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Austrian police apprehend alleged Russian mafia murderer

Austrian police apprehend alleged Russian mafia murderer
Austrian investigators from the Federal Criminal Police Office arrested a Russian man accused of murdering at least six people as part of mafia activities, at the Vienna Central Station on Saturday.
The 44-year-old suspect known as "Aslan G." had been wanted by Interpol Moscow through an international arrest warrant, the Federal Criminal Police Office said in a statement over the arrest Monday.
The suspect is alleged to have been involved in mafia activities of a violent nature, taking over the leadership of his gang following the life imprisonment of his older brother, moving from expensive car theft to the illegal liquor production business in Russia.
He is accused of executing six people and leaving a further three seriously injured, including the mayor of the town of Vladikavkaz in 2008, along with other high-ranking government and security officials.
Russian police cracked down on the gang in October 2013 following public outcry, upon which they were busted, a weapons arsenal seized, and police uniforms found. It later became clear however that the gang leader had fled to Vienna.
Despite having a fake Bulgarian passport on him, the suspect, who had been surprised over the arrest but offered no resistance, admitted his true identity immediately. He was transported to prison in Josefstadt, from where he will be extradicted

Russian Mobster with Fake Bulgarian Passport Arrested in Vienna

Austrian police have arrested a 44-year-old Russian national wanted for six counts of murder.
Aslan G., the alleged head of a Russian organized crime ring involved in the murders of politicians and senior officials, was arrested at Vienna's main train station on Saturday, according to reports of Die Presse and Der Standard.
He did not resist arrest.
He was found to have a forged Bulgarian passport.
Aslan G., (Aslan Gagiev, according to reports of The Local Austria), faces charges of shooting dead at least six people and injuring three others in the period 2012-2013.
He is to be extradited to Russia.
Interpol Moscow had issued an international arrest warrant for him in mid-December 2014, informing the Austrian authorities that he might be living there.
The crime ring is believed to have carried out more than 40 assassinations since 2004, most of them in the region of Moscow and in the North Caucasus, according to Die Presse (Der Standard informs that the crime group is held responsible for about two dozen murders).

According to Die Presse, the crime group consisted of 46 members, 15 of whom are already serving long prison sentences, according to local police.

Austrian police detain Russian suspect in multiple killings

MOSCOW, January 19 /TASS/. Aslan Gagiyev, a native of North Ossetia who has been detained in Austria, used to head an organized crime group, which is believed to stand behind the murders of Vladikavkaz Mayor Vitaly Karayev and North Ossetian Vice-Premier Kazbek Pagiyev, Vladimir Markin, a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee, told TASS on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, the Austrian police reported the detention in Vienna of a native of North Ossetia whom Russia accuses of committing six murders in its territory.
“On January 17, the competent bodies of the Austrian Republic detained Aslan Gagiyev, the head of an organized crime group who was on the international wanted list,” Markin said.
“A criminal organization set up and headed by Aslan Gagiyev began its activities in 2004. It had more than 46 members who committed more than 40 murders and made encroachments and homicide attempts on law enforcers in the territories of Moscow, the Moscow region and the Republic of North Ossetia-Alaniya,” Markin stressed.

Could the Russian Mob Take Advantage of the Eurasian Economic Union?
The new bloc could allow more than just the free flow of goods, capital and labor.
By Jan Dulac
On the eve of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) summit, which took place on December 23in Moscow, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko lashed out at Russia’s policy, calling it “silly and stupid.” His anger was at restrictions Moscow had imposed on certain imports from his country, along with many other points of friction between the two “brotherly” nations.
A few days earlier, Lukashenko had ordered customs checkpoints to be reinstated on the Belarusian-Russian border, and announced that bilateral trade would be carried out in U.S. dollars. Chairman of the Party of Patriots of Kazakhstan, Gani Kassymov, in turn, called on the government of Kazakhstan to “postpone the introduction of the Eurasian Economic Union norms for a year, to a time Russia’s economic situation recovers. Kazakhstan cannot maintain economic fraternity with Russia following the latter’s economic collapse. The Russian crisis will deteriorate the economic situation in Kazakhstan and Belarus.” Kazakhstan is already feeling the chill: imports from Russia are now worth $17.7 billion, whilst Kazakh exports are worth $5.8 billion (following a 21 percent decline in Kazakh exports in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013).
All this seems bad enough, but most experts and observers, let alone the public, have failed to focus on one crucial point: the EEU won’t just allow the cross-border free flow of goods, capital and labor; Belarus and Kazakhstan will now also be exposed to Russian organized crime, penetrating the countries’ businesses and government structures, which have hitherto been under the tight control of authoritarian leaderships.
In Belarus, the common feeling is that the streets and avenues of Minsk are clean and well-kept, medical services are fine, and policemen are “real” – not like Russia’s bent cops. The concern about what might happen may explain why Lukashenko, when faced with Moscow’s ban on Belarusian meat and dairy products, bluntly questioned Putin’s ability to fight “crooks feathering their nests” off bilateral trade. Or, he assumed, perhaps Moscow was using a combination of politics, shady schemes and “internal forces” as foreign policy instruments.
Astana has a lot to lose as well. In spite of all the ups and downs of Kazakhstan’s transformation to a market economy, the nation has risen 47th place on the World Bank’s Competitiveness Index and 50th place in the Ease of Doing Business rating. Red tape is consistently being cut, thanks to the effective implementation of the e-government concept: Kazakhstan has climbed to 28th place in the UN e-government ranking. Most importantly, the mindset of the majority of Kazakh citizens is market-oriented. Kazakhstan’s entrepreneurs have already become accustomed to working under more or less civilized rules. President Nursultan Nazarbayev claims his nation is ranked among the world’s 20 most attractive countries for foreign investment.
Russian organized crime groups have long been known for taking advantage of economic and social crises and reforms to increase their influence and wealth. And any initiatives by Russian criminals to get in touch with their counterparts in Kazakhstan, to prepare the ground for the common market, may well find that the soil is fertile. While Kazakhstan gradually climbs the business and investment climate rankings, it is making much slower progress in the fight against corruption – according to Transparency International, the country ranked 126th in the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2014, compared to 140th in 2013.
By Putin’s definition, a “fifth column” means internal forces serving Western interests and undermining stability in Russia. However, popular opinion is that Russian oligarchs, merged with criminal groups, play the same role in advancing Moscow’s interests in its near abroad, as in Ukraine. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman’s observed that “Putin’s Russia is an extreme version of crony capitalism, indeed, a kleptocracy in which loyalists get to skim off vast sums for their personal use.” Not surprisingly, then, many Belarusians and Kazakhs see and fear the political consequences of the EEU, especially against the backdrop of the Ukrainian crisis.
Jan Dulac is a freelance writer, based in Astana, Kazakhstan.

US Imposes Human Rights Sanctions on 4 Russians


WASHINGTON — The U.S. has imposed sanctions on four Russians under a law targeting Russian human rights violators.
The action is the latest sign of Washington's worsening relationship with Moscow. In recent months, Russia has faced hard-hitting U.S. economic sanctions over its interference in Ukraine.
The State Department said the four men included the prime minister and another senior official of Russia's Chechen Republic. They cannot enter the U.S.; any U.S. assets they have are now frozen.
The sanctions are imposed under a law named after whistle-blowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He pointed to massive collusion between organized crime and a Russian government official in 2008. A year later he died of untreated pancreatitis in prison at age 37.

Thirty-four Russians are now included on the U.S. government's "Magnitsky list."