Urals suspects thief in law Avto leading car scammers gang of murder

Urals suspects thief in law Avto leading car scammers gang of murder
Shota Katamadze

Previously tried for organizing the massacre in the Urals village of Sagra, crime lord Shato Katamadze has recently been released from the remand center, although he is still under investigation within a fraud case.

Crime boss Shota Katamadze, previously convicted of orchestrating violent arrest in the village of Sagra near Yekaterinburg, may be involved in the murder of a gas station guard of a large oil company near the village of Gorny Shchit in the summer of 2015, reports AiF-Ural.

The security guard of the gas station was killed during a robbery, which resulted in the stealing of a small sum of money. According to the publication, although the crime has not been officially detected, immediately after the murder, operatives made a determined effort. In particular, through the car on footage from the surveillance cameras, a few months after the murder, the investigation closed in on a group engaged in fraud in the field of auto insurance. However, the wiretapping, of auto-supporters showed that they were not complicit in robberies and murders. Subsequently, the investigation into the killing of the guard was suspended.

It was recalled only in the summer of 2017 when a group of car crooks was detained. According to URA.Ru, the scammers bought expensive cars, insured them mainly in Surgutneftegaz, and then mimicked a road accident.

An essential piece of evidence against Katamadze - a gun from which the gas station guard was slain - was found and seized by law enforcement officers in August 2017 when members of the gang of auto swindlers were detained, after which the owner of the weapon gave confessions about all participants in the attack on the gas station, including against the gang leader, Shota Katamadze.

It is noteworthy that by that time Katamadze was released from the detention center by the decision of Verkh-Isetsky Court of Yekaterinburg, which refused the investigation to satisfy the petition for the extension of his detention.

Earlier, The CrimeRussia reported that 37-year-old Shota Katamadze was detained in July 2017 along with six members of the gang led by him. The criminal case against them was initiated under item (b), part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code (Extortion) and part 2 of Art. 159.5 of the Criminal Code (Swindling in the insurance industry). All of them are charged with at least a dozen criminal counts.

As part of the investigation of the case, the law enforcers found out that the gang members bought expensive cars, simulated accidents, smashing cars with sledgehammers and getting insurances. The gang of ‘auto insurers’ included the son of the judge of Sverdlovsk Arbitration Court, Elena Bikmukhametova, Rinat and the owner of the car-care center, where the bandits smashed cars, Rasim Ramazanov. Three of the seven suspects went to a deal with the investigation and were subsequently transferred to house arrest. Damage to insurance companies for each of them is estimated at between 300 and 400 thousand rubles ($4.7-6.3 thousand), as only expensive cars participated in fictitious road accidents.

To recap, Shota Katamadze was previously tried for organizing a resonant armed attack on the village of Sagra in 2011. In March 2013, he was sentenced to 4 years in prison, but six months later the Supreme Court changed the sentence for a suspended term of 2 years and 2 months. Katamadze is known in the Urals as a crime boss, law enforcers consider him the right-hand man of thief in law Avtandil Kobeshavidze (Avto). Earlier it was reported that when, after the liberation of Avto from the colony in 2016, the Ural law enforcers urged the crime lord not to appear in Yekaterinburg, Shota Katamadze became his liaison with the Urals criminals, and also, according to unconfirmed reports, was in charge of the Georgian common fund. 

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