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Even Thieves Abandon Mishiko2011-03-24 16:35
Vato Kipiani, a former mafia boss, has been detained in Moscow for a minor slip-up that has nothing to do with his turbulent past. Kipiani wanted to "shut down" his business partner claiming a forfeit penalty for a bankrupt enterprise. Instead of bringing money, the relatives of the "detainee" brought a police squad with them. Now the crime boss from Georgia is charged with kidnapping and money extortion. Kipiani insists that the so called hostage is an agent of Georgian special services that came to kill him on Saakashvili's personal order.
Scandalous arrests of Georgian mafia bosses are not a rarity. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili is so good at deporting them that "crowned" authorities are caught on minor offences even in remote districts of Tambov and Bryansk. Yet, most often they get arrested in hotels and restaurants of Moscow and Kiev. As a rule, a common event like an arrest of a Georgian thief to be reported in crime news quickly turns into a political process since many of the detainees claim to be Saakashvili's personal enemies
The story of Vato (Vakhtang) Kipiani detained recently in Moscow is similar. When a seizure team arrived the crime boss underwent sudden transformation from a mineral water seller to a political emigrant.
Let's go back to history. Kipiani hasn't been living in Russia for a long time. Over the past three years he has emigrated - or fled, to be more precise, twice: from Georgia to Ukraine and then from Ukraine to Russia. In Moscow the former mafia boss found a nice refuge in an apartment of his relatives in Kutuzovsky avenue, selling mineral water for a living. This business ruined him in the end.
Kipiani was doing business with Sergo Arabuli, a son of Otari Kvantrishvili, a well-known Georgian crime boss that had been killed in Moscow in 1994. The business started off on the wrong foot resulting in a RUR 750,000 loss. Kipiani decided to make up for the losses at the account of his business partner as thieves usually do - by kidnapping Arabuli.
Then, however, Vato Kipiani broke away from classical traditions. The criminal did not keep his captive in a garage or a cellar, according to the tradition. Neither was he carrying him in his car boot. Together with Arabuli he booked a room at Marriot Grand Hotel in Tverskaya street that overlooks Kremlin and continued to persuade his partner to pay back the debt. And Kipiani needed this money desperately. As hotel employees say, he hasn't paid for the suite. Apparently, he planned to settle accounts with the luxurious hotel from the amount he hoped to get from Sergo Arabuli.