Aslan Usoyan has been shot dead in an apparent contract killing that has sparked fears of bloody turf wars.
Usoyan, who was also known as Grandpa Hassan, was killed by a single shot to his head from a sniper’s rifle, as he left the Karetny Dvor restaurant, near the Kremlin in Moscow, Sky News reports.
In a statement, the Russia’s Investigative Committee said that te 75-year-old was rushed to hospital but died on the way.
The committee said a murder investigation has been launched into the shooting, and cited Usoyan''s ‘criminal activities’ as a possible explanation.
It is believed the killing is part of a war between two gangs over lucrative construction projects, including some for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Police said a female bystander was also wounded in the shooting and is being treated in hospital.
Six 9mm bullet casings were found on a stairwell between the fifth and sixth floors of a building across the street from where Usoyan was shot dead, the report added.
London: The head of one of Russia’s most powerful crime gangs, known as ‘Grandpa Hassan’, was gunned down outside a Moscow restaurant.
First Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013, 13:26