How many successful businessmen were members of Orekhovskie gang?
An international warrant has been issued against businessman Vladimir Golchevsky. Igor Sosnovsky, ‘staff killer’ of Orekhovskie organized criminal group, named him the mastermind behind the murder or Sergei P’yanov, Director of Rextal Group of Companies, and his bodyguard. How many businessmen are hiding skeletons from the ‘turbulent 1990s’ in their closets?
It became known recently that Sergei Butorin (Osya), leader of Orekhovskie gang sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for organization of 38 murders and leadership of an organized criminal group, has testified against one of his former ‘colleagues’. According to Osya’s testimonies, prominent businessman Sergei Vyalkov, Member of the Public Council of the City of Odintsovo and head of the local fund for support of Edinaya Rossia (United Russia) Party, was involved into the attempted assassination of Nikolai Petrov, Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Administration for the Central Administrative District of Moscow of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, committed on December 3, 1998.
Shortly after the launch of an inquest against Vyalkov, another sensation hit the headlines – a ‘staff killer’ of Orekhovskie has testified against Moscow businessman Vladimir Golchevsky. According to the gangster, Golchevsky has masterminded the execution of Sergei P’yanov, Director of Rextal Group of Companies, and his bodyguard Yuri Molchanov. In other words, the businessman was a structural subdivision of Orekhovskie gang – although more successful in comparison with many of his fellow gang members captured long time ago and currently serving lengthy prison terms.
The CrimeRussia found out that both the mastermind behind the assassination and his victim are natives of Kuzbass. Golchevsky was born in Kemerovo on May 27, 1967. Similarly with his older sister Valentina, he studied in the secondary school № 28 – but unlike her, he left it after the 8th grade. Then he has done the compulsory military service and was demobilized in 1987. At that time, Perestroika was ongoing in the USSR, and first organized criminal groups started waging wars for power in Kuzbass.
By the early 1990s, the young and athletic ‘demobee' became a member of a gang led by Kemerovo criminal ‘authority' Vladimir Dureev (Durey). Dureev also had only an 8-year education but his organizational skills enabled him to create an organized criminal group nicknamed ‘brigade of dark killers' and seize control over some business spheres in the region. In a short span of time, Durey has eliminated almost all competitors, including ‘thieves-in-law' and became the ‘shadow king' of Kuzbass. The law enforcement authorities managed to capture the gang leader only in 1999. He was charged with several high-profile murders. In 2013, Dureev has been sentenced to 17 years in a maximum security penal colony. Many members of his gang ended up jail as well.
Vladimir Dureev (Durey)
Golchevsky managed to avoid the fate of his former ‘comrades’ and escaped the unwanted attention of law enforcement structures. In 2005, the businessman closed his Tsentrtekhsbyt Limited Liability Company incorporated in Abakan, capital of the adjacent Republic of Khakassia, and relocated to Moscow. In 2006, Golchevsky has registered an individual enterprise and launched supplies of fuels, metals, and chemicals. In ten years, he gained a reputation of a reliable supplier working without interruptions.
Concurrently, Golchevsky had been leasing out his real properties in Moscow acquired using funds of unknown origin. State enterprises were among his tenants. In 2017, the businessman has gained almost 30 million rubles ($473.1 thousand) by leasing out apartments with a total living space of 448.7 square meters in a residential building located at 1–8 Nezhinskogo street in the Ochakovo-Matveevskoe district of Moscow. Obninsk Research and Production Enterprise Technologiya named after A.G. Romashin was his tenant. Additional 1.3 million rubles ($20.5 thousand) were gained from the lease of a nearby office 51.2 square meters in size to RT-Chemical Technologies and Composite Materials Holding Company. By the way, all the governmental contracts have been won by Golchevsky on a sole-source basis.
The Moscow businessman and family guy had been living a quiet and low-profile life and never attracted the attention of law enforcement structures. On the surface, Golchevsky seemed to have no contacts with his former ‘comrades’. Therefore, the investigators were really surprised when Igor Sosnovsky, one of the killers of Sergei P’yanov (P’yany (Drunk)), Director of Rextal Group of Companies, and his bodyguard, has mentioned the name of Golchevsky.
Similarly with Golchevsky, P’yanov was a member of the gang led by Durey and operating in Kuzbass. He has attracted the attention of law enforcement structures for the first time after the murder of Mariinsk-based businessman Pavlov he had owed a large amount of money to. The entrepreneur specializing in forestry was shot dead at his workplace by Kemerovo killer Vitaly Lomaev (Chechen) as per order of P’yanov. Durey was displeased with a murder organized by his subordinate without his permission and P’yany has fallen out of favor. Then he decided to defect to competitors of the ‘brigade of dark killers’ and even tried to assassinate Durey in summer 1999. However, the attempt to blast the gang leader in the lobby of his home has failed – and P’yanov had to flee for his life. Together with several other thugs, he has relocated to Moscow and started racketeering local businessmen.
Officially, the native of Kemerovo was the Executive Director of Rextal Group of Companies specializing in construction and reconstruction. In summer 2013, P'yanov went to a barbershop accompanied by his bodyguard and was shot dead point-blank with a pistol at the exit.
Murder of businessman Sergei P’yanov
The crime has been sold two years later, after the arrest of two fellow countrymen of Golchevsky – killers of Orekhovskie gang Sergei Frolov (Bolton) and Igor Sosnovsky (Chipit) – in a small village in the Tver region in summer 2015. The both Kuzbass natives had served in airborne forces, were skilled in firearms, and practiced martial arts together. They had an enviable reputation among the colleagues – and in the mid-1990s, old friend Oleg Pronin (Al Capone), killer of Odintsovskie organized criminal group, has offered them to relocate to Moscow.
