Crime boss suspects arrested at Russian birthday dinner

Jan 26, 2013 - 0 Comments

Jan. 26, 2013 Reuters

MOSCOW - Police raided a restaurant near Moscow and arrested four alleged crime bosses and 19 others as they met to plan strategy after the killing of a criminal godfather known as Grandpa Hassan, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

The police swooped on the Family Elite-Club restaurant in the town of Nikolina Gora after learning that suspects from Russia and Belarus would meet there to discuss "a series of questions of a criminal character," a ministry statement said."During the secret meeting, held under the cover of a celebration of the birthday of a senior so-called 'criminal authority,' the plan was to discuss next steps after the recent assassination of the head of the Aslan Usoyan 'clan'," it said.

Usoyan was the real name of Grandpa Hassan, 75, considered one of the most influential kingpins of organized crime in the former Soviet Union. He was shot dead on a Moscow street on January 16 in what authorities said was a contract killing.

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