“Saga of Russian underground”. Trial of Russian mafia in Spain postponed until autumn

“Saga of Russian underground”. Trial of Russian mafia in Spain postponed until autumn
Gennady Petrov

The settlement of the criminal case of Russian mafia in Spain is once again delayed. This time, due to the illness of ‘secondary’ defendants under investigation.

The National Court of Justice of Spain (NCJS) has adjourned the proceedings in the Russian mafia case, which was to begin on June 12 in the Madrid suburb of San Fernando de Henares. The judge took the decision after the lawyers of some of the accused provided information about their clients’ illness, DW reports.  

The investigation into the criminal case of capital laundering by Russian organized crime groups abroad has been under way since 2008. An NCJS representative believes that the materials of the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office, set out for the court on 500 pages, is a “saga of the Russian underground and the Russian society as a whole.” 

At the same time, the main defendants have long left the dock. Out of 27 people, only the second-tier participants of the major economic scam are awaiting sentence in detention. 

The leaders of the Russian mafia – Gennady Petrov, Aleksandr Malyshev, Leonid Khristoforov, and Yury Salikov – left Spain and fled to their homeland long ago. Other big-name participants in Russia are only referred to as ‘people related to the accused,’ and are not involved in the proceedings. According to the Prosecutor’s Office of Spain, they include Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin, former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, former Prime Minister of Russia Viktor Zubkov, former Speaker of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov, Deputy of the State Duma of the four convocations Vladislav Reznik, Deputy Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, General-Colonel Nikolay Aulov, former Minister of Communications Leonid Reyman, former Deputy Chairman of the ICR Igor Sobolevsky, Deputy Chairman of the Government Dmitry Kozak, and others. 

According to the Spanish prosecution, the entrepreneurial representatives of the Russian OCGs, who left Russia in the 90s, moved to Spain. From racketeering and extortion, the criminals switched to building multi-level fraud schemes with real estate. These schemes were reduced to the constant purchase and sale of apartments with an increasing price through front companies. All this was done to launder money from drug smuggling, arms trafficking, and ‘contacts trade.’ Within a few years, the Russian mafia managed to build a scheme of truly impressive dimensions. The accusation refers to front companies established in the provinces of Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, and Mallorca. After passing through these companies, the ‘clean’ money went to Panama or Liechtenstein.

The main evidence is the taped conversations between accomplices, accumulated over the years. In these conversations, handy criminals “linked with KGB-FSB” discuss all their criminal machinations, calling his fellow colleagues by names (for instance, Sasha, Tolik, and Slava). At the same time, the law enforcers say that no specific last names are mentioned in the conversations, which allegedly made it difficult to understand the situation.

Besides, according to the Spanish law, it is impossible to judge suspects in absentia, which gives very vague prospects to the court’s verdict on such a high-profile case.



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