An international criminal group was neutralised during a multi-stage special operation of the Security Service of Ukraine in Mariupol. The criminals kidnapped people and forced them to engage in drug trafficking. In the case of refusal, the victims were abused and threatened with murder.
The group’s activities were coordinated by a native of the South Caucasus, a so-called “crime lord” from the Middle East, who is involved in the commission of serious and very serious crimes.
On his instructions, the gang members tried to organise sale of hard drugs in the region. To disguise the illegal activity, the “goods” were handed over to customers through local residents, who had been forcibly drawn into the drug business.
In addition, criminals terrorised and intimidated residents of the region by robbing citizens and demanding money from them.
According to the investigation, the perpetrators created artificial conflict situations and then forced the victims to repay non-existent debts, using weapons and inflicting severe bodily injuries.
The facts of extortion of almost $20,000 were documented.
Police detained two gang organisers when a victim was handing over some of the money.
As of now, the detainees have been charged with:
- Part 2 of Art. 189 (extortion)
- Part 2 of Art. 187 (robbery)
- Part 2 of Art. 146 (illegal imprisonment or kidnapping) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Investigative actions are underway to prosecute other members of the gang.