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No one will dare." Police-covered Badri Shengelia was to pay bribe to Russian Railways top manager

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.

Witness in High-Profile Russian Mafia Bribe Case Shot Dead

Albert Dzen / TASS

A key witness in a bribery case that has brought down several of Moscow’s senior crime-fighting officials has been shot dead in his car outside St. Petersburg.
Businessman Badri Shengelia, 53, testified in court last February that he had paid Mikhail Maximenko, the head of security at Moscow’s Investigative Committee, $50,000 in 2015 to launch a criminal probe. Maximenko was sentenced to 13 years in 2018 for receiving a $500,000 bribe from a notorious mob boss to soften the sentences of gang members involved in a restaurant shootout.
Investigators opened a murder case on Monday after Shengelia’s body was found with several gunshot wounds inside a Mercedes on a St. Petersburg highway.
The Fontanka news website reported that Shengelia’s car had been shot at least six times from an unidentified vehicle.
Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying the investigation will look into any connections between Shengelia’s murder and his admission to paying a bribe to Maximenko, among other leads.

The $500,000 bribery case implicated the former deputy head of Moscow's Investigative Committee, Denis Nikandrov, who was handed a jail sentence of 5.5 years in the case last month and his retired ex-boss Alexander Drymanov, who was arrested on the same charges this summer. Maximenko’s deputy head of security was also sentenced to 5 years behind bars. 

Georgian mob robbing Shakira and Gerard Pique is ambassador of Russian mafia in Europe

