A criminal case has been opened against 16 Russians who are suspected of committing a string of murders aiming to acquire their victims' apartments, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Thursday.
Investigators said the criminal organization was founded by a Tver native and operated in Moscow from 2013 to March 2018, when the group was apprehended by the authorities.
“They were looking for individuals with apartments in Moscow who were single, lonely and led anti-social lifestyles. They would attain the rights to the properties and later deal with the victims,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the suspects drowned, shot or buried their victims alive. In total, the group is suspected of taking posession of five apartments, with a total value of 28 million rubles ($426,000).
The suspects were able to operate for a prolonged period as a result of “strict discipline, hierarchy and cohesion,” investigators added.