In Odessa, the SBU detained members of a criminal group that intimidated people and extorted money

The SBU systematically fights organized crime, which threatens Ukraine’s state security. During a special operation in Odessa, the Security Service of Ukraine neutralized an organized group that terrorized residents of the region and demanded money from entrepreneurs.

According to the investigation, the gang included citizens of Ukraine and Russia, mostly from the northern Caucasus, who had been repeatedly sentenced to prison for severe crimes. Security Service of Ukraine operatives found that the attackers demanded that citizens repay non-existent debts, and entrepreneurs demanded a monthly “tribute”. If they refused to pay, the group members threatened the victims with physical violence.

The special services documented the extortion of 100 thousand UAH from an entrepreneur engaged in the hotel business. Police detained four active gang members while handing over the second part of the money. Earlier, the perpetrators of the first part of the “tranche” were documented.

In addition, in one of the group members, law enforcement officers found the IDs of one of the volunteer organizations to which the attackers began to “cover-up” their criminal activities with the beginning of a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of the perpetrators was recently released from a Kyiv pre-trial detention center and awaiting extradition.

The defendants have been informed about the suspicion under Part 4 of Art. 189 (extortion) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and precautionary measures in the form of detention were chosen.

Urgent investigative and operational actions are underway to detain and prosecute other persons involved in the group’s activities.

Measures to expose the perpetrators were carried out by officers of the SBU Office in Odessa region together with investigators of the regional department of the National Police under the procedural guidance of the regional prosecutor’s office.

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