TALLINN - Vjatseslav Gulevits, an alleged Estonian drug kingpin arrested in Spain on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by Estonia, was brought to Estonia at the end of last week, public broadcaster ERR reported.
Gulevits, known in the Estonian criminal world as leader of the so-called Kemerovo criminal group by the alias Slava Kemerovski, was arrested in Mijas in Malaga province of Spain at the beginning of August, the report said.
That 57-year-old Gulevits has been brought to Estonia was confirmed to the Russian language news portal of ERR by his lawyer Vladimir Sadekov. As part of the same investigation, police in Estonia have arrested three men and the Tallinn-based Harju county court has remanded them in custody. The men are suspected of the formation of a criminal organization and membership of a criminal organization.
According to the suspicion, the arrested individuals are members of the so-called Kemerovo criminal organization that mostly engaged in narcotics crime.
Of the three men arrested in Estonia, one is a leading figure of the criminal organization, according to the suspicion, while the two others are members of the criminal organization.
"The information we have gathered suggests that tasks and roles were clearly divided within the criminal organization. The aim of the actions of the criminal organization was to commit narcotics crimes and thereby to earn criminal income," said the public prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Vahur Verte.
Verte said that the detained individuals had been of interest for law enforcement authorities also earlier and some had been punished for narcotics related offenses.
The prosecutor also said that cooperation with colleagues in Spain played an important role throughout the investigation.
"International cooperation has become normal procedure for us and this week's operation demonstrates the success of cooperation," Verte said.
Ago Leis, head of a service at the Central Criminal Police, said that the arrestes were preceded by an investigation that lasted for almost one-and-a-half years. "We've been having a good contact and mutual understanding with the Spanish police and the Civil Guard already for years. These arrests are yet another message to the criminals that we will catch them also at another end of Europe if necessary," Leis said.
As a measure to ensure confiscation, real estate, vehicles and cash have been seized as part of the ongoing investigation.