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DanneBRE

The Bazarov Gang

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DanneBRE    102

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The West Vinewood area of Los Santos has had a historically prominent Russian-speaking minority since the late 1970s when primarily Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union emigrated to the West Coast of the United States. Much of the original denizens of the area would leave West Vinewood over the years, making the Russian-speaking community there the majority by the late 2000s. The most notable uptick occurred following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s when, under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, a large number of immigrants settled into the area. This resulted in a significant Eastern European sphere of influence following the establishment of many Eurasian businesses such as stores, diners and even legal firms to which residents ultimately began referring to the neighborhood as Little Odessa.
 
While most of the new faces in West Vinewood were hard-working people from humble roots fleeing the uncertainty back home in search of greener pastures and making a go at the American dream, a criminal element lived among them and began to make itself known in the early 1990s. Savvy, opportunistic and without remorse, it was thought that up to 1,000 hardened criminals had made their way to the West Vinewood area after the fall of the Soviet Union. This diaspora ran parallel to other Russian-speaking immigrants who had settled on the other side of the country in Liberty City, primarily residing in the Hove Beach area of Broker, which made up the largest Russian-speaking community in the country at the time.
 
While the latter favored extortion, illegal gambling and the sale of narcotics, the West Vinewood lot were more enterprising and favored get-rich-quick schemes. Their most tried and true methods included credit card and check-kiting scams, often defrauding credit unions for thousands of dollars, and retailers for expensive electronics that would later be sold on the street. On a larger scale, they were found to be involved in tax scams that defrauded the federal government, targeting fuel companies and private healthcare practitioners for millions of dollars. Though they may have prioritized white-collar crime, they were no strangers to violence. One infamous event that marked the turning point for law enforcement investigators to take a closer look at the West Vinewood area took place in the winter of 1994, which saw two Russian emigres apprehended in the process of dismembering a Russian businessman in the back of the victim's car.
 
In the years that followed, such bizarre incidents became less prolific, and by the turn of the millennium much of the bad press that had circulated in Little Odessa had subsided. Now, in 2019, most of the community are young, second or third-generation immigrants who have largely integrated into American cultural norms while retaining some of the charms and flairs of the old country. Many of the first wave of immigrants to the area have either died of old age, left the country, or moved elsewhere in the city, but in recent years a new breed of criminal has seen a resurgence in the violence and hostility that stained the streets of West Vinewood.
 
The Bazarov Gang is said to be a criminal street group based in the West Vinewood area of Los Santos. Made up of criminal-minded individuals descending from emigrants of former Soviet states, they are actively involved in a number of business ventures with varying degrees of legality. According to recent allegations by the LSPD, ongoing criminal activities range from white-collar crimes including fraud, large scale scams such as pyramid schemes and stock market manipulation, forgery, and money laundering, and more extreme activities, i.e. extortion, loan sharking, racketeering, car theft, home invasion, and murder-for-hire. The group gained attention from law enforcement and the wider criminal underworld following the ascendancy of Andrei “Prizrak” Bazarov, a notorious criminal figure thought to be involved in drug trafficking and arms dealing, who would become the de facto leader of the criminal group after the deportation of alleged Russian Los Santos-based crime lord, Aleksandr "Benzin" Kirmasov, with whom Bazarov was associated with in the past.
 
It is unknown at which point in time the gang was founded and shaped into the form it currently holds as a criminal group. For much of its past, the area of Little Odessa held little-to-no prominent history of organized criminal affairs since the mid 2000s, giving way to the possibility that much of the gang's actions are spurned from the wave of gang culture that became widespread in other parts of Los Santos during the '80s and '90s, particularly in the South Central area and the east side of the city. Other opinions among criminologists give more credence to the short-lived wave of Russian organized crime that presented itself in the 1990s, which had left a lasting impact on public perception of the Russian-speaking community.

Among a large number of loose associates with varying amounts of involvement, a smaller proportion of those thought to be seriously involved are said to adhere to conduct not dissimilar from other criminal organizations such as the American Mafia or Russia's own "Bratva" gangs, operating under a top-down hierarchy where orders are passed along from the figures who command the most respect and earn the most money. 
Ill-gotten gains are laundered through a chain of shell companies and legal fronts before being transferred to a series of offshore bank accounts of associates. It is unknown if there is a rigid set of ranks that make up the power structure. The enigmatic clique, far from reserved in who they work with, has citywide ties to other organizations, both legal and illegal.

 

Young adult shot dead at 23, increase in gang violence?

RUSSIAN LOS SANTOS - 7/12/2019 - Article by Anton Shifman


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Hawick Avenue, West Vinewood - Archive photo (2017)

On December 6th, Aslan Galiev, 23, was found dead in a parking area outside an apartment complex on Hawick Avenue. A coroner's report confirmed the cause of death as multiple 9mm caliber gunshot wounds, two of which perforated his artery in the neck and sent him into cardiac arrest at the scene. It is thought that Galiev would have died from blood loss between the hours of 6 and 8 pm that Friday evening. Paramedics were alerted after gunshots were heard, but on arrival, they found Galiev unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 7:42 pm. Authorities believe the murder is connected to another shooting incident earlier in the week which left two dead on Spanish Avenue, West Vinewood. With an ever-increasing rate of gun-related deaths across Los Santos in the lead up to the end of the year, there is growing concern that this trend will continue into the next decade.
 
Galiev was no stranger to the court. In 2015, the US-born man of Kazakhstani descent was imprisoned on home invasion charges, sitting out a 5-year jail term with a year of probation. Authorities believe that during his incarceration, Galiev made connections with known criminals and became increasingly involved with what is believed to be the remnants of the Russian Mafia in Los Santos. Police investigators, commenting on several shootings this month, believe that they are connected, surmised that Galiev's shooting was not a random incident, but a retaliation for a shooting that occurred earlier in November 2019. Galiev's family is currently cooperating with police in hopes of aiding their investigation into his murder, but as it stands no witnesses have come forward.

 


 

((OOC: To portray a realistic modern-day ‘secret society’ conducting criminal business beneath a localized Eastern European community, a great deal of research has been conducted and is backed up by numerous news articles and sources on the real-life Russian-speaking community of West Hollywood, Los Angeles, as well as contemporary Eurasian transnational organized crime in the United States.
 
Most characters are bilingual locals of second or third-generation offspring that found their way into the group by proving their worth and earning their trust with the gang in-character. If you expect to see the stereotypical, Hollywood-ized depiction of Russian-speaking criminals straight out of Grand Theft Auto IV, then we can only emphasize that you won't find that in this faction. The faction is NOT a traditional Vory v Zakone faction. It's a group of people making a life for themselves in the US, from Russian-speaking, former Soviet Bloc backgrounds — the majority being of Jewish descent — working together to gain money, power and respect within the criminal world of Los Santos.
 
After reaching out and showing interest in becoming associated as part of the faction with your character, you automatically agree that this faction reserves the right to CK said character if deemed necessary IC by leadership, with no exceptions.
 
If you have any additional questions or simply wish to join our discord, which contains more in-depth guides, contact @DanneBRE.))

Edited by DanneBRE
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