The mafia-affiliated businessman was supposed to help the siloviki in another high-profile probe, but they lifted state protection from him a week before the sting operation for some reason.
Details of Badri Shengelia’s last days have been reported. The businessman was killed on the highway near St. Petersburg. The Fontanka reporter, who had known the businessman for 30 years, said that he was supposed to participate in a sting operation of paying a bribe to one of Russian Railways top managers that month.
It was not the first time that Badri was helping the police and he was even referred to as a "professional witness". His testimony became the grounds for the conviction of the St. Petersburg’s "night governor", Vladimir Barsukov-Kumarin. Some media outlets put forward a theory that the former Tambovskaya gangsters took revenge against Shengelia.
He was a key witness in another high-profile case: the story he told resulted in a new count added to the corruption case against the Moscow's office of the Investigative Committee, namely Mikhail Maksimenko, for which Shengelia was granted state protection. The article continues saying that whenever Badri Anzorovich was going to a business meeting in the restaurant on Karavannaya Street, there was a traffic jam on the road. His Rolls Royce was always followed by a minibus full of FSB Special Forces officers. They kept saying it was ridiculous, but they guarded him still and kept him alive. However, the businessman’s protection was removed a week ago, and he was traveling alone and said he was not afraid. When asked on September 3 whether he thought it was dangerous, Shengelia said:
"No one will dare. I lean on those who are stronger at the moment. And why should I act any different? " he answered a little too naively, as Monday showed.
According to the article, Shengelia was convinced he was lucky, knowing better than anyone that he had no well-wishers whatsoever. The businessman promised that it would get more interesting before the end of the month. They were just going to hand a large bribe to the top manager of Russian Railways. Badri Anzorovich said he was to hand the bribe for some property.
Shengelia was shot in the Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad region yesterday, when he was driving his Mercedes. Police found about a dozen bullet holes in the car; the hitman used a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Witnesses were found and they reported that the hitman disappeared in a white Mercedes with a Finnish number plate. According to the primary lead, Shengelia fell victim to a mafia war.