Prosecutor: UK is Not Fighting Russian Organized Crime at All

Published: 18 June 2018

Jose Grinda (From C-Span)Jose Grinda (From C-Span)

By Jelter Meers

The European prosecutor who has been commended for taking down the Russian Mafia in Spain says Britain’s contribution to fighting Russian crime groups is “less than negative,” the Independent reported Saturday.

Spanish prosecutor Jose Grinda told The American Interest that there are links between UK politicians and oligarchs and that the country is full of “oligarchs that have taken dirty money, taken money from a criminal organisation.”

Despite an Interpol arrest warrant, British authorities failed to arrest Russian-Israeli businessman Michael Cherney, Girna said.

According to Spanish authorities Cherney is the leader of one of Russia's most infamous crime groups, the Izmailovskaya.

When Grinda spoke to a British representative about this failure in 2012, he was promised things would change, which according to Grinda did not happen.

“The United Kingdom was not aware at the time of the danger these people represented,” Grinda said. “They were just not involved in fighting it."

Since he started working on Russian organized crime cases in 2006, Grinda’s investigations have lead to long sentences and dozens of arrested suspects, including Zakhar Kalashov, a leading figure in the Caucasus gangland.

After a Wikileaks cable publication in 2010 where Grinda said that Belarus, Chechnya and Russia were “mafia states,” he became famous for his opinions on states’ failures to combat Russian-speaking crime groups.

Grinda, who lives under 24-hour protection, has also questioned sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, helped bring down mafia-linked Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, and convinced Alexander Litvinenko to testify against Russian organized crime figures and their ties to the Kremlin.