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Russian godfather called 'Big Brother' who fathered 22 children and 'masterminded 80 murders' is captured


Aslan 'Dzhako' Gagiyev is said to have led a cold-blooded mafia operation called "The Family" which tortured victims in Moscow
BY WILL STEWART
A Russian godfather is said to be behind a ruthless mafia gang which allegedly killed 80 people and buried one victim in a concrete block.
Aslan 'Dzhako' Gagiyev, who is understood to have fathered as many as 22 children, led the cold-blooded operation called "The Family" that tortured dozens of victims, police claim.
The 47-year-old's brutal nicknames include "Big Brother" and "No. 1 Killer".
New revelations in Russia now allege stunning close links to top officials - including one inside the Kremlin - indicating a sinister alliance between the government and organised crime.
But Gagiyev is now held in a high-security prison in Moscow.
He has claimed he made secret monthly £1.1 million cash payments to Alexander Batrykin, a close Putin confidante now heading the powerful Investigative Committee, sometimes compared to the FBI, who were university classmates.
His allegations stem from court testimony and interviews he gave to Moscow investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta before he was extradited from Austria to Russia.
"All business in Russia is built in such a way that it’s impossible to do business without giving money to those who are in power," he said.
"There are certain amounts for each level of business.
"I paid 1.2 million euros (£1 million) every month from my association to Bastrykin at the Investigative Committee."
He claimed the cash payments meant he was protected from legal problems for his lawlessness.
"I gave him money to be able to run my business," the suspect added.
Mr Bastrykin, 65, has so far not commented on the extraordinary allegation.
It is alleged Gagiyev took the blame for a crime committed by this Kremlin insider.
"This 'debt' did not remain unpaid, and now this ‘acquaintance’ plays an important role in the life of A.M. Gagiyev, who, thanks to this, acquired a number of connections with highly placed officials in the Russian Federation’s government bodies."
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk has accused Gagiyev of "dozens of contract killings including of law-enforcement chiefs, top officials and well-known businessmen", and organising weapons trafficking, embezzlement and other crimes.
And a police source said: "For some time Gagiyev was fighting child kidnapping.
"Many children of rich parents were kidnapped in (the region of) North Ossetia, so parents turned to Gagiyev.
"He took their money and told his people to bring back the children along with heads of the kidnappers."
"Aslan did love children….according to various estimations, he fathered between 17 to 22 kids."
The alleged crime boss was eventually arrested in January 2015 in Vienna, Austria, on an international arrest warrant.
Footage captures him being led in handcuffs from the aircraft in Moscow and taken into custody.
Gagiyev has denied wrongdoing and claimed Russia's attempt to have him extradited was politically motivated.


‘Russian Mafia’ allegedly to blame for Moti’s arrest



Citizen reporter and ANA

The controversial businessman’s arrest in Germany is allegedly the result false claims were made by members of the Russian mafia in an attempt to extort him.
It was reported on Saturday that controversial SA businessman Zunaid Moti, known for his close ties to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is currently locked up in a prison in Munich, Germany after being arrested last weekend on the strength of an Interpol warrant.
The regional high court in Munich is expected to deliver a verdict regarding Moti’s fate this week.
According to Moti’s lawyer, Ulrich Roux, the Russian mob is behind the Interpol warrant that led to his arrest. Roux says that false claims were made by members of the Russian mafia in an attempt to extort him.
His client is “subject to a litany of spurious and fraudulent claims made by a known member of the Russian mafia, who lives in Dubai,” Roux said.
“The alleged charges that form the basis of the diffusion notice are evidently a complete fabrication and part of a continued stratagem adopted by the Russian mafia to extort payment by Mr Moti of substantial sums of money,” Roux continued.
The “known member of the Russian mafia” is likely a reference to Moti’s former business partner, Russian businessman Alibek Issaev.
Issaev has accused Moti, alongside his father Abbas Moti and their associates Ashruf Kaka and Salim Bobat of defrauding him in a mining deal that took place in 2013 in Lebanon.
Moti could face extradition to Russia to face criminal charges. His arrest was the result of a “red notice” issued by Interpol last year.
“His detention comes pursuant to a diffusion notice issued by Russian authorities on January 24, 2018, which notice has not been authorised and vetted by Interpol’s general secretariat,” according to Roux.
Roux added that lawyers in Germany, Russia and South Africa were “raising questions about the validity and execution of the diffusion notice” on Moti’s behalf.
Moti has interests in mining, finance, and logistics in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and counts the likes of British peer Peter Hain as his friends.
Moti has consistently denied Issaev’s accusations.
He says he was never in Lebanon and claims that Issaev instead stole intellectual property and a R500 million pink diamond from him. The other two business associates are Ashruf Kaka and Salim Bobat.
On Saturday it was reported that Abbas said he had contacted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, with whom he claims to have “a good relationship”, to help his son, but was told by Ramaphosa that his “hands are tied”.
“As far as we are aware the German authorities are to hold Zunaid for 40 days while the arrangements for his extradition to Russia are made,” said Abbas.
Headquartered in Sandton. The Moti Group has a relationship with Rustenburg Platinum, a subsidiary of Anglo Platinum, as well as a long-term relationship with Glencore regarding chrome beneficiation.

