MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) – A reputed crime boss has been arrested after a fatal shootout with police in the center of the Russian capital, a law enforcement source said Friday.
The shootout took place late Thursday evening after police were called to the scene of a suspected burglary in an apartment on Komsomolsky Prospekt in downtown Moscow, the source told RIA Novosti.
“There were four criminals. They began armed resistance against police responding to a callout, as a result of which one of the bandits was killed and three detained,” the source said.
One of those detained was Georgian-born Rezo Bukhnikashvili, alias “Petso,” the source said. Bukhnikashvili holds the title of “thief-in-law,” an underworld distinction from Soviet times bestowed on top crime bosses, according to the source.
Mobster gun battles and contract killings were common in Russia in the 1990s, but still occasionally occur today. In January, a sniper assassinated reputed crime boss Aslan Usoyan in broad daylight in downtown Moscow.