Oleg Pronin (Al Capone)
The aspiring provincial assassins started ‘working’ in the Russian capital under direction of Vyacheslav Makarov (Makar), a former SWAT trooper of the Moscow Regional MIA Administration for Combating Organized Crime. This was the beginning of the ‘Kemerovo brigade’ subordinate to Dmitry Belkin (Belok), leader of Odintsovskie gang, via Makar. The team of Kuzbass bros had acted separately from the other members of Orekhovskie gang and became Belok’s personal ‘firing squad’. In that period, Belkin was actively expanding his sphere of influence; upon gaining the support of powerful Orekhovskie gang, he started dispatching his rivals using the killers from Siberia. The ‘Kemerovo brigade' had performed the most difficult ‘missions' and became the ‘elite force' of one of the bloodiest gangs of the 1990s.
In 1998, Belok, Makar, Chipit, and Bolton have been put on the international wanted list after the assassination of investigator Yuri Kerez, one of the first Russian law enforcement officers who managed to track down Orekhovskie gang. However, none of the perpetrators were arrested: by the time of their identification, the killers have already absconded. Belkin was hiding abroad for 12 years – only in 2011, he has been arrested in Spain and extradited to Russia. Makar, Chipit, and Bolton remained on the loose.
Later it became known that the seasoned killers had never fled the country. After obtaining fake passports and changing names, they continued living in Russia and executing orders given by Belok from the penal colony. Belkin had financed the ‘Kemerovo brigade’ and paid ‘salaries’ to the assassins. For instance, Sosnovsky had received 200–250 thousand rubles ($3.2–3.9 thousand) per month in 2015. The killer lived ‘on the salary’ – no one-time rewards for ‘accomplished missions’ were paid to him.
Sergei Frolov (Bolton)
The funds were received from Odintsovskoe Podvorie market seized by Belkin by making his wife and mother its cofounders. The assassins had worked hard for their salaries: in summer 2014, after the arrest of Belok, a series of atrocious crimes have shocked Moscow. Several participants of the trial of Orekhovskie organized criminal group were killed one by one, including the second attempted assassination of Sergei Zhurba, Director of Odintsovskoe Podvorie Trade Center. After refusing to pay ‘levies’ to Orekhovskie gang, the businessman was shot in the stomach – but survived again. Other people close to him were not so lucky: Vitaly Moiseev, deputy and lawyer of Zhurba, and his wife were killed; Aleksei Zakharov, driver and witness in this criminal case was murdered as well. The most high-profile crime was the assassination of Tatiana Akimtseva, a lawyer of Delovaya Zashchita (Business Protection) Bureau representing the interests of Odintsovskoe Podvorie Trade Center in court. Akimtseva, who had repeatedly reported threats from Orekhovskie gang, and her driver were gunned down near her home.
Igor Sosnovsky (Chipit)
In October 2014, Belkin and some other members of Orekhovskie organized criminal group were found guilty of murders and attempted murders. Belkin has been sentenced to life in a maximum security penal colony.
Dmitry Belkin (Belok)
Sosnovsky was captured in 2015. To avoid a similar punishment, he decided to collaborate with the investigation and provided details of many crimes. It became known inter alia that quiet and ordinary Golchevsky was one of the masterminds behind the murder of P’yanov and his bodyguard. Prior to that, the investigation hadn’t even linked that death with Orekhovskie gang. After the testimonies provided by Chipit, the inquest into the murder of the Director of Rextal Group has been merged with the case against the organized criminal group. However, the law enforcement authorities failed to capture Golchevsky – he managed to abscond abroad. The Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow has arrested the businessman in absentia for complicity in murder. An international order has been issued against him.
It is unknown yet whether Golchevsky has dispatched P’yanov on his own initiative or executed an order given by Durey from the penal colony. The country of his current residence is unknown as well – the businessman could flee to Ukraine or Israel where he has many relatives.
In December 2017, 51-year-old ‘Chipit’, ‘staff killer’ of ‘Orekhovskie gang’, has been sentenced to 18.8 years in a maximum security penal colony. The Moscow Regional Court has found him guilty of membership in an organized criminal community, murders of 16 persons, attempted murders of 5 citizens, and preparations to one more murder (part 2 or Article 209, part 2 or Article 210, part 3 of Article 22, and parts 1, 2, and 3 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation; and Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). In total, 39 victims of ‘Orekhovskie gang’ have been identified, including businessmen, people close to Sergei Zhurba, Director of Odintsovskoe Podvorie Trade Center, former colleagues of the killers, and even their partners. Unlike ‘Chipit’, ‘Bolton’ categorically refuses to testify – i.e. the real number of victims might be much higher.
Sergei Vyalkov (in the center) and Sergei Zhurba (on the right)
The conviction of Sosnovsky became the 50th guilty verdict delivered to members of Orekhovskie gang, including three life sentences. The total sum of their prison terms exceeds 820 years. Makarov has again demonstrated skills acquired during his service in the Moscow Regional MIA Administration for Combating Organized Crime – he managed to avoid arrest and currently remains on the loose. The examples of Vyalkov and Golchevsky clearly demonstrate that many successful businessmen hide skeletons from the ‘turbulent 1990s’ in their closets.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.