The former president of the Aikido Federation in Kuzbass, who established a network of contract killers comprised of athletes he trained and trusted, is still on the run.
Andrey Sinyukov, a 2nd dan blackbelt in Aikido who also owned the ‘Sei Shin’ training facility for children, has been in hiding since May 2015 when the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in the Kemerovo region reported that Sinyukov was “suspected in a number of especially grave crimes, including murder.”
During a five-year period between 2010-2015, it is believed that Sinyukov’s group murdered eight victims at the request of their clients. One of the eight victims was an unnamed mob boss killed in a gangland-style shooting in which the assailants unloaded 30 rounds from a machine gun, killing the criminal in front of his own house in 2013. Another victim – a local resident who illegally traded diesel fuel – was ambushed and assaulted with a metal pipe by the gang.
In May 2015, several members of Sinyukov’s gang were arrested when a local resident appealed to the police after being threatened by Sinyukov. Over the following months, the Department for Combating Organized Crime and the Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested four members of the gang after springing a trap on them. The four gang members were all armed athletes waiting for the whistleblower to return home. Instead, they were arrested and charged with extortion, participation in an armed group, and murder.
Over the following two years, a total of ten members of the Kemerovo gang had been arrested. Three members received long prison sentences – two received 16 years while the third got 14 – after being found guilty of participation in an armed group, extortion, theft, manslaughter, attempted murder, and murder. The other seven arrested members refused a pre-trial agreement and will be tried over the coming months.
Sinyukov, the mastermind behind the organized group of assassins, managed to escape the authorities. The former Aikido president has been placed on the international wanted list, though his whereabouts remain unknown. Despite cooperation from several of his former associates, the police have not been able to locate him.