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SBD Global/January 29, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Russia Protects Alleged Mobster Accused Of Bribing Salt Lake City Olympic Judge

Russia "continues to provide safe haven for the alleged Russian mafia boss accused of bribing judges at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, in one of the worst Olympic scandals ever," according to Galli, Reevel & Ross of ABC. ALIMZHAN TOKHTAKHOUNOV "lives a life of luxury in Moscow" despite an Interpol arrest warrant, known as a red notice. FBI Agent MIKE GAETA, who heads the Eurasian Organized Crime Section in N.Y., said, "It's never been enforced." Tokhtakhounov, 65, described by the FBI as a current "major player" in the Russian mafia, was indicted by a federal grand jury in N.Y. in '02 for "attempting to fix the pairs figure skating competition using bribes and threats." The FBI said that Tokhtakhounov, known by the nickname "Little Taiwanese," has "continued his life of crime while living in Moscow," as a leader of the organized crime group called the "thieves-in-law." Tokhtakhounov said that "he has no current plans to attend" the Sochi Olympics. Tokhtakhounov: "It's too cold" (ABC, 1/28).
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