Support The Moscow Times!

Top Official in Prosecutor's Office Resigns After 'GTA Gang' Scandal

The head of the Prosecutor General's Office administration has stepped down after a scandal erupted over his ties to a murderous gang's alleged ringleader, who was found to be living in a house that belonged to the official.

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has already approved of the resignation of administration head Alexei Staroverov, as well as the appointment of 54-year-old Sergei Sergeyev in his place, Kommersant reported Monday, citing a source in law enforcement.

Sergeyev will be transferring from his position at the Interior Ministry to the Prosecutor General's Office according to Chaika's request, the report cited the source as saying.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, however, said in comments to Kommersant that he had no knowledge of Sergeyev's transfer.

Staroverov found himself in the spotlight last month after it was revealed that several members of a violent gang dubbed the "GTA gang" — whose members are believed to have claimed at least 14 victims over several months in a string of roadside attacks reminiscent of the "Grand Theft Auto" video games — were staying in a home belonging to him outside of Moscow.

Rustam Usmanov, the gang's alleged leader who was killed in a shootout with police, had been renting out a house on Staroverov's property, though a subsequent investigation revealed no history of communication between the two.

Staroverov was suspended from his post for the duration of the subsequent investigation. Although investigators had opened a criminal case against him on the charge of illegal weapons possession for the weapons Usmanov and others had been storing on his property, the charge was later dropped at the request of Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin, Kommersant reported.

Read more