The company also has a chrome beneficiation operation in Zimbabwe called African Chrome Fields. Other interests include aviation, property development, and security services.

Iosif Kobzon: Russians mourn 'Soviet Sinatra'



By Sarah Rainsford BBC News, Moscow

The crooner, Soviet icon and later Russian MP Iosif Kobzon has died at the age of 80.
The death of the singer, who had long been ill with cancer, has sparked a wave of tributes on state television and social media for a man who provided the soundtrack to many Russians' lives.
Russian tributes praised his "unique" baritone, as well as his patriotism.
The foreign ministry spokeswoman went so far as to call him a "human continent".
But the performer, once dubbed the Soviet Sinatra, was a controversial figure in later life. He was a staunch supporter of the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and labelled by some commentators as a "propagandist".
Singing for soldiers
Iosif Kobzon began his career in a military choir, going on to study music, before hitting the stage and quickly shooting to Soviet stardom.
He performed for Soviet troops in Afghanistan, in Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster, and in 2016 sang for Russian soldiers in Syria.
He entertained Russians in their living rooms for decades, seemingly never missing a TV variety show or New Year concert. He was there again as 2018 began.
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        Russia's crooner and MP
His popularity peaked in the 1970s and 80s, but he remained in the public eye, and on stage, even after his diagnosis with cancer in 2002.
Many Russians will best remember Iosif Kobzon for the signature tune to the classic Soviet spy series Seventeen Moments of Spring. President Putin himself is a big fan of its hero, agent Stierlitz.
For others, it is the singer's ever-black hairdo, sculpted and static, and his pencil-drawn eyebrows that are legendary.
Political career as Putin loyalist
His varied life included a long stint in parliament, where he represented Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.
In 2002, he helped negotiate the release of several hostages during the Nord Ost theatre siege, holding talks with the armed militants who had stormed the building and planted explosives.
In the 1990s the singer was banned from the USA for suspected mafia connections.
It was after the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, though, that Kobzon fell under EU sanctions, including a travel ban.
He had joined a long list of cultural figures in Russia signing a statement of firm support for President Putin and the annexation. They declared that Russia and Crimea had been united "forever" by their "joint history and roots".
Kobzon was subsequently slammed for hypocrisy by Russian liberals, when he sought to bypass the EU sanctions and travel to Europe for cancer treatment.
Born in then-Soviet eastern Ukraine, he travelled back in 2014 to perform in Donetsk and Luhansk, which were then controlled by Russian-backed armed rebels.
He was filmed singing a duet there with camouflage-clad rebel leader, Alexander Zakharchenko.
Ukraine declared the singer a threat to national security and placed him on a list of banned artists.
Kobzon called on other Russian artists to follow in his footsteps. "It's much nicer here than in France or somewhere, drinking vodka," he insisted.
"We need to work here. For our people. For the Slavs."
Over the years, the singer was awarded the title of National Artist of Russia, the USSR and then Ukraine. More controversially, he was also named honorary consul to Russia by the self-styled People's Republic of Donetsk (DNR).
Like or loathe his politics, few Russians could say they had never heard of Kobzon.
And as his tributes roll on state television, the singer's deep, rich voice is filling living rooms and kitchens across the country once again.


Russia's most infamous contract killer has boasted of his behind-bars relationship with a glamorous "model and psychiatrist".



Photos have emerged of smirking assassin Alexey Sherstobitov, 51, and Marina Sosnenko, 31, who claims she “got interested” in the mass murderer after reading one of his fantastical novels.

She has now married Sherstobitov, who is currently 10 years into a 23-year jail term for dozens of murders.

Sosensko said: "I felt through pages of his book how many worries, sufferings and troubles he went through.

"I felt that I really wanted to support him and share his troubles.

