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Apr. 14, 2008
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Chechen Crime Boss Has Disappeared
Movladi Atlangeriev, perhaps the best known of the Chechen crime bosses of the early 1990s, has been kidnapped. He had in recent times moved away from the criminal underworld and closer to the special forces. The 54-year-old Atlangeriev, also known as Lord, the Italian and Lenin, was last seen on January 31, when he went for a business meeting in Karetny Dvor restaurant in downtown Moscow. He was armed but did not take bodyguards. A restaurant security guard saw two men get out of a Toyota Land Cruiser when he got out of his Porsche Cayenne. The men, by appearances natives of the Caucasus, pointed a gun at Atlangeriev and struck him several times before another Cayenne pulled up and he was dragged into it. A security camera also recorded the scene.
The prosecutor's office's investigative committee began an investigation after Atlangeriev's friends and relatives were unable to locate him, but the investigation has so far been fruitless.

Atlangeriev protected Moscow-Chechen businessmen from aggressive Slavic interests in the 1990s. It is possible that he has now been kidnapped by so-called New Chechens, who fought on the federal side in Chechnya and now want a piece of the business of their compatriots in Moscow. There are no reports of conflicts with them, however. In recent time, Atlangeriev has mainly served as an intermediary in business disputes.

Atlangeriev also took very active part in counterterrorist activities in Chechnya. He played a crucial part in the federal seizure of Gudermes at the beginning of the second campaign. Atlangeriev received a Order of Honor and was given a pistol, reportedly by FSB head Nikolay Patrushev himself. Later, Atlangeriev had a parting of the ways with the Chechen leadership and returned to Moscow. He was known to have been very vocal in his feelings about the current Chechen leadership and to have been warned about his incautious statements.

In June of last year, Atlangeriev and his eight-year-old son went to London, where Atlangeriev was to visit his nephew, who us studying in an English school. He reportedly received a call on his cellular telephone asked him to visit the office of exiled Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky, who wanted to discuss business matters with him. Atlangeriev was, however, seized by Scotland Yard in front of Berezovsky's office and later deported.

Finally, Atlangeriev's disappearance might be linked to the killing of Novaya gazeta reporter Anna Politkovsky. The prosecutor's office suspects Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev, the second-placed person in the Lasagna criminal group (named for the Lasagna Restaurant on Pyatnitskaya St. in Moscow), which Atlangeriev founded. Nukhaev no longer lives in Russia. Atlangeriev could have been kidnapped to prevent his arrest as the mastermind behind Politkovskaya's killing.

All the Article in Russian as of Apr. 14, 2008

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