Five members of a criminal group infamous for a string of roadside attacks reminiscent of the “Grand Theft Auto” video games have been sentenced to life in jail, or 20 years in one case, by a court in Moscow on Thursday.
The defendants, many from post-Soviet Central Asian countries, are accused of killing 17 people in the Moscow and Kaluga regions between 2012 and 2014. In 2014, the head of the Prosecutor General’s Office resigned over alleged ties to the gang’s leader, though no definitive connection was proven.
Four of the “GTA Gang” members were sentenced to life in prison, while a fifth defendant was sentenced to a jail term of 20 years, Russia’s Investigative Committee said Thursday.
One of the defendants faces three additional criminal charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Three suspects remain at large and two others have been detained in Tajikistan, the investigators said in a statement.
Their ringleader Ibaydullo Subkhanov (also known as Rustam Usmanov) was killed in a police raid in November 2014.
An escape attempt by members of the group during a court hearing in August 2017 ended in a shootout between security guards and the defendants, three of whom were killed while one died later in the hospital.