Solntsevskaya gang longevity secret revealed

Solntsevskaya gang longevity secret revealed
Renato Usatii and Grigory Karamalak

First, the racketeers protect the interests of mobsters, then crooked cops, sharing profit with those who serve well.

Solntsevskaya criminal gang is one of the oldest and most powerful in Russia, but its interests extend far beyond the geographical borders of this country. Obviously, the gang owes its longevity to such things as reliable protection and informants from among the security forces. Logically, racketeers first protect the interests of Solntsevskaya, and then these patrons share profits from the controlled businesses.

On January 9, it was reported that the controversial Moldovan politician Renato Usatii appointed the former head of police of Gagauzia Sergey Sukhodol as the head of his shopping mall Elat in Chisinau. CrimeMoldova, referring to its sources, wrote that the first two floors of Elat are under clandestine control of the kinhpin Grigory Karamalak (known as Bolgar) and his friend and colleague Renato Usatii. Both of them, as the CrimeRussia repeatedly reported, are members of the Solntsevskaya criminal gang.

Earlier it was reported that the direct manager of the shopping mall was the head of Usatii’s guard and his trusted associate, retire colonel of the Molodova Information and Security Service, Stanislav Rogulsky. He has now been replaced by 56-year-old former policeman Sukhodol.


Sergey Sukhodol

Apparently, the appointment in Elat is a form of gratitude for the previous protection for Solntsevskaya. When in 1998 Karamalak was under arrest in the Department for Fight against Organized Crime, prosecutors found that someone from MIA was providing information to the members of Bolgar’s gang. Investigation established that it had been Sergey Sukhodol, then the head of the Criminal Police of Chisinau, who had been sharing the information. 

The then Minister of Internal Affairs, Mihai Plămădeală sacked Sukhodol in September 2003. Shortly thereafter Plămădeală was also fired and Sukhodol returned to the police in January 2013 as head of the Police Department of Gagauzia. In May 2012, President Nicolae Timofti awarded Sukhodol with the order of "Loyalty to the Motherland" of the second degree.

According to CrimeMoldova, Sukhodol return in law enforcement was made possible thanks to another famous Moldovan police officer, Colonel Vladimir Mayduk.

Sukhodol’s resignation was reported in June 2016. An officer in the Police Department of Gagauzia reported that Sergey Sukhodol had not been working in the institution for almost a month.


Elat Shopping Mall

CrimeMoldova established in one of its investigations that in 2012, the Chisinau shopping mall Elat had been subject to a raider attack. In the course of the event, it turned out that the shopping center was controlled by two parties — Mikhail Aizin, known as Kitaets (Chineese) and the leader of the so-called Jewish mafia, and Grigory Karamalak with Renato Usatii. In recent years, the two groups allegedly started having conflicts.

Moldovan politician Renato Usatii is a defendant in the case of the seizure of German Gorbuntsov’s Universal Bank. At the decision of the Moldovan district court, the leader of a Moldovan Party, mayor of Beltsy, and entrepreneur working in the field of supplies for the Russian Railways, is now wanted by Interpol. Usatii is accused of fraud with shares of Universal Bank and organization of the assassination attempt on German Gorbuntsov in London. Currently, Usatii is hiding from Moldovan justice in Russia. He himself says that thanks to the Russian citizenship he cannot be extradited. His friend Karamalak is also wanted by Interpol. The prosecutor's office of Moldova for the fight against organized crime and special affairs accuses the kingpin of a number of crimes, including banditry, blackmail, extortion, and armed robbery.



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