A court has recognized the evidence gathered by the Major Cases Directorate of the Investigative Committee as sufficient to convict Inessa Tarverdiyeva, her daughter Viktoria Tarverdiyeva, Sergei Sinelnik and his wife Anastasia Sinelnik. Depending on the role of each one, they were found guilty of banditry under Article 209, murder and attempted murder under Article 105, robbery under Article 162, larceny under Article 226 and illegal circulation of firearms under Article 222 of the RF Criminal Code.
The court and investigators have revealed that Inessa Tarverdiyeva together with her partner Roman Podkopayev set up a stable armed group (gang) in 2007 to attack citizens, including law enforcement officers in order to rob them of their belongings and firearms. Later the gang was joined by traffic inspector of Aksai District Traffic Police Department Sergei Sinelnik with his wife Anastasia who also was Podkopayev’s sister, and Tarverdiyeva’s daughter Viktoria.
The accomplices appeared before court for the crimes they had committed between 2007 and 2009 – 10 murders and 1 attempted murder in Rostov Region. Those include brutal murder of OMON agent Dmitry Chudakov, his wife with two children at Don federal highway. The investigators produced the evidence that definitely confirm that the accused had been involved in those crimes: results of ballistics, DNA and other tests and some hard physical evidence. For example, during Chudakov murder probe, the investigators had found his work ID card and his wife’s jewelry when they had searched the accused. They also found other thins stolen from other crime scenes. The investigators had run a number of onsite statement checks involving Inessa Tarverdiyeva. The woman had given detailed account on the circumstances of the crimes and roles of each of the gangsters. She had given such details that only a person involved in the crimes could have known.
Mass media named the gang as the Amazon gang, though more fitting name would be an ordinary gang of robbers, as their only means of living was robbery. The gang was based to a large extent on kinship, was closely knit and each accomplice had their own part to play. Being leaders Tarverdiyeva and Podkopayev planned and managed the gang, picked victims and made decisions on the attacks. Sinelnik helped them to cover the traces, hid the gangsters after they had committed crimes, including inside his house. He also pointed them to the places and victims, drove them to and from crime scenes and helped to sell the stolen things. In addition, he had given the gangsters a radio station which they used to listen to law enforcers talk. Gangsters had different kinds of firearms and ammunition, including those stolen from their victims. To hide their crimes, they wore special clothes and masks, used radio stations and different vehicles. That’s way it took several years to catch them. But when the investigators disarmed the gang, they stabilized the criminal situation in the region and made local residents safe against attacks, which the accused had had no intention to stop.
On 8 September 2003, wanting to hide after yet another murder, Podkopayev and Viktoria Tarverdiyeva were spotted by the police and opened fire on them from PM pistols. One of the police officers and Podkopayev were killed in the shootout.
The investigators keep looking into crimes committed by the accused in later years, including those in Stavropol Territory. Those include 10 more murders, 2 attempted murders, a number of attempts on law enforcers, at least 10 robberies and 60 thefts. Inessa Tarverdiyeva and her accomplices will no doubt go on court for those crimes as well.
The court has sentenced Inessa Tarverdiyeva to 21 years, Vicktoria Tarverdiyeva to 16 years, Anastasia Sinelnik to 19 years, Sergei Sinelnik to 20 years in prison. The court also awarded 12.5 million rubles in damages.
Spokesperson for the Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko