2017 In Review: Organized Crime and Business in Russiangate’s Investigations
A restaurant in Simferopol, in which members of a criminal group would usually meet, was called Salem, just like the American brand of cigarettes. The same name was given to the organized criminal group in question. Presumably, the members of Salem killed about 50 people, blew up the tourist camp Tavria (in order to kill the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea). In total, the OCG included up to a thousand people.
The owner of the restaurant, Sergei Voronkov, is the leader of the criminal group, a former boxer, who did seven years behind bars. In 2016, he became president of the Crimean Boxing Federation. People associated with Salem, after the annexation of the Crimea, became officials: Sergei Aksenov is now the head of the Crimea, Andrei Vasyuta is the Minister of Industry.
Another interesting person here is Igor Lukashevich. Back in the day, he was one of the leaders of the OCG. There, he was responsible for the group’s financial activities. After 2014, he became a deputy of the State Council of the Crimea from the party United Russia, but in the autumn of 2017, Lukashevich was promoted – he was appointed mayor of Simferopol.
These days, Voronkov, the former leader of the group, owns hotels in Simferopol, enterprises for electric-power transmission, extraction of minerals. The former leader of Salem does business with the old comrades who have become officials.
The Schelkovskiye: from murders to animal trading
Once, one of the most powerful criminal groups operating in the Moscow Region was famous for the radical method of resolving disagreements: the Shchelkovskiye preferred killing to compromising. The group specialized in contract killings and kidnappings. In total, they are accountable for about 60 murders. In 2009, the security forces started to arrest the gang members, after which they were sentenced to long terms.
The leader of the group, Alexander Matusov, managed to hide in Thailand, but was later detained and extradited. However, the Russian jury found him innocent.
Matusov began to engage in legal business at the same time in the criminal activities back in the 1990s. At various times, six different companies were registered in his name. Among the co-founders, there were the accomplices of the leader of the OCG – the majority of companies are now re-registered in their names or the ones of their children. Running a legal business would have been impossible without the connections the OCG had with the administration of the Schelkovo District.
The Tambovskiye and Malyshevskiye in Spain
Criminal groups Malyshevskaya and Tambovskaya emerged in St. Petersburg at the end of perestroika. The first one specialized in gambling, antiques, controlled restaurants and hotels, whereas the latter basically killed and abducted businessmen, seized their businesses.
At the beginning of the 2000s, Alexander Malyshev (leader of the group) and Gennady Petrov (who was part of the Tambov OCG) moved to Spain. There, they put off their former enmity and engaged in joint business: they bought restaurants and hotels, invested in real estate and opened construction companies. Thus, they laundered money received in Russia by criminal means. Vladislav Reznik, a State Duma deputy, and his wife were involved in their schemes.
After allegations of money laundering from the Spanish authorities, Malyshev and Petrov had to return to Russia.
Petrov does not officially own a single enterprise, but his son owns two dozen companies. Among them, there are the jewelry network 585, holding company Baltiysky Monolit and microfinance companies. In 2016, Petrov Jr. earned 37 billion rubles.
Malyshev also has his own business empire in Russia. After returning from Spain, Petrov’s son gave him a stake in Neva LLC. Malyshev also became a co-owner of a number of other enterprises. Neva receives state contracts. For example, in December 2016, for 750 thousand rubles the company provided electricity to the Russian MIA Directorate for the Nevsky District.
The Bratskaya criminal group: how the son inherited his father's affairs
The Bratskaya OCG originated in the Irkutsk Region in the late 1980s and got its name in honor of the city of Bratsk. The OCG members were engaged in contract killings and controlled drug trade. Over time, Vladimir Tyurin became the leader of the group. It was with him that the OCG seized all the large enterprises of the forest and oil industry in the Irkutsk Region, as well as channels for the export of resources from Siberia to St. Petersburg and Europe.
The Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine claims that the OCG leader was the customer of the murder of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov. The latter was the husband of Tyurin’s ex-wife, Maria Maksakova.
After the arrest of Shakro Molodoy, Tyurin is believed to become the head of the Russian criminal underworld. However, according to other sources, Tyurin came out of crime and now is engaged in legal business – mainly, through his son.
More than a dozen companies were registered in Dmitry Tyurin’s name. It is noteworthy that his son shares his father’s interests both in the sphere of activity and in its geography. Companies in the mining, forestry and oil industries, several of which are located in Bratsk, stand in Dmitry Tyurin’s name. In addition, he owns the company for the extraction of precious metals and gold trade. The name of Dmitry Tyurin was also found in the Panama Papers.