Suspected Russian Killer Detained in Austria

One of Russia's most wanted criminals was snatched up by Austrian special forces at a central train station in Vienna.

One of Russia's most wanted criminals, a reputed mobster believed to have been responsible for more than 40 murders, has been detained in Austria and will be extradited back to Russia.

Aslan Gagiyev, 43, also known as Dzhako, was snatched up by Austrian special forces at a central train station in Vienna on Saturday, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday, citing Austrian police.

At the time of his arrest, he reportedly had a counterfeit Bulgarian passport and several fake identity documents.

Austrian police had been tipped off to Gagiyev's whereabouts by the Russian branch of Interpol in mid-December, Kommersant reported.

Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement released Monday that it had already begun extradition proceedings for Gagiyev, who investigators claim launched his criminal career in 2004 and quickly gained notoriety for a slew of murders of law enforcement officials and public figures.

Gagiyev was placed on Interpol's most-wanted list for numerous alleged crimes, including the creation of a criminal syndicate, murder, and attempted murder of law enforcement officials.

The North Caucasus branch of the Investigative Committee said Gagiyev set up his own gang in 2007 to carry out executions of law enforcement officials. Investigators believe the group had at least 46 members.

Among the more high-profile victims of Gagiyev's gang were then-mayor of the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz, Vitaly Karayev, who was killed in 2008, and Mark Metsayev, the head of a police anti-corruption task force in North Ossetia, killed the same year.

Last August, several of Gagiyev's accomplices were arrested in Moscow as part of a major operation between the Federal Security Service, North Ossetian police and the Investigative Committee.

Gagiyev's arrest in Vienna brings the tally of gang members from his group in custody to 14, with 10 other members of the gang on an international wanted list.

Contact the author at a.quinn@imedia.ru

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