"I wrote him via the internet at the end of October 2015.

"He answered.

"Our relations developed fast."

Sosensko, who is Sherstobitov's third wife, is thought to have worked as a model for Vivienne Westwood’s fashion house.

But she has claimed on social media she's a psychiatrist and received medical education during service in the Russian Navy.

The Kirov Military Medical Academy - where she was supposed to have been trained - denied knowledge about her.

And a photo of her wearing medical uniform and holding a gun has links to a major St Petersburg psychiatric clinic, but staff there also denied any knowledge of her.

Sosensko's mum Natalia insisted she is happy her daughter has wed a former gangster.

She said: "I wasn’t scared and I am not scared now.

“I think it’s completely fine that they decided to get married.

“Marina came to visit me soon after the wedding and shared her positive impressions.”

Sherstobitov was once dubbed Russia's "most notorious hitman" by the country's press for his killing spree.

He once earned the equivalent of £40,000 (3.4 million Russian Rubles) each month as a contract killer.

He targeted wealthy businessmen, including nightclub owner Losif Glotser and entrepreneur Otari Kvantrishvili.

But Sherstobitov, nicknamed Lesha the Soldier, was finally found guilty of murdering a dozen people in 2008.

Now he claims he is a reformed man, and has penned several novels during his time inside.

One of which, called Experts, is dedicated to his new wife.



No, The Mafia Doesn't Own Cybercrime:


Organized crime does, however, sometimes provide money-laundering and other expertise to cybercriminals.

BLACK HAT USA 2018 - Las Vegas - Organized crime organizations play less of a role in cybercrime than you'd think. Instead, a new generation of criminal entrepreneurs runs much of the cyberattack operations worldwide, according to new research presented here today.
Over a seven-year period, Jonathan Lusthaus, director of the human cybercriminal project at Oxford University's sociology department, studied the role of mafia/organizations in cybercrime in 20 different countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Nigeria, Brazil, China, and the US. He found that while organized crime provides help or guidance to cybercrime gangs or campaigns in some cases, the bulk of these hacking enterprises are conducted by a new breed of criminal.
"I was a little surprised by the limited role that organized crime appears to play in cybercrime," Lusthaus said. "I was particularly surprised that I didn't find more cases where these groups were protecting cybercriminals."
But that actually makes sense, he said. "Cybercriminals often aren't competing with each other in a traditional territorial way, so they don't always need gangsters and strongmen to keep them safe or resolve disputes between them," he explained. "There are some examples of this but many others where mafias just aren't present."
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The premise that organized crime and cybercrime are one and the same has been based mainly on "innuendo" and assumptions, according to Lusthaus, who presented his findings here in his talk "Is the Mafia Taking Over Cybercrime?"
Organized crime organizations' cybercrime activity is "more nuanced," according to Lusthaus, happening in a more "organic" fashion. "They tended to get involved in ways that matched their traditional skill sets and where there was a genuine need for what they could provide, such as in running money-mule or money-laundering operations," he said. "It's also clear that they are using technology to enhance their other criminal operations, though this isn't cybercrime per se."
Where organized crime organizations intersect with cybercrime falls into four activities, according to Lusthaus' research: providing protection for cybercriminals, investing in cybercrime ops, acting as "service providers" for a cybercrime scheme, and helping guide cybercriminals in their activities.
Lusthaus interviewed hundreds of law enforcement officials, former cybercriminals, and other experts and individuals in the private sector for his research, which is based on his newly published book, "Industry of Anonymity: Inside the Business of Cybercrime."
Lusthaus found an interesting paradox: While many of the people he interviewed believed organized crime plays a major role in cybercrime, few were able to provide examples. "Many participants in this study believed that organized crime involvement in cybercrime was substantial. But when pressed, this appeared to be a theoretical rather than an empirical view," he wrote in a white paper he released in conjunction with his Black Hat presentation.
'Service Provider'
That said, Lusthaus found several examples where organized crime and cybercrime work together.
In some cases, organized crime groups are investing financially in cybercrime, mainly as a way to leverage outside hacking expertise to make money. In one case shared by a UK law enforcement official, a cybercriminal got funding from a "well-established" organized crime syndicate to fund the work of a programmer to write software that would allow the group to obtain payment card information from banks. That deal backfired after a dispute between the cybercriminal and the group, and the cybercriminal had to go on the run after his life was threatened.
Lusthaus also said there are cases of organized crime groups offering their own services to cybercrime operations, including the "offline" money-laundering of stolen money. One high-profile case was the 1994 breach of Citibank by Vladimir Levin, who had millions of dollars from the hack laundered in illegal money transfers. A US law enforcement official said a Russian mafia group in St. Petersburg called the Tambov Gang financed and handled the flow of those stolen funds to Russia.
Lusthaus found other examples, as well – most recently mafia groups that smuggle between Eastern and Western Europe card skimmers and blank cards used for counterfeit credit and debit cards using stolen account information.
Organized crime also can serve as a coordinator for specific cybercrime operations. "This usually involves recruiting those with technical skills, among others, to carry out the jobs," Lusthaus wrote in his paper.
Interestingly, mafia groups rarely provide protection for cybercriminals, his research showed. That role typically gets filled by law enforcement or political figures for a monetary price.
Meanwhile, Lusthaus pointed out a way to deter cybercrime: by recruiting and hiring cybersecurity professionals in regions where cybercrime ops are rampant and often the only option for these individuals, such as in some Eastern European countries.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise 

