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Georges St-Pierre’s former kickboxing coach arrested on organized crime related charges

Victor Vargotskii lead the RCMP on an international manhunt as part of a investigation into money laundering and drug trafficking.

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Victor Vargotskii (sometimes named Vargotsky and Vargotskii) was charged with conspiracy in relation to a money laundering operation in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. Vargotskii once trained UFC star Georges St-Pierre at Montreal’s Tristar Gym. Vargotskii is Royal Canadian Mounted Police

According to the Montreal Gazette a former coach of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre has been captured in Argentina. Victor Vargotskii, 56, was wanted by authorities in Canada for his alleged role in a massive money laundering operation.

The Quebec Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced the arrest of Vargotskii, who formerly lived in Montreal, on Thursday.

Vargotskii is one of 19 suspects who have been arrested in connection with an RCMP investigation into a criminal organization that they say operates in Montreal and Toronto and, in addition to laundering millions of dollars, traffics narcotics.

During their investigation the RCMP seized stores of cannabis, cocaine, hashish and methamphetamines worth an estimated $2.2 million. Police also seized $32.8 million in foreign currencies, properties and other assets.

The alleged gang’s money laundering operation is suspected of facilitating money transfers between Montreal based crime groups and drug-exporting countries.

“The network moved money collected in Montreal through various individuals and currency exchange offices in Toronto,” said the RCMP in a press release . “The network used an informal value transfer system (IVTS) with connections in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States and China. The funds were then returned to the drug-exporting countries, such as Colombia and Mexico.”

Vargotskii, whose surname is sometimes spelled Vargotsky, moved to Canada from what is now Ukraine. He is a former muay thai kickboxing champion and special forces sniper who fought for the Soviet Union in their war against Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Vargotskii was once a kickboxing coach at Montreal’s famed Tristar gym. In the early 2000s he worked closely with UFC superstar Georges St-Pierre, whom he cornered for some fights. Vargotskii was a featured in UFC All Access in 2007, which focused on St-Pierre’s forthcoming title defense versus Matt Serra.

After St-Pierre lost to Serra The Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian decided to switch kickboxing coaches from Vargotskii to Phil Nurse. After that loss St-Pierre also changed management teams, made Firas Zahabi his head trainer, and began cross-training with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, NM.

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