Thailand Extradites Mafia Boss Matusov to Russia in Wheelchair

Thailand has deported Russian mafia gang leader Alexander Matusov, suspected of participating in the murders of four members of a rival gang in the 1990s, a news report said.

Matusov, known by his nickname “Basmach” —a word with Turkic origins meaning “bandit”— was handed over to Interpol agents by Thai immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport and put on a flight to Russia, Russian Vice Consul in Thailand Alexei Falunin said, ITAR-Tass reported Thursday.

Founder of the “Chelkovo” network, Matusov is suspected of being involved in scores of killings, kidnappings and extortion practices in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the 1990s, and was arrested in Thailand last month while living on a retirement visa.

Matusov firmly resisted his deportation, ITAR-Tass said.

“The only illegal thing that I did here was to lift this passport at a police station an hour ago,” the report cited Matusov as saying, after which he pulled out a Vietnamese passport from his pocket with his handcuffed hands.

Matusov then lay down on the floor, demanding to see a lawyer, until officers put him into a wheelchair and rolled him to his flight, ITAR-Tass reported.

Two other Russian citizens wanted on fraud charges, Mikhail Yefimov and Igor Voskresensky, were also put on the same flight and did not resist deportation, the report said. (The Moscow Times)

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