cha Maysuradze

It looks like things are going Spanish investigators’ way: they managed to catch Georgian thief in law Gocha Maysuradze aka Gogita. According to the investigation, the Georgian mafia has made him its underboss in Catalonia. Gogita had created his underground empire, which included several groups of thieves ripping off luxury homes and apartments on the Mediterranean coast: according to preliminary data, their victims include pop-star Shakira and football star Gerard Pique. Lenta.ru has found out the story of the Georgian mafia's Catalan contact.
Al Pacino’s victim
As reported by La Estrella Digital, 54-year-old Gocha Maysuradze was detained along with eight of his henchmen during a special operation called ‘Al Pacino.’ Spanish law enforcers believe that the crime lord had a monopoly on apartment robberies in Catalonia; the investigation reports that Gogita’s group is responsible for dozens of episodes of thefts from elite housing and the collection of tribute from other gangs. They would pay the thief in law for the right to operate on his territory; the amount of ‘tax’ was about 50 percent of the profit. Those who refused to pay would fall victims to vendetta: they were beaten, tortured, and abducted.
Gogita’s arrest was preceded by several months-long investigation; he and his henchmen were detained in Barcelona, from where the thief had run his little criminal empire. At the same time, according to preliminary data, the crime lord himself was not engaged in crook business; he was Georgian mafia's underboss in Catalonia supervising several groups. So it was the members of these groups that involved in the burglary of luxury homes and apartments on the Mediterranean coast. Gogita developed plans of action for such pawns and tipped them off.
The crime lord and his retinue were detained by Spanish investigators last week. During searches, operatives found many documents on the activities of Gogita’s crime group, including business plans and a description of strategies for laundering hidden incomes. The Court of Catalonia refused to release the thief in law and his accomplices on bail; all of them are currently in custody, and their prospects are not looking good.
Accounting for Shakira
The investigation believes that Gogita had a soft spot for the houses with safes in them; therefore, his crime gangs would include experienced safecrackers. The crime lord had access to a network of informants who, with detailed knowledge of real estate in Catalonia, selected targets for the robbers, mainly among the rich people's housing. The same informants would warn the thieves about the availability of a safe in the house or apartment.
Gogita’s henchmen chose Sarrià-Sant-Gervasi as a favorite place for their crook business. It is one of the wealthiest areas of Barcelona with the highest per capita income, as well as the elite and prestigious district of Pedralbes. Often, thieves visited houses on the slope of Mount Tibidabo — one of the most picturesque attractions of Barcelona. Detectives believe that the football star defender of Barcelona and the Spanish national team Gerard Pique and his wife, singer Shakira, are Gogita team’s most famous victims.
The robbers visited the residence of the star family in early June when its owners were not home. Shakira was on tour in Europe, and Pique spent most of his time with the Spanish national team, which was preparing for the 2018 World Cup. The thieves took advantage of the thunder in Barcelona and entered the residence without being noticed, despite the fact that Pique’s parents were sleeping there at the time. The burglars got away with several expensive watches belonging to the football player and Shakira's jewels.
Fortunately, there were no casualties. Immediately after the incident, Pique’s parents went to the police, which initiated an investigation. Law enforcers noted that the thieves acted professionally and left no trace. Therefore, the detectives could not find any clues at first. Nevertheless, judging by Gogita’s detention, they managed to do it eventually.
Restless thief
Gogita became a thief in law in 1996. Over the twenty-two years of being a thief, he has gotten in scandalous situations many times. In the 90s, the crime lord operated in Moscow. In particular, in 1998, he was convicted for robbery and sentenced to three years in prison in the capital; later, his case was reviewed, so the thief was released in 1999; after that, he moved to the Stavropol region. In May 2009, operatives detained Gogita in Stavropol with two grams of cocaine on him. By the way, back then, investigators noted that the 45-year-old thief was unlikely to have much authority in the underworld because of his drug addiction.
The court sentenced Gogita to half a year in colony for drugs. After being released, he was once again taken in custody; this time, for deportation from Russia as an illegal migrant. Nevertheless, the thief managed to get away; he complained of heart pains. At the same time, the doctors did not only confirm the cardiac crisis doubtful for law enforcers, but also placed Gogita in the ward for veterans of war, some sources say.
In 2012, the thief in law was at the center of the political scandal in Georgia after the video of the meeting between a group of crime lords and Minister Gogi Khaindrava was exposed. It is noteworthy that the thieves’ code says that any contacts with government officials are strictly forbidden. However, Gogita got away with this story without losing his thief’s status.
He sided with Tariel Oniani (Taro) in the war between the clans of Aslan Usoyan (Ded Hasan) and Taro. In the summer of 2013, while in Turkey, he even took part in the mass brawl of supporters of both thieves in law (Ded Hasan was already dead by that time; the killer shot him in Moscow in January 2013). Apparently, it was on the Turkish coast that Gogita began his long European voyage.
Italian plot
The most curious things about the crime lord’s story is that he had already been detained in Europe. Moreover, in Italy, Gogita did precisely the same as in Catalonia. Italian carabinieri announced their resounding success in July 2014, after catching Gogita and ten of his accomplices during a special operation ‘Kura’ in Milan. Back then, Italy reported the defeat of the ‘Russian mafia’: local security officials exposed a group that was engaged in thefts from private homes. During searches, they seized 45 kilograms of gold jewelry, more than two tons of silver and silverware, as well as three million euros in various currencies.
Italian police reported that Gogita was a member of the group created by thief in law Merab Dzhangveladze (Merab Sukhumsky), Taro’s right hand man; the group comprised of several gangs that robbed villas and apartments. The ‘Kura’ operation was to destroy this criminal syndicate; its first stage took place in June 2013. Eighteen members of the so-called Russian mafia and thirteen thieves in law were simultaneously detained in seven European countries — the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Portugal, France, Spain, Austria, and Germany. Merab Sukhumsky was taken in custody in Hungary.
Italy put several more thieves in law on the wanted list. After the large-scale round-up, the ‘beheaded’ syndicate of burglars was spearheaded by Amiran Ebralidze (Amiran Lanchkhutsky). But in March 2014, the second stage of ‘Kura’ was held in Italy, during which Amiran and his accomplice were also detained. It was only after that that Gogita became the head of Italian robbers. However, less than six months later, he was also arrested.
There is no information on the further fate of the members of the ‘Russian mafia’ in open sources. But it appears that the European Themis was not too harsh on them: Gogita settled in Spain and began to rob the local rich people. Merab Sukhumsky, whom the Italian investigation called the ‘king’ of apartment robbers, is currently at large and lives in Europe.
Vagabond in law
“Gogita had a criminal lifestyle. He was a true vagabond, if we speak in criminal jargon,” Editor of Prime Crime, Viktoria Gefter, says. “He basically maintains communication with the same thieves and criminals as he is himself, and is generally respected. For Georgian authorities, as well as for the authorities of any other country, Gogita is of no interest; he is a different dude; and he is not someone's agent — just a felon, that’s all. He always gets released because there is either not enough evidence, or someone pays for him.”
According to Gefter, thieves in law's income is very diverse in Russia, and it is not always connected with open crime.  On the contrary, a characteristic feature of thieves in the law residing abroad is that they themselves commit crimes or at least plan them. In Europe, mostly it is burglary. It is most profitable, especially when it comes to elite residences.

