Russian main mafioso, head of Arbat Prestige arrested in Moscow

By Alexandra Steblinina. A Russian businessman wanted by FBI and Interpol has been arrested in Moscow, offcials said Friday.

The Russian Interior Ministry's anti-organized crime unit’s spokesman said that Semyon Mogilevich was detained late Wednesday, the AP reported.

He is a Ukrainian-born Russian citizen suspected to be a major figure in international crime and has used 17 names to hide himself. The suspect also held passports from several countries. His arrest was formally approved on Thursday.

Mogilevich was detained under the alias of Sergei Schneider.

He was arrested with the head Arbat Prestige - Vladimir Nekrasov – near a supermarket. Both surrendered without resistance.

Arbat Prestige was suspected of evading about $2 million in taxes.

Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich (June 30, 1946 in Kiev, Soviet Union, in Russian Семен Могилевич, also written as Semyon) is a notorious organized crime boss who is believed to control the largest Russian Mafia syndicate in the world. His business activities are alleged to include arms dealing, drug trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. He is nicknamed "The Brainy Don", because of his business abilities and because he holds a degree in Economics from the Lviv University.

Mogilevich was born into a middle-class Jewish family At the age of 22 he earned an advance degree in economics from the university in Lviv. In the early 1970s he became part of the Lyubertskaya crime group in Moscow and was involved in petty theft and fraud. He served two terms (3 and 4 years) for currency dealing offenses.

FBI put Mogilewich in 2003 on the "Wanted by the FBI List" for participation in scheme to defraud investors in Canadian company YBM Magnex International Inc.

Photo: AP

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