In the Dnipropetrovsk region, law enforcement officers “covered up” a large-scale drug cartel: the Kryvyi Rih group “dvadtsatovskie” was engaged in the sale of prohibited substances, raiding and other dark deeds – a Russian trace was also found
Hundreds of law enforcement officers involved and 48 detained drug dealers, millions of “cash” and tons of prohibited substances seized – investigation “Stopbark” regarding the well-known gang of “twenty-twenty”, terrorized Krivoy Rog for decades, ended with the largest special operation in recent years. What is this group known for, on what impudent schemes did it receive superprofits, and what links the cartel with the aggressor country?
How the large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation played into the hands of drug dealers, who at least several times increased the supply and sale of drugs in the hometown of President Zelensky, Artem Polikovsky, an investigative journalist for StopKor, said in a new material.
“For almost a year, my colleagues and I followed the activities of the Twenty-Twenty, received a bunch of documents from reliable sources, interviewed dozens of former and current law enforcement officers, found drug addicts and drug dealers. And now we are ready to tell where it comes from and who is behind the large-scale drug trafficking in Ukraine. why does everyone keep talking about itb,” notes Artem.
Krivoy Rog is not only the birthplace of Vladimir Zelensky, but also a powerful industrial city, where significant financial flows circulate. It is not surprising that in addition to big business, criminals and drug dealers thrive here. Despite the weekly arrests of dealers and the exposure of new drug laboratories, the right “bag” can still be purchased with almost no effort.
“Dnipro and the Dnipropetrovsk region somewhere did not come out of the 90s, they got stuck somewhere, some kind of reformation did not take place. Most likely, access to drug trafficking remained”, – commented the head of the NGO “Sniper”, a former drug addict Yuri Lavrov.
In order to get a complete picture of the scale and structures of the drug business in Kryvyi Rih, the Stopkor people interviewed dozens of former and current law enforcement officers, drug addicts and drug dealers. Interlocutors say off camera that the city is divided among merchants into districts, each of which is responsible for a specific person.
The largest gang – “twenty”
It was this criminal clan, according to the locals, that the rest of the gangster groups in the city were subordinate to. At the end of February 2023, the group finally hit under the eye of the police.
“On February 27, in the territory of the Dnipropetrovsk region and in several other regions of the state, the police carried out a large-scale special operation to eliminate the activities of the drug cartel, whose members provided drugs to almost all of Ukraine. Then 38 members of the criminal community were detained, including leaders, representatives of the power bloc, “chemists” and traffickers. All were taken uncontested precautionary measures in the form of detention for a period of 60 days“, – officially reported in the National Police.
At the second stage of the special operation, another 10 members of the separate subdivision of the criminal community “dvadtsatovskie” were detained, whose members “supplied” drugs to almost all regions of Ukraine. It is noted that the organizers earned more than UAH 2 million on the sale of drugs and a fraudulent scheme.
In order to visually demonstrate how dealers work, the StopKora film crew conducted an experiment.
And it turned out that in addition to searching for bookmarks, you can get a bag in person, but such audacity can only be afforded in Krivoy Rog. To check this, the journalists asked the Kryvyi Rih drug addict to do “everything as always” and recorded the sale and purchase. According to the locals, this is “the norm for Krivoy Rog”.
By media reportsthe gang “dvadtsatovskie” was headed by Alexander Ozhiganov, known in criminal circles under the nickname “Semyon”.
This businessman, according to the testimony of locals, was engaged not only in drugs, but also in other dark deeds, but he always got out of the water.
“It is he, together with the customer who ordered the arson of the car to deputy Klischenko, illegally produces low-grade fuel in the city of the President. Well, shirk, methamphetamine, marijuana, open drug trafficking from the hands. under the windows of houses, arson, shooting, an attack on a taxi driver, armed showdowns. Of all the gangsters who came from the Twenty-Twenty, Semyon is the only one who has not served a single day in prison”, — say the insiders.
The editors of StopKor sent requests to all law enforcement agencies to verify this information, and indeed it was confirmed: Semyon has not been involved in any criminal proceedings so far.
The leader of the Twenties has serious connections, and not only in Ukraine.
“Sources in law enforcement agencies gave us an interesting piece of information on the investigation of the SBU: Alexander Ozhiganov’s brother, Andrey Ozhiganov, from the very beginning of the Russian invasion, began to cooperate with the occupiers. And all in order to have a pass to travel to the occupied Crimea for the purpose of importing and selling excisable goods“, – says Artem Polikovsky.
This was established after listening to calls in which the brothers exchanged encrypted reports and subsequent plans.
The StopKora team tried to embroider Ozhiganov at the official place of registration – in the old Kryvyi Rