Active members of organized criminal groups of 1990s jailed for major crimes against businessmen and residents of Vladimir Region

A court has recognized the evidence collected by the Vladimir Region Office of the Investigative Committee sufficient to convict seven former members of organized criminal groups called “vosmyorochnye” led by Andrei Murtazin. Depending on the role of each one, the residents of the town of Gus-Khrustalny Andrei and Ruslan Murtazin, Sergei Antropov, Igor Kopatov, Viktor Dukvin, Vyacheslav Yeryomin and former local deputy Andrei Kashin were found guilty of robbery, extortion and illegal deprivation of liberty under Parts 2, 3 and 4 of Article 162, parts 1 and 3 of Article 163 and Part 3 of Article 127 of the RF Penal Code.

The court and investigators have established that Andrei Murtazin set up the organized criminal group no later than in 1998 to commit major crimes including keeping people prisoners, robberies, extortion of money from businessmen. He involved in the gang his brother Ruslan and some friends Andrei Kashin Sergei Antropov, Roman Barinov, Igor Kopatov, Vyacheslav Yeryomin and others.

Since the moment it was set up and until December 2010, that is 12 years, the gang committed major crimes against businessmen in the town of Gus-Khrustalny and its district, as well as neighboring Ryazan Region. The gang had hierarchical structure, common mercenary interests, was stable and close-knit, their actions were coherent and well-planned. In addition, for some of their crimes the gangsters employed other individuals who were not part of the gang.

For a long time the crimes committed by the gang stayed either unsolved or latent so investigations were suspended. In early 2011, during operations to decriminalize the district, the Vladimir Region investigative authority acted in close cooperation with operative services of regional offices of the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service to get valuable information that allowed them to resume and finish the investigation against the gang.

The probe was complicated for both objective and subjective reasons and involved a lot of different investigative operations. Some of the accused had to be wanted for a long time.

The charges against Roman Barinov were dropped due to his death while his case was already being tried in the court.

The court has sentenced Andrei Murtazin 13 years and a fine of 1 million rubles, Ruslan Murtazin to 10 years and a fine of 800 thousand rubles, Antropov to 12 years and a fine of 800 thousand rubles, Kashin to 8 years and a fine of 300 thousand rubles. All of them will be serving in a maximum-security correctional facility.

Yeryomin, Dukvin and Kopatov though found guilty have been released due to expiry of the period of limitation.

The case and the sentence are just a small part of the great work done by Vladimir Region law-enforcement authorities to get rid of crimes, during which they basically eliminated a stable criminal structure that had been established locally in the 1990s. The activity of both gangs and law-enforcement authorities has been carefully analyzed for the past 15 years. 27 cases against gangs active in Gus-Khrustalny District and officials of law-enforcement authorities were investigated. Some of the cases were put together as some of the crimes were committed in accomplice and considering the gang the criminals belonged to.

24 people were convicted of murders, infliction of grievous bodily harm, extortion, robberies, abductions, drug dealing, abuse of powers, bribery and other crimes. Leaders and active members of gangs Zhiluchastok and The 56th, as well as criminal kingpings Gryzunov and Monakhov (Monk) were neutralized.

Law-enforcers Mikhail Ovechkin, Sergei Tarlakov, Eduard Zhidkov, Alexander Savinov, Boris Avanesyan involved in criminal activity in this or that way were also prosecuted.

The decriminalizing operations also revealed criminal activity of those calling themselves “enforcers” and responsible for collecting money from local businessmen to support criminals.