Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spain breaks up Tambov Mafiya ring

Spanish authorities say they have broken up the Tambov "family" of the Russian Mafiya, according to reports from the St. Petersburg (Russia) Times, UPI and RIA Novosti.

Twenty people were arrested across the country June 14 on money laundering, tax fraud and criminal association charges. Four hundred law enforcement officers participated in raids conducted in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. In addition to the 20 suspects, the raids netted 23 luxury cars, a yacht, weapons and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash. Police also froze an estimated $18 million in bank accounts believed linked to the Tambov organization.

Over the weekend, five suspects were freed after promising not to leave the country. Two were released on bail. The other 13 suspects remain in custody. Gennady Petrov (left), a reputed leader of the gang, is among those still held by Spanish authorities. Petrov and his wife were arrested at their home in the Sol de Mallorca region of the island of Mallorca. Police also nabbed alleged Petrov deputy Yuri Salikov.
Alexander Malyshev, another reputed leader of the criminal organization, was also arrested, along with his wife and a friend. They were arrested at a luxury estate in Frigiliana, province of Malaga.

The Tambov organization - based in St. Petersburg, Russia, but named for a southwestern Russian city - is believed to have hundreds of members. Russian, U.S., German and Swiss authorities assisted in the Spanish law enforcement action.
Last August, Tambov boss Vladimir Basukov was arrested at his home outside of St. Petersburg. He remains in custody in Moscow.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.