"I will get something, and they will, too": Former Armen Kanevsky’s gang member rats out 20 unrevealed homicides and robberies

"I will get something, and they will, too": Former Armen Kanevsky’s gang member rats out 20 unrevealed homicides and robberies
Armen Arutyunyan

The witness called closest to the now deceased thief in law Oleg Vanchenko and Ernest Lalabekov the leaders of the criminal group.⁠

There are still about 20 murders and other grave crimes under the belt of the gang of thief in law Armen Arutyunyan (Armen Kanevsky) from the village of Kanevskaya, which the investigation has not solved yet. Secret witness Ivan Gromov declared this during the interrogation in Krasnodar regional court.

"I am aware of more than 20 crimes related to Vanchenko and Lalabekov (members of the group) – all of them are associated with murders and robberies. If it is necessary I will tell you everything", – secret witness Ivan Gromov, who is currently serving sentence for robbery and extortion committed by a group of people, said.

Gromov called defendants Oleg Vanchenko and Ernest Lalabekov the leaders of the group, who were closest to the late Armen Kanevsky.

"I myself committed crimes being a member of Kanevsky’s gang. Therefore, if something starts, I will not keep silence. I will get something, and they will, too", – the witness explained the motive of his confession.

A source of Interfax in law enforcement agencies confirmed the words of Gromov about more than 20 unsolved crimes of the group for the moment.

"Large-scale corruption connections allowed criminals to evade responsibility. Numerous circumstantial evidence in criminal cases confirm their involvement, but there is no direct evidence", – the source said.

The CrimeRussia has previously imparted that a criminal case against four members of the gang began to be considered by court in February 2017. 48-year-old Oleg Vanchenko, 45-year-old Ernest Lalabekov, 54-year-old Manuka Torosyan and 55-year old Alexander Zhigalko were on the dock. They were charged with crimes under part 2 of Art. 209 of the Criminal Code (Participation in a Stable Armed Group), items (a, b, c), part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code (Extortion by an organized group), items (a, g, h, i), part 2 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code (Murder of four persons committed by an organized group), part 3 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code (Illegal Acquisition, Storage, Transportation and Carrying of Firearms). All four were detained in 2015, but they strongly denied their guilt.

The criminal community created by Armen Kanevsky was defeated after the death of the criminal in places of detention in 2010, where he was serving a sentence for another crime.

According to the materials of the criminal case, Armen Kanevsky and his henchmen, under threat of reprisal against co-owner of cognac factory Novokubanskoe Suren Egiazarov CJSC and his family, required them to pay 30 thousand dollars monthly. Egiazarov, having paid once, then refused. After that in January 2007 the businessman and the two sportsmen who accompanied him were killed. Two weeks after the incident the criminals killed the owner of a cafe Sergey Khachatryan, who helped them get rid of the bodies, fearing that he could give them away.

In early April this year it became known that the witnesses in the gang's case were threatened, and one of them was beaten by unknown persons. Prosecutor Svetlana Nekoz stressed that despite the fact that thief in law "Armen Kanevsky died, the gang created by him continued to function and "represent an increased danger due to years of criminal experience and extensive corruption connections".



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