Russian agency details crimes of ethnic gangs in Moscow

RIA news agency, Moscow, in Russian
10 Mar 04

Russian agency details crimes of ethnic gangs in Moscow

Moscow, 10 March: According to the department for fighting organized
crime, about 4,300 crimes uncovered in Moscow in 2003 were committed
by people from the North Caucasus and Transcaucasus. This was said by
the head of the operative-investigative unit of the Moscow department
for fighting organized crime, Col (Police) Andrey Bolshakov, at a
news conference on Wednesday [10 March].

Crimes committed by these people are mainly of latent nature and the
victims are, as a rule, people of the same ethnic group, or those who
live in Moscow and who are involved in illegal business dealing,
Bolshakov said.

He said that completed investigations (of the cases already submitted
to courts) showed that ethnic criminal gangs committed 295 crimes of
various degree of seriousness last year. A total of 255 of the crimes
are of economic nature, including 250 frauds.

A total of 136 cases have been instituted against leaders of criminal
gangs, including 12 cases against so-called “godfathers”.

Bolshakov said that the largest ethnic criminal group acting in
Moscow is the Azerbaijani one. They are involved in extortion and
kidnapping, mainly of people from the Azerbaijani diaspora, and they
commit crimes on the consumer market.

According to the colonel, the most influential ethnic criminal group
is Armenian. The group is involved in contract killings, gambling and

He said that the Georgian-Abkhaz criminal group is one of the
earliest ones in Moscow, it has the greatest number of godfathers and
its members are primarily involved in car thefts and extortion.

Speaking about the Ingush criminal group Bolshakov said that its
representatives are mainly linked to embezzlement in the credit and
finance sphere.

The most odious group is the Chechen criminal group which is mainly
built on clan principles and which is the most closely-knit in
nature. These people are involved in embezzlement, kidnapping as well
as in controlling the arms and drugs trade, Bolshakov said.