Arrest extended for suspect in robbery of FSB general’s house on Rublevka

Arrest extended for suspect in robbery of FSB general’s house on Rublevka
Nikolay Grecu

The police are investigating into the crimes committed by an armed gang, which has a record of several dozen robberies attacks on country mansions.

Their victims include FSB General and Hero of Russia Umarpasha Khanaliev, restaurateur and owner of La Maree Medi Duss, and businessman Aleksandr Averin.

As Kommersant reports citing investigative bodies, the organizers of this OCG are natives of raider-revolutionary Grigory Kotovsky’s lesser motherland.

Last Thursday, the Moscow City Court extended the arrest for 40-year-old Moldovan citizen Nikolay Grecu. He is accused of creating an armed group that was looting elite country houses on the territory of the Moscow region. 

There are more than 80 volumes in the investigation’s materials in the case. Law enforcers have questioned 130 witnesses and 60 victims, including deputies and businessmen.

In total, there are 16 persons involved in the case, 10 of them have been arrested, and six more have been put on the international wanted list.

Nikolay Grecu denies his guilt, insisting that he "works for a man who tells him what to do."

His lawyer Natalya Anikina told the media that the state of her client’s health greatly worsened during his detention in a pre-trial detention center.

In September, journalists from Moskovsky Komsomolets and Dozhd TV Channel reported on the "case of Grecu." Representatives of these media are part of the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission for Human Rights in Prisons. The arrestee has complained of tortures in the pre-trial facility. According to Grecu, he was demanded to return the Gold Star belonging to Hero of Russia Umarpasha Khanaliev.

According to the investigative bodies, in May 2014, a group of armed bandits in masks broke into Khanaliev’s country house, located in Gorky-2 settlement near the Russian president’s residence in Novo-Ogarevo. They stole valuables and cash for a total of about 1 million rubles ($17.3 thousand), taking an award Makarov pistol and the medal of the Hero of Russia, which Boris Yeltsin presented to Umarpasha Khanaliev in 1996, along with them.

After the first suspects were detained, it turned out that the gang would choose houses for raids solely based on their location and appearance. From time to time, the housebreakers would collect information about future targets from migrants from Moldova, who worked there.

The main part of the gang included Grecu’s fellow countrymen; they were all from the small village of Belchan, the Hincesti district of Moldavia. The gang was detained in October 2016 after it raided the house of the general director of a Moscow-based construction company in a protected village near the Gorki Leninskiye Museum-Reserve.

The bandits would use "disposable" mobile phones and SIM cards, which they destroyed after each robbery.

The organized crime group members would move on cars; at the same time, all the drivers had Russian citizenship.

During each of the robberies, bandits managed to steal an average of several million rubles. They 'operated' all over the Moscow region. 

In January, during a joint press conference with Moldovan security officials in Chisinau, Head of the MIA Office for Combating Crimes Against Property Mikhail Sitokhin said that law enforcement agencies were also checking the information about crimes that the detainees had committed in Europe. Moreover, there they did not commit armed raids on homes there, but performed thefts. According to law enforcement bodies, the group had a channel for transferring their loot to Moldova.

It is noteworthy that siloviki deny the story with extortion of the stolen Hero of Russia medal from Grecu. To recall, the media have previously reported that frightened relatives of Grecu had returned a similar medal. However, examination and investigation materials did not confirm this information.

Grecu is accused of committing crimes under Art. 209 (Banditry), item b part 4 of Art. 162 (Robbery on a large scale, committed by an organized group with the use of violence dangerous to life and illegal entry into house), Art. 222 (Illicit arms trafficking), as well as part 1 of Art. 327 and part 3 of Art. 327 of the Russian Criminal Code (Forgery and use of forged documents).

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