bins. Lifinsky was shooting into Delyukin, Kozheikin watching out with the radio, while Pakhomov remained behind the wheel of the car by which the killers later escaped. 

According to the investigation, the motive for this murder was revenge for an assassination attempt against Volobuev near Chantal cafe – ‘Volobuy’ had named ‘Dilya’ the assassin’s paymaster. The incident had occurred on June 16, 2011 on Endovishenskaya street: some unknown persons had shot the ‘authority’ several times when he left the cafe and was going to his car. On that evening, ‘Dima Volobuy’ was relaxing with five friends on the Chantal summer terrace. Beyond midnight, the company paid the bill and broke up; Volobuev was approaching his SUV when the gunshots ranged. Bystanders have noticed a man of average height in dark clothes and gray cap running out of the shrubs. Medics managed to save ‘Volobuy’ seriously wounded in the stomach twice. 

‘Dilya’ was considered to be close a friend of another Kursk ‘authority’ – Oleg Afanasiev, also known in the criminal circles as ‘Shopen’. On March 24, 2011, a few months prior to the attempted assassination of Volobuyev, he was gunned down from Kalashnikov assault rifle near his home while stepping out of his Lexus. ‘Shopen’ died from wounds on the scene.

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Oleg ‘Shopen’ Afanasiev

Ruslan ‘Robot’ Sibilev and his accomplices Aleksei ‘Honda’ Khandotsky and Aleksei ‘Okhotnik’ (Hunter) Alikov are believed to be the masterminds behind this murder. Sibilev and his brigade had imposed ‘levies’ on local businessman, thus, crossing the path of people led by ‘Shopen’. During one of the ‘squabbles’, they had humiliated him in public and shot from traumatic pistols.

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Aleksei ‘Okhotnik’ Alikov

In 2010, Aleksei ‘Ukraina’ (Ukraine) Ukraintsev, an associate of Oleg Afanasiev, was murdered as per order from ‘Robot’. On the morning of August 12, at the intersection of Karla Marksa and Kavkazskaya streets, a Toyota Camry had stopped at a red light, then a motorcyclist with a passenger approached it. Suddenly he drew a firearm and shot the driver who died from the wounds. The victim was Aleksei Ukraintsev. 

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Locale of the assassination of Aleksei ‘Ukraina’ Ukraintsev

Ruslan Sibilev had been hiding in Thailand for a long time; then he was arrested upon the request of Russia and deported. In the prison cell, Sibilev had made several suicide attempts and then started turning in people involved into the murders of ‘Shopen’ and ‘Ukraina’. At that time, the law enforcement authorities had emphasized in an official press release that these confessions must be credited to the investigator who “managed to establish psychological contact with the suspect”. Sibilev told that ‘Volobuy’ had allegedly offered him to find people able to ‘deal’ with the assailants. Dmitry Volobuev hasn’t been accused of the murders of ‘Shopen’ and ‘Ukraina’ yet – but such charges may be laid against him in the future. 

Volobuev is also believed to be the mastermind behind the assassination of Vyacheslav Khodyrevsky in April 2015. The ‘authority’ has decided to dispatch Khodyrevsky after a public insult from him and an attempt to threaten. Above-mentioned Lifinsky, Kozheikin, and Ivanov (another henchman of ‘Volobuy’) had figured out the daily routine of Khodyrevsky and on April 20, killed him with two gunshots in the back on Kryukova street. Lifinsky was the hitman again, Kozheikin was watching out, while Ivanov drove the car by which the killers have escaped. Wounded Khodyrevsky was admitted to hospital and succumbed to his wounds on the next morning. 

Another criminal episode in the biography of ‘Dima Volobuy’ involved an arson attack on an expensive SUV belonging to his opponent whom he had a spat with. He ordered this to same Lifinsky and Pakhomov. On June 20, 2012, they had tracked down the rival’s BMW X5 parked near a trade center and set it on fire. A scooter parked nearby has accidentally burned as well – flame from the SUV had spread on it. 

In addition, Volobuev, being a disabled person of group II, had purchased a prosthesis in December 2012 for 2.5 million rubles ($42.5 thousand) and later received, in accordance with the established procedure, a compensation in the Center for Medical and Social Services of the Kursk Region Regional Budgetary Institution. Three years later, in January 2016, he decided to pull off a machination and submitted false documents to receive a compensation again. However, the personnel of the regional budgetary institution have exposed the deception and declined to pay the compensation. By the way, Volobuev has lost a foot during one of the assassination attempts against him. On the night of August 24, 2000, rivals had blown up his Mercedes. ‘Volobuy’ survived but his crippled foot was amputated. 

The arrest of Volobuev has led to a major corruption scandal in Kursk. Local businessman Shelkunov addressed the law enforcement structures and complained that Volobuev had demanded him to transfer 20 garage units in the garage complex located on Pobedy avenue to one of his acquaintances. The total value of the 20 units is 8.2 million rubles ($139 thousand), while the entire garage complex consists of 240 units.

According to the Federal Tax Service, some Aleksander Nikolaevich Volobuev has been a cofounder of this garage complex since 2013; it is unknown whether he is somehow related to ‘Dima Volobuy’ or not.

While investigating this case, the operatives have unexpectedly picked up trails of the supreme functionaries from the municipal administration and commanders of the law enforcement structures. On June 13, Kursk Vice Mayor Nikolai Zaitsev has been arrested and a number of searches were conducted in the Mayor’s Office. Three days later, the Leninsky District Court of Kursk has remanded Zaitsev in custody for two months. In the framework of this criminal case, the investigators have later detained Nikolai Zaitsev’s son Vladimir as well – he specializes in legal services and is an insolvency administrator of several companies undergoing the bankruptcy procedure in various regions of Russia.

The criminal case instituted against Nikolai and Vladimir Zaitsev and ‘Volobuy’ for Extortion of the 20 garages (part 3 of Article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) is currently under investigation.

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Vladimir Zaitsev

Nikolai Zaitsev had served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for his entire life. He had transferred to the office of the Kursk Vice Mayor from the chair of the Head of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region. It is unknown for how long was he acquainted with Volobuev, but their friendship could explain why ‘Dima Volobuy’ had committed crimes in Kursk for many years unpunished. It can’t be ruled out that Zaitsev was his ‘cover’ and now ‘Volobuy’ finally has to answer for his deeds under the law. 

In addition to the extortion, the First Department for Special Cases of the Investigations Directorate in the Kursk Region of the ICR has also charged Volobuev under item (g), part 2 or Article 105 (Murder committed by a group of persons by previous concert), part 3 of Article 33 and part 2 of Article 167 (Organization of Destruction or Damage of Property), and part 3 of Article 30 and part 4 of Article 159.2 (Attempted Swindling) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

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