Zakonovskaya gang leader Gafur suspected of ‘ordering’ his rival arrested in Samara

Zakonovskaya gang leader Gafur suspected of ‘ordering’ his rival arrested in Samara
Gafur in court Photo: Mikhail Goryunov / progorodsamara.ru

Sergei Gafurov decided to eliminate his rival, who claims to be the leader of the gang. A member of the group, which was supposed to fulfill the role of the killer, ratted Gafur out.⁠

Members of the largest Samara gang find themselves behind bars one after another. On the eve Samara arrested 41-year-old businessman, one of the leaders of crime group Zakonovskaya, Sergei Gafurov, better known in criminal circles under nickname Gafur.

Gafur is charged with contract murder of his opponent, who claims to be the leader of Zakonovskiye (the gang is also known in the region as Barygi (Wheeler-dealers).

According to the case materials, in summer 2016 the post of the leader of the group became vacant after the death of Alexei Ryzhov, who died of necrosis of the pancreas. After that, internal conflicts began to grow in the gang, and several candidates started to fight for leadership, among them were Sergei Gafurov and 44-year-old Vladimir Izumrudov, nicknamed Izumrud (Emerald). Then, according to the testimony of former member of the Zakonovskiye Denis Kovegin, Gafur decided to 'order' Izumrud. Kovegin told the investigators that in May of this year he had received an advance of 300 thousand rubles from Gafur for execution of the crime and weapons. However, the killer did not have time to eliminate Izumrudov, the siloviki detained him on suspicion of killing businessman and ex-policeman Vadim Vinokurov in 2014.

It should be noted that both Gafurov and Izumrudov are businessmen. Several Samara companies are registered on their names.

At the trial, a measure of restraint was passed to Gafur, the suspect stated that he had not met with Kovegin for about a year, and in May he had been with his wife in Moscow. One of the leaders of Zakonovskiye denied in every possible way his involvement in the crime he was charged with. Lawyers insisted that their client be released on bail or placed under house arrest, but the court decided to put Gafurov in the detention center.

As Samarskoye Obozreniye writes, Zakonovskaya gang has existed since the 1990s. Initially, the leader of the group was Alexander Zakonov, but in 2005 he was slain and replaced by Alexei Ryzhov, former security guard of Zakonov. In 2016, the leader of the gang was Sergei Gafurov. Business interests of the group include markets, pavilion chains, car and boat parking, as well as a significant share in passenger road transport in Samara. It is also noted that since the 2000s the supervision of the Samara group has been carried out by representatives of Moscow Solntsevskaya gang. It is also worth noting that for the entire history of its existence Zakonovskiye successfully resolved all issues with law enforcement agencies. At a time when the Samara police were led by Yury Sterlikov and Nikolai Turbovets, the siloviki claimed that Zakonovskaya group had long ceased to exist.

However, according to some sources, the further trouble-free existence of the gang has come into question. As a result of the conflicts, the cause of which was the struggle for power and money, law enforcement agencies were addressed by some witness, whom the law enforcers made secret. The witness, who appears in the materials of the criminal case as Netske, told the siloviki about the perpetrators of the murder of businessman Vinokourov in May 2014. Thanks to the testimony of Netske four members of Zakonovskaya were detained: Radik Khairetdinov, Denis Kovegin, Sergei Psaryov and Alexander Popov. The arrested bandits, in turn, told about previously unknown episodes of their criminal activity and gave testimony against their accomplices, which incited the detention of Gafur.

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