“Of course, celebrity houses are not an exception,” Lenta.ru’s interviewee notes. “A tip-off is not even necessary; the location of such facilities is often well known to everyone. Of course, they are protected better than other houses — but for professionals such as Gogita this is not a problem. On the contrary — it’s a challenge. It is likely that he could have been involved in the theft from Pique and Shakira’s house; this kind of crime would only add to his authority.


Daughter of billionaire Scot Young who plunged to his death from fourth-floor balcony claims he was MURDERED by Russian mafia

Scot Young's daughter Sasha has spoken openly about her beloved dad - and raised questions over his Russian connections

By Phoebe Cooke
8th September 2018, 11:31 am
Updated: 8th September 2018, 12:02 pm

THE daughter of a billionaire tycoon who plunged to his death from a fourth-floor balcony claims he was MURDERED by the Russian mafia.
Scott Young's youngest child, Sasha, has broken her silence for the first time since her dad's death after falling from a flat he rented in Marylebone, West London, and impaling himself on the rails below.
Scott Young died in 2014 after falling from a rented flat in Marylebone
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 In a candid interview with the Daily Mail the 23-year-old relived her impressions of her "invincible" dad's final moments in December 2014 - and raised concerns about the company he kept.
Sasha and her elder sister, Scarlet, had a lavish lifestyle when they were growing up.
Between them they had 15 ponies, pedigree dogs and Fendi handbags worth thousands of pounds.
Christmas saw whole rooms filled with presents for them and they holidayed in the South of France, travelling by Concorde.
Even the tooth fairy was generous, leaving the girls £50 a time.
But just a decade later, Sasha's world fell apart with her father's death.
The coroner recorded an open verdict at the time, but Sasha told the Mail Online she is convinced her dad was killed by a professional hitman on the orders of the Russian mafia.
Noelle Reno, Scot's ex-girlfriend, has claimed the 52-year-old called her just minutes after his conversation with Sasha and told her that he intended to take her own life.
But Sasha has insisted her father seemed calm and chatty in his call with her.
Young had close links to Boris Berezovsky, the exiled Russian oligarch who opposed President Putin.
Sasha also has memories of her dad's apparently dodgy dealings. "I was about 13 and I remember a Russian guy — one of Dad’s business associates — handing over about £30,000 in cash outside a hairdressers in Mayfair," she said.
Sasha Young has spoken out about her dads Russian connections - who she thinks are linked to his death
"I saw it. It was very strange."
On another occasion she and her sister Scarlet and said they were "in danger and had to meet him and leave the country that night" and barricaded themselves in the bathroom crying.
Her revelations come after years of speculation over the 52-year-old, who was involved in a hugely messy divorce with her mum, Michelle Young.
The couple were married for 11 years from 1995 to 2006 but their protracted eight-year divorce dominated headlines.
The first cracks in her parents' marriage began to show when Sasha was just 10.
Initially, the family were planning to move to Miami for a fresh start but after mum Michelle and her two daughters moved into a beachfront home, Scot's lawyer called and claimed he had lost all his money.
The family returned to Mayfair in London and then divorce proceedings were started.
Scot was ordered to pat his wife £28million but she has never received any money.
Scott Young lived a lavish lifestyle but was jailed in 2013 for contempt of court for refusing to fully disclose his wealth
Despite his apparent vast wealth, Scot declared himself bankrupt and refused to pay over the maintenance to his family that he'd agreed in court.
He was jailed for contempt of court not long before his death for not disclosing full details of his finances.
But Sasha strongly believes her dad was killed, and says she hopes police will open their investigation into his death.
She told how her dad had called her "eight minutes before it happened".
Sasha's parents Scot and Michelle were married for 11 years, from 1995 to 2006, before a bitter, eight-year long divorce
"There was absolutely nothing in his voice that indicated anything was wrong," she said.
"Dad said, 'How are you doing?” and I said everything was fine. I asked how he was and he said it was all good.
"He said he’d call me the next day and that he loved me. I told him I loved him, too. He didn’t sound stressed or agitated."
Sasha, now a charity worker whose lifestyle is a far cry from her flashy youth, claims her dad tried to tell her something shortly before he died.
"He said there was something he wanted to say in person that he couldn’t discuss over the phone," she said.
"I didn’t go. I had a university deadline. I regret it tremendously now, and the guilt stays with me.
"‘I think he was scared that someone was trying to get him. He thought he was vulnerable.’"