Revda underboss previously convicted for 20 years gets out of jail


Nikolay Smovzh

The court released Nikolay Smovzh from prison due to his health problems. petition for early release due to illness.
Famous criminal from Sverdlovsk region Nikolay Smovzh is going to be released from prison 15 years before his due date. As reported by URA.RU, the Sinarsky District Court of Kamensk-Uralsky confirmed the lower court's decision to release Smovzh for health reasons. In the near future, the court's decision will be appealed by the prosecutor's office in the Sverdlovsk Regional Court.
Recall that Smovzh, known as Revda underboss, was sentenced to 19 years in a strict-regime colony for an attack on two people in 2007, as well as for shooting a visitor at the Pampasi cafe in 2004. In addition, the investigation proved that the criminal is involved in several murders in the ‘90s and ‘00s.
Thus, taking into account his stay in a pre-trial detention center, Smovzh spent four years in prison. In March 2018, the Verkh-Isetsky Court of Yekaterinburg fulfilled his application for release in connection with a disease, yet the prosecutor's office challenged it.
The supervisory authority insisted that Smovzh got ill back in the 1980s. Also, the prosecutor's office noted that the release would not contribute to However, the doctor who conducted the examination did not have a license.


The FSB detained seven people in Moscow on suspicion of extortion.



The FSB detained seven people in Moscow on suspicion of extortion. Among them was Yury Yesin, going by nickname Samosval, who was named in the case of ‘Russian mafia’ in Italy in the 1990s.
In the morning of Thursday, August 9, investigators of the Investigation Department for the Eastern Administrative District of the ICR’s Main Investigative Directorate for Moscow and Moscow Criminal Intelligence officers with the support of the FSB operatives detained 67-year-old Yury Yesin, a source in the central office of the MIA told RBC, sources in the territorial police department and the ICR’s MID in Moscow confirmed the information. Earlier, Kommersantcalled Yesin "a crime lord nicknamed Samosval."
"Together with Yesin six more people were detained, it is known that they are suspected of committing crimes under Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling), Art. 163 (Extortion), Art. 222 (Illegal Possession of Firearms)," the RBC's interlocutor from the police told. According to him, searches and detentions began early in the morning and are still ongoing.
The Investigative Directorate of the ICR for the Eastern Administrative District declined to comment.
In 2010, employees of the Moscow Criminal Intelligence detained Yesina and 23 other people in metropolitan karaoke bar Zebra, MK reported. The meeting took place on September 16, the day a sniper committed an attempt on Aslan Usoyan (Ded Khasan) in the center of Moscow.
The report said that among the gathered were representatives of Solntsevskaya and Kuntsevskaya criminal communities. It also remarked that "the leaders of these groups have long ago become businessmen and do not identify themselves with crime." According to the operative data, they planned to discuss the issues of the division of spheres of influence in Moscow, as well as to resolve the "conflict situation", the report of Moskovsky Komsomolets read.
Yesin became known after his arrest in Italy, where he moved in 1995. In March 1997, he was detained in the resort town of Madonna di Campigli, along with 13 other Russian citizens during a special operation of the Italian police targeting the ‘Russian mafia.’ They were accused of belonging to organized crime and laundering millions of dollars through investments in tourism and real estate. As Yesin said in an interview with Kommersant in 2002, the case involved the laundering of $6 billion. He also claimed that one of the witnesses in the case had testified that in Moscow Yesin’s gang consisted of 900 people and had an arsenal of weapons, as well as a submarine for the transport of drugs.