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RIA Novosti

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FBI agents in Moscow on trail of Russian mafia bosses

15:18 23/04/2009
MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - A group of FBI agents is in Moscow to hold talks on possible cooperation with their Russian colleagues in cases involving two suspected mafia leaders, a government daily said on Thursday.

The Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper reported that the talks would take place at the same time as a meeting of a Russia-U.S. working group on cross-border organized crime.

The paper cited a source in the Interior Ministry as saying that the first man the FSB agents want to locate is one Yevgeny Dvoskin, also known as Yevgeny Slusker, who emigrated to the United States in 1990. During slightly more than 10 years in the country, Dvoskin was arrested 15 times by police and served a number of short prison sentences.

In 1995, Dvoskin found himself in the same cell as Russian crime boss Vyacheslav Ivankov, also known as Yaponchik (Little Japanese), according to the paper.

While there is no information on what influence Ivankov had on his cellmate, the FBI says that after his release, Dvoskin was responsible for illegally bringing about the depreciation of the shares of four large companies, which he then bought up at bargain prices. He was not charged and was eventually deported for breaking immigration regulations in 2001.

Two years later, he was put on a U.S. wanted list for fraud and money-laundering. However, by this time, he was already living in Russia and, according to the paper's Interior Ministry source, operating a "shady banking business." Investigations are currently ongoing into charges of money-laundering and the illegal transfer of several million dollars from Russia.

The paper said that the FBI was also interested in another suspected Russian crime boss, one Konstantin Ginzburg, who also goes by the nickname of Gizya.

U.S. agents believe that 37-year-old Gizya is the current "big boss" of U.S.-based criminal gangs made up of immigrants from former Soviet republics. The FSB suspect that it was Ivankov who handed over control of the gangs to Ginzburg. Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported that the FBI hoped to find out more about Ginzburg and how much of a threat he poses to the United States.

In 2002, Ginzburg was detained in the Moscow Region during a meeting of crime bosses but was released shortly afterwards, along with some 30 other detainees.

The paper said the FBI is also seeking two Russian businessmen. The first, Viktor Vulf, is wanted on charges of creating tens of fictitious construction firms in the United States, and collecting at least $50 million in deposits from immigrants from former Soviet republics. He and his wife then fled with the money and are suspected to be living in Russia.

Alexander Gribov is accused by the FBI of setting up a chain of medical centers that existed only on paper in order to fraudulently claim money from insurance companies. Along with an accomplice, who has since been arrested, Gribov is believed to have stolen some $2.5 million. The FBI has grounds to believe he is also living in Russia.

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RIA NovostiFBI agents in Moscow on trail of Russian mafia bosses

15:18 23/04/2009 A group of FBI agents is in Moscow to hold talks on possible cooperation with their Russian colleagues in cases involving two suspected mafia leaders, a government daily said on Thursday. >>

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