Members of Chechen mafia detained in Austria suspected of arson
The Hollabrunn townspeople's favorite pizzeria blew up at 2 o'clock in the morning. According to the police, the explosion is connected with extortion. The evidence traces to the ‘Chechen mafia’, as Minister of Internal Affairs of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka dubbed the organized crime with North Caucasian roots.
Certain details have become known about the police operation to detain nine natives of Chechnya, accused of creation of a crime group, extortion, blackmail, illegal possession of weapons, and drug trafficking, in Austria.
The detention of suspects began as early as Wednesday morning, however, the police has kept the information secret for a while, Kavkaz-Realii reports citing the detainees' relatives. This was due to the special operation being simultaneously conducted in several cities.
In particular, 150 police officers have searched a total of 16 apartments of immigrants from the North Caucasus, living in Vienna, Kremsa, and St. Pölten. The next day the searches continued. It is reported that weapons and drugs were seized in their course.
The publication notes that in addition to a number of other crimes, the members of the ethnic OCG are accused of burning a restaurant in Hollabrunn in March 2017.
The local pizzeria blew up at 2 o'clock in the morning. The investigators managed to establish that the so-called Chechen mafia (this term was used at a press conference by Austrian Minister of Internal Affairs Wolfgang Sobotka, although the detainees include a native of Tunisia, an Ingush, and a Dagestani, according to Kavkaz-Realii) had been involved in the arson of the restaurant on the grounds of extortion.
Earlier, the CrimeRussia reported that according to the head of the Austrian MIA, the police had managed to trace the ethnic OCG after the February incident in Vienna, when 22 Chechens were detained on the Danube Island, explaining the gathering with their friend's wedding celebration. However, after inspecting the place of detention, police officers found several units of ready-to-fire firearms, including an Uzi submachine gun, lying in the snow.
16 out of 22 detainees had the status of refugees, another four were in the process of obtaining it. According to the minister, after detention, two of them were denied this status, since they "should not abuse the hospitality of the country and violate its laws."
The detainees were checked for involvement in organized crime, as well as for participation in the conflict between organized crime groups. As part of these activities, the police continued to follow the Chechens released for lack of evidence and found that some of them were members of a crime group.