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Russian mobsters organised a meeting in Athens

03 May 2013 / 15:05:22  GRReporter
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A major meeting of Russian and Georgian mobsters was organised in the middle of January 2013 in Athens, without becoming public knowledge. According to Spanish newspaper publications, during this meeting Zakhar Kalashov, who was arrested in June 2010 and has been in a Spanish prison since then, was named leader of the Georgian mafia worldwide. It is astonishing that this meeting of the Georgian mafia in Athens was organised under the nose of the Greek authorities by 51-year-old Lasha Shushanashvili known as the former treasurer of the Georgian mafia, who is in a Greek prison. This is an example of the security as well as "freedom of movement", which Greek and foreign criminals in detention enjoy in Greece, since they are able to organise crime "congresses" featuring selected mobsters, among other things.

The Mafia votes ...

The particular publication was uploaded on the website of the Spanish newspaper ΑΒC and entitled "Kalashov organises a meeting of mobsters in Athens." According to it, "Shushanashvili had intended to gain control of the Georgian mafia himself and thus fill the gap that has emerged after the assassination of former leader Aslan Usoyan in Moscow in mid-January, but ultimately Kalashov prevailed."

According to the report, the Georgian mobster, who is imprisoned in a Greek prison "has managed to organise a meeting of mobsters in Athens from the prison, because he enjoys such power there, that he has managed even to arrange for the use of a gym and pool in the prison". The article states that "the fact that Shushanashvili has so many privileges is not surprising, bearing in mind that, according to the information, he managed to hide during the first stage of his arrest (held in March 2010 within the trans-European operation named Java), by paying 800,000 euro to the Greek police." The police eventually arrested him in January 2012 at an Athens hotel where he has been staying since November 2011.

Has he paid policemen?

The publication notes that neither the Russian nor Greek police authorities have provided information about a meeting of mobsters in Athens. Moreover, it is said that relations between judicial and administrative authorities of Greece and Spain are frozen "because of the episode with Shushanashvili’s escape from the Java operation in March 2010 and the subsequent denial of the Greek Prosecution to submit the Georgian defendant to Spain, in order for him to be convicted together with the others arrested in the operation. "Shushashanashvili was arrested in January 2012 in a hotel at Kavouri Street with a warrant issued by the Spanish judicial authorities. He is considered the leader of the Russian speaking mafia worldwide, something he himself strongly denies. The 51-year-old Georgian was defined by President Barack Obama as "criminal number one in the world."

Shushanashvili was accused on the basis of tapped conversations of organising the assassinations of his enemies in France and Italy from Greece. In the spring of 2010 the Spaniards accused the Greek police of taking 800,000 euro in order not to arrest the Georgian who, according to information, was staying in the Makedonia Palace hotel at the time. These allegations, however, were never investigated by the Greek police. Along with this, cadres from the Ministry of Justice defined as ridiculous the information about the pool and gym, provided to the Georgian in the Greek prison. On 9 March 2013 the Court of Appeal in Thessaloniki decided to extend the term of Shushanashvili’s retention by six months. He has been arrested for 12 months in the prisons in Korydallos, Grevena and Diavata.

The "invisible" leader

The assassination of the then world leader of the Russian speaking mafia Aslan Usoyan took place in January 2013 in front of a fancy restaurant in Moscow. The meeting that was organised surprisingly easily in Greece was intended to find a successor of the assassined. The new leader of the Russian speaking mafia who was elected during the "elections" in Greece, Zakhar Kalashov, was arrested on 8 September 2010 in Marbella. He is also known as "the invisible man". He is considered to be the leader of the Georgian mafia in Spain and has been charged with multiple crimes and money laundering. Also, in 2000, he was accused of kidnapping an American businessman, for whose release 1.2 million euro were requested.


Tags: Russian-speaking Mafia gathering Zakhar Kalashov Lasha Shushanashvili arrest leader
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