She added: "Actually I thought he was invincible. But I was proved wrong."

. Former world boxing champion Avtandil Khurtsidze jailed for his 'chief enforcer' role in major crime syndicate

Former world boxing champion Avtandil Khurtsidze jailed for his 'chief enforcer' role in major crime syndicate

Avtandil Khurtsidze won an interim world boxing championship in April 2017.  Now he has been jailed for being the chief enforcer of a crime syndicate accused of involvement in everything from murder-for-hire to stealing chocolate
Even by the dubious standards of prize fight history, it is a spectacular fall from grace.
Former world boxing champion Avtandil Khurtsidze has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after a US court convicted him of racketeering and wire fraud for his role as “chief enforcer” for a sprawling crime syndicate of ex-communist bloc nationals.
It now seems that not content with winning an interim WBOmiddleweight title in 2017, Khurtsidze was heavily involved in an organisation accused of a “dizzying array of criminal schemes”, from the terrifying – murder-for-hire – to the faintly ridiculous – stealing four tonnes of chocolate.
He was caught on film delivering beatings for Razhden Shulaya, a Georgian once described as “the Warren Buffet of crime”, and also participated in a plot to crack the algorithms of casino slot machines that involved kidnapping a software engineer to get him to divulge tech secrets.
Yet in his public career, Khurtsidze had an admirable record of 33 victories, including the knock-out of British boxer Tommy Langford, in Leicester, that secured him a temporary WBO middleweight title in April 2017.
With an attack style that saw him compared to a pit-bull, the 39-year-old was known as the “Mini-Mike Tyson”.
Thanks to his sentencing on Friday, he now shares another characteristic with Iron Mike: a prison record.
There are, however, some differences.
In 1992, when Tyson was convicted of raping an 18-year-old beauty queen, former fight sponsor Donald Trump issued a public call for him to be spared jail, claiming: “A lot more good can be done by having Mike Tyson pay a substantial award to the victim … and creating [an] award for people that were abused or raped in the state of Indiana."
In this case, however, it seems extremely unlikely that the now President Donald Trump will demand clemency for the USSR-born mini-Mike Tyson.
Khurtsidze was arrested in early June 2017, a month before he was due to fight Briton Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middleweight title.
He was one of 33 suspects detained in a swoop against what law enforcement called “the Shulaya Enterprise”.
It was, said Joon H. Kim, acting US Attorney for Manhattan, “a Russian [and Georgian] organised crime syndicate allegedly engaging in [a] dizzying array of criminal schemes [including] a murder-for-hire conspiracy, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices.”
The US Justice Department claimed the “coast-to-coast network” was also involved in extorting local businesses and bribing law enforcement, running a brothel in Brooklyn, and “use of a female member to seduce men, incapacitate them with chloroform, and then rob or blackmail them.”
It was, said Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, “a criminal enterprise engaged in schemes that could easily be mistaken for a Hollywood thriller.”
At its heart, it was claimed, was Razhden Shulaya, 41, born in the former Soviet republic of Georgia but based in Brighton Beach, an area of Brooklyn sometimes called “Little Odessa” because of its communities of Russian and east European emigres.
Shulaya has claimed he is just the humble manager of a tow truck leasing company.  His supporters claim he is the victim of discrimination resulting from the current tense relations between the West and Russia.
Those who successfully secured his June conviction for racketeering, however, painted a very different picture.
Shulaya, they said was a “vor”, a “thief-in-law”, roughly the Soviet equivalent of a godfather. 
He was, it was claimed, fond of the oblique but unmistakeable threat, “bullets will find them”.  He was apt to boast, “Vors do not sleep”.
The writer Garret M. Graff described how in return for his protection, criminal subordinates paid Shulaya obshchak, (“tribute”), ranging from cash and vodka to a top of the range crossbow and a Mercedes.
