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Alleged Russian mafia arrested in Pattaya



Pattaya, Chon Buri: An alleged Russian mafia was arrested at the Chon Buri Immigration head office Tuesday when he applied for his student visa’s extension.
The arrest of Sergey Kovalenko was announced at a press conference by Chon Buri Immigration chief Pol Col Praphansak Prasarnsuk at 4 pm Wednesday.
Praphansak said the Chon Buri Immigration had been informed by the Russian Embassy in Bangkok that Kovalenko, who carries the passport No 719172304, is wanted by the Russian authorities under the arrest warrant No 2014/36611-1, dated June 18, 2014.
The arrest warrant alleged that Kovalenko was the leader of the so-called Student gang in Yurga, Russia.
The warrant alleged that the Student gang had committed extortions and robberies and had collected protection fees from many victims in Yurga.
Kovalenko was also alleged with involving with murders. Russian police have arrested six members of his gang but Kovalenko managed to flee to Thailand.
Praphansak said Kovalenko turned up at the Chon Buri Immigration on Tuesday to seek to extend his student visa so he was arrested for extradition back to Russia.
Pattaya is known to be a haven of Russian fugitives. Several of arrests of alleged Russian mafias or criminals have been made in Pattaya.
For example in February last year, Pattaya police arrested Dmitry Ishmukhametov, wanted in Russia on extortion charges. He escaped from Russia to live as a real estate developer in Pattaya.
Russian fugitives love Pattaya apparently because the seaside town is popular with tourists from their country. The high number of Russian tourists prompted many of them to start tourism-related businesses to make money from their own fellow citizens.