Dubai Hands Over Suspects in U.S. Kidnaping of Wealthy Russian Immigrants

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Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On March 22, 2002, the U.S. media aired enforcement efforts to bring to justice suspects in a scheme to abduct wealthy Russian immigrants in California and hold them for ransom. The case involved much interaction with Russia and Middle East in the operation of the scheme and international enforcement efforts to solve the crime. Federal law enforcement authorities have uncovered the remains of five wealthy Russian immigrants from the New Melons reservoir near Sonora, California whom they believe were the targets of a gang of Russian kidnappers and extortionist. Federal law enforcement officials have detained six suspects, four on kidnaping charges and two on receiving ransom money in the amount of $235, 000. Authorities are seeking a seventh person. The investigation is still in process. Federal investigators investigating the Umanskiy abduction learned of the other four Kidnapings. With the investigations still in their initial stages, investigators may well uncover additional abductions. The targeting of wealthy Russian immigrants in the West by Russian immigrant gangs has been a trend. In response to the kidnaping of other crimes by Russian gangs, many Western countries have Russian unites.