Tambov Gang
The Tambov Gang is a large gang
A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation. In early usage, the word gang referred to a group of workmen...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. According to common allegations, it was organized in St. Petersburg in 1988 by two men from Tambov Oblast
Tambov Oblast
Tambov Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Tambov. Population: down from 1,178,443 recorded by the 2002 Census.Tambov Oblast is situated in forest steppe.-Birth rate:...

, Vladimir Kumarin
Vladimir Kumarin
Vladimir Kumarin, aka Vladimir Barsukov is a Russian businessman, former vice president of the Petersburg Fuel Company in 1998—1999, and allegedly the boss of the powerful Tambov Gang of St...

 and Valery Ledovskikh. The gang is named after their region of origin, Tambov Oblast. Despite very common allegations of involvement, Kumarin continues to deny his involvement. Originally the gangsters were recruited from people of Tambov origin and sportsmen, and were engaged in a protection racket
Protection racket
A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a criminal group or individual coerces a victim to pay money, supposedly for protection services against violence or property damage. Racketeers coerce reticent potential victims into buying "protection" by demonstrating what will happen if they...


It became famous in the city after coverage from Alexander Nevzorov
Alexander Nevzorov
Alexander Glebovich Nevzorov is a former Russian and Soviet TV journalist, a film director and a former member of the Russian parliament. He is the founder of the horsemanship school, Nevzorov Haute Ecole.- Biography :...

 in his 600 seconds
600 Seconds
600 Seconds was an immensely popular TV news program that aired in the Soviet Union and briefly in the post-Soviet Russia. It was a nightly broadcast from Leningrad TV with anchor Alexander Nevzorov....

TV show in the city.

St Petersburg

In 1989 the gang clashed with Malyshev's Gang, another leading criminal group of Leningrad, in a bloody armed conflict. In 1990 some of the gangsters including Kumarin was imprisoned for racket, but Kumarin was released from prison in 1993.

In 1993 – 1995 an internal war between subdivisions of the Tambov Gang developed. On June 1, 1994 Kumarin survived a murder attempt in his car but was severely wounded and lost his arm. He continued his recovery in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 (Germany) and Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. By 1995 allegedly he had taken full control over the gang again.

By then the gang had incorporated some of the racketed businesspeople and become interested in investment and fuel trading effectively evolving into a mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

. It also helped organizing several private guard enterprises. Some of the gangsters allegedly became members of the State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

 and Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly. Even speaker of the Assembly Viktor Novosyolov gave it his support and maintained close relationships with Kumarin. , In 1998 Kumarin became Deputy President of the Petersburg Fuel Company
Petersburg Fuel Company
The Petersburg Fuel Company is a joint stock company of Saint Petersburg, Russia, specializing mostly in gasoline refining, storage, transportation and retailing, founded in September 1994, after a fuel supply crisis had hit the city hard...

 (PTK), the dominating fuel trading company in the city, organized by the Saint Petersburg City Administration
Saint Petersburg City Administration
Saint Petersburg City Administration is the superior executive body of Saint Petersburg , Russian Federation. It is located in a historic building, Smolny....

 back in 1994, when it united many of the gang's fuel trading assets as well as Surgutneftegaz former franchises.

However, in the autumn of 1999 the position of the gang started deteriorating again. Viktor Novosyolov was decapitated by an explosion in his car on October 20. Some of its most important members were imprisoned or killed. Kumarin left his position of PTK Deputy President.

The Tambov Gang now includes several hundred active members.

In August 2001 Interior Minister of Russia Boris Gryzlov
Boris Gryzlov
Boris Vyacheslavovich Gryzlov , is a Russian politician and current Speaker of Russia's State Duma . He is one of the leaders of the largest Russian political party, United Russia...

 claimed that the Tambov Gang controlled up to 100 industrial enterprises in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, including the Petersburg Fuel Company
Petersburg Fuel Company
The Petersburg Fuel Company is a joint stock company of Saint Petersburg, Russia, specializing mostly in gasoline refining, storage, transportation and retailing, founded in September 1994, after a fuel supply crisis had hit the city hard...

, leading fuel retailing operator in the city, as well as four main sea ports of Northwestern Russia, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad is a seaport and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea...

, Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 and Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

. ,

On January 16, 2007 the Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chaika
Yury Chaika
Yury Yakovlevich Chaika is the current Prosecutor General of Russia.-Career:Chaika began his career as an electrician in a shipyard. After serving in the army, he graduated from Sverdlovsk Institute of Law in 1976 and began work at Irkutsk Oblast Prosecutor's Office where he served as an...

 announced that the Tambov Gang had recently forcefully taken over 13 large enterprises in Saint Petersburg and was subject to an investigation. http://news.spbland.ru/i/22598/,

2008 arrests

On June 13, 2008 Spanish police arrested 20 members of the organization's Spanish branch. In connection with the raid Russian politician Vladislav Reznik
Vladislav Reznik
Vladislav Matusovich Reznik is a Russian businessman and politician. He is the chairman of the insurance company Rus, member of the general council of the United Russia political party, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Finances, former chairman of Rosgosstrakh.-Researcher:Vladislav Reznik...

 was investigated

Alexander Malyshev, apparently having resolved his feud with the gang, joined with them instead and moved to Spain to continue operations after several attempts on his life in St Petersburg. Gennady Petrov, a high ranking associate and neighbor to the sister of King Juan Carlos was also arrested. During the police operation, code-named Operation Troika, $307,000 in cash and twenty-three luxury cars were seized. Bank accounts totalling €12 million euro were frozen. Arrests were made in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 as well, where a member of the organization, Michael Rebo, was involved in laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and other illegal activity.

Further 2008 Arrests

The criminal investigation of 2008 lead to further arrests and a major Russian mafia (the Tambov Gang) money laundering scheme be revealed. According to the Bulgarian prosecutor more than one billion euros (1.4 billion dollars) of dirty Russian money had been laundered through a series of financial transactions in Bulgaria and Estonia. The laundered money was, according to allegations, part of the notorious St Petersburg Tambov gang's proceeds from drug trafficking, prostitution and protection rackets. The alleged Tambov Gang money laundering operation was executed by Elizabet Elena Von Messing and Dmitriy Abramkin.

According to the sources, about a billion euros of dirty Russian money were first transferred to a real estate and financial services company in Bulgaria, called Optima Ca. That firm then wired half of the money to the Estonian financial house AS Tavid, which sent the cash back to Russia. The rest of the money was transferred to accounts in Cyprus, Dubai, Hong Kong and other countries, according to the newspaper.

The investigation, which is going on in Bulgaria, is secret. Two persons were detained in Bulgaria on May 23, 2008, for this case - Elizabet Elena Von Messing and Dmitriy Abramkin. Von Messing is a Russian with Finnish
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

citizenship, and Abramkin had acted as her proxy. The court hearings on the detention of the two Russians are not open to the public. It is evident, however, that the scale of the probe is unprecedented for the whole European Union.

External links

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