Chita: gang of car thieves and extorters headed by alpha-dog of thief in law Takha gets sentences
The criminals had been terrorizing the city for 4 years. More than 70 car owners became their victims.
Chita’s Central District Court rendered a guilty verdict against members of a gang of car thieves and extorters headed by an alpha-dog of a ‘thief in law’ Georgy Uglava (aka Takha) - 57-year-old Nikolay Buglak, reports Zabaikalsky rabochy. Buglak was sentenced to 15 years in a colony, other members of the gang - who had stolen cars and extorted money from their owners - got sentences from 9 up to 12 years and 6 months in a strict regime colony.
The court found the defendants in the case guilty of theft (article 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), extortion (article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and occupancy of a car without the purpose of stealing (article 166 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Almost all victims demanded a major compensation.
Zabaikalsky rabochy notes that the convicted gang is just a part of the criminal ‘auto-business’ that had been in active in Chita in 2000s. The criminals acted as follows: a car was hijacked; then they contacted its owner and demanded for a major ransom. They mostly hijackes foreign cars of the mid-price segment worth of from 300 up to 700 thousand rubles ($4 and 10 thousand) and not older than 10 years old. In case a victim refused to pay, a car was sold in other regions, dismantled or set on fire.
From 2006 up to 2010, there were around 1500 instances of car theft in Chita. Tens of millions of rubles were paid to the extorters. With that, the victims did not always filed reports with the police.
The details of the criminal scheme with hijacking and returning of cars are included in a criminal case against a ‘thief in law’ Takha that had been initiated due to creation of an organized criminal community (article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to the case file, the scheme was developed by an ’authority’ Dmitry Vedernikov who is serving his 22 years’ sentence for a series of murders at the present time. Groups of 10 persons dealt with hijacking. The ransom amount was from 50 up to 250 thousand rubles ($750 and 3.7 thousand).
Buglak and Takha’s associate Fyodor Titov paid attention to the hijackers. Titov had supervised the criminal world around Transbaikal. During the meeting in spring, 2007, Buglak and Titov told Vedernikov the scheme would be under their control. Vedernikov was appointed a supervisor for the car thefts. They told him to give one third of the ransom to the pooled cash fund.
By 2010, some of the hijackers were detained. The rest gradually folded operations and disappeared from view.