The price of protection for one brothel, Graff wrote, was Shulaya allegedly being able to make free use of it.
And if anyone failed to offer enough obshchak, if they disrespected the vor or failed to pay him, they could expect to face Khurtsidze.
By hacking the iPhone app that controlled the surveillance cameras at Shulaya’s illicit gambling den in Brooklyn, the FBI obtained footage of Khurtsidze delivering a punch to the face of a man accused of owing money to what prosecutors called “the poker house”. 
A further slap to the man’s face seems to have convinced him to pay up rather than face further punishment. 
Things did not always go so smoothly, however.  On another occasion, an FBI informant saw the boxer and others escort an associate into a back office at the poker house.  The victim emerged bloodied, but when Shulaya ordered ice for the man’s face, none could be found.
The vor rounded on Khurtsidze.
“Why did you hit him so hard?” he demanded.
Brooklyn-based Khurtsidze, however, seems to have provided more than just muscle for the Shulaya Enterprise.
Prosecutors convinced the New York court jury that Shulaya and Khurtsidze “jointly participated in a scheme to defraud casinos by targeting particular models of electronic slot machines using a complicated algorithm designed to predict the behaviour of those machines.”
“Shulaya,” the Justice Department said, “obtained the technology used to commit that fraud through violence, including through the 2014 kidnapping of a software engineer in Las Vegas.
“Shulaya and Khurtsidze then refined that technology by training lower-level members to execute this casino scam using smartphones and software developed by the Enterprise.”
One news report quoted a prosecutor as saying “They turned slot machines into ATMs”.
Part of Khurtsidze’s defence was to claim that he did not work for Shulaya and merely knew him socially from the time they were both living in the Georgian city of Kutaisi.
This defence tactic was not, perhaps, entirely without risk.  Shulaya’s criminal career is thought to have begun in Georgia when he was part of the criminal Kutaisi Clan.
In January 2013, at a time when Shulaya was still thought to be in Georgia, news reports claimed the Kutaisi Clan was involved in violent gang warfare over who would get valuable construction contracts for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
One alleged rival gang leader was gunned down in Moscow using a Soviet-era rifle.
Avtandil Khurtsidze (right) faces British boxer Billy Joe Saunders at a press conference to promote their planned fight. Before it could take place, Khurtsidze was arrested. (Reuters / Andrew Couldridge )
And yet for all the alleged violence, it seems the Shulaya Enterprise and with it the boxer Khurtsidze were finally brought down by four tonnes of chocolate.
In March 2017, gang members including senior lieutenant Zurab Dzhanashvili posed as a legitimate shipping company to get hold of a trailer filled with 100,000lbs (4,535kg) of chocolate peanut butter cups that should have been distributed to New York retailers.
Instead the gang members set about selling the stolen chocolate themselves, a potentially lucrative crime, albeit one that rarely features in Hollywood thrillers.
Unfortunately for Dzhanashvili, who has now pleaded guilty to his role, they began negotiating with someone they thought was a buyer willing to receive stolen chocolate, but who was in fact an FBI informant.
This, it has been suggested, was the final piece in the jigsaw needed to bring down the Shulaya Enterprise.
About two months after the negotiations to sell chocolate, law enforcement swooped on Khurtsidze, Shulaya and 32 others.
A New York jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on the boxer in June. He was sentenced on Friday.  Shulaya is expected to be sentenced on September 21. 
Khurtsidze may still have support in some quarters.
Graff reported that days before his conviction he wrote from prison claiming he was possibly the jail’s “happiest inmate” thanks to the “love and warmth” in messages from fans in the US and Eastern Europe.
But he no longer has his freedom.  Nor does he have his title – that was taken away from him two weeks after his arrest.

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
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.
        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.