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Investigators Name 'Godfather' of Russian Crime

Zakhar Kalashov TASS

For the first time in Russian legal history, investigators have named a suspected organized crime boss “the leader of the Russian criminal community,” the Kommersant newspaper reported Thursday.

Zakhar Kalashov, also known as “Young Shakro,” is currently in state custody with a number of his accomplices, including fellow crime boss Andrei Kochuikov, security guards and both former and current police officers. The group is on trial for their alleged involvement in a shootout that took place in the Moscow restaurant Elements on Dec. 14, 2015.

Kalashov’s subordinates were trying to extort money from the restaurant’s owners, according to investigators from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

Three officers from Russia’s Investigative Committee were later added to the list of defendants in connection with allegedly receiving a $500,000 bribe from Kalashov in return for the release of Kochuikov.

One of the three officials is Denis Nikandrov, deputy director of the Investigative Committee’s Main Investigation Administration. An unnamed source in law enforcement told the RIA Novosti news agency that one reason for Nikandrov’s arrest was the disappearance of material related to Kalashov’s case after they had been personally requested by Nikandrov.

Zakhar Kalashov is believed to have taken over Russia’s organized crime empire after the murder of Aslan Usoyan, also known as “Grandfather Hassan,” in January 2013.

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