Tag Archives: Russian organised crime

Russian mafia ‘increasingly active’ in Germany

The Russian mafia is becoming “increasingly active” in Germany, with networks recruiting in German prisons and groups bringing in billions of euros each year, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has warned.

“The Russian-Eurasian organized criminality is very dynamic” BKA President Holger Münch told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “They are already expanding in the west.”

One of the most dangerous groups, according to Münch, is the so-called ‘Thieves in law’ (Diebe im Gesetz) gang, founded in Stalin’s labour camps. The group from the former Soviet Union have their own ‘laws’ and a secret language, and is thought to be recruiting from within Germany’s prisons.

The BKA has previously linked 20,000 and 40,000 people in Germany to the group, and authorities believe that its members in Germany today represent “a five-figure number” – only rough estimates are possible due to the clandestine nature of the groups.

“Eight to ten percent of inmates in German penal facilities are Russian-speaking or of Russian origin; about 5,000 people,” explained Münch. “Not all of them are part of ‘Thieves in law’ but this figure shows the large potential for recruitment for these groups in Germany.”

The BKA President emphasized that organized crime may be operating in areas not traditionally associated with the mafia, for example apartment break-ins and shoplifting; Münch mentioned one Georgian shoplifter who had been able to earn €500 per day, and said it could be assumed “with certainty” that in 2015 criminality by these gangs had led to billions of euros worth of damages.

The mafia groups are also thought to operate in drug trafficking, tax fraud, economic offences, protection money and prostitution.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is working closely with the BKA. Münch said: “When people use the asylum process to commit crimes, care must be taken to ensure that their stay is as short as possible and that they are quickly expelled.”

Full article – http://www.thelocal.de/20160711/russian-mafia-increasingly-active-in-germany

Spain hunts ‘mafia-linked’ Russians including state officials

A top Spanish judge has issued international arrest warrants for 12 Russians suspected of organised crime, including high-ranking state officials.

The 12 are accused of links to Gennady Petrov, an alleged Russian mafia boss arrested in Spain in 2008 who later fled back to Russia.

Some of the accused are officials close to President Vladimir Putin’s circle, Spanish media report.

One of them, Nikolai Aulov, dismissed the Spanish move as “political”.

Mr Aulov is deputy head of the Russian Federal Anti-Narcotics Service (FSKN).

An FSKN statement (in Russian), quoted by the Lenta.ru news agency, said the order was “another move to fulfil a political instruction to discredit Russian Federation officials”.

According to the warrant issued by Judge Jose de la Mata, of Spain’s top criminal court, the 12 had links to Gennady Petrov’s Tambovskaya mafia syndicate, accused of contract killings, arms- and drug-trafficking, extortion, forgery and money-laundering.

Powerful figures

The suspects wanted by Spain include Igor Sobolevsky, ex-deputy head of the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) – a powerful state agency similar to the American FBI.

The list also includes Vladislav Reznik, an MP who previously chaired the Russian parliament’s financial markets committee. His wife Diana Gindin is on the list too.

Some of the 12 were also named in an indictment issued by Spanish prosecutors last year, which listed 27 Russian suspects.

Petrov was among 20 people arrested as part of a major investigation known as Operation Troika.

Spanish prosecutors say Petrov’s group had contacts with some senior government officials, including former defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov and former prime minister Viktor Zubkov.

Former Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, murdered in London with radioactive polonium-210 in 2006, had been helping Spanish officials to investigate Russian organised crime. His activities in Spain emerged in the official British inquiry into his death.

Read Full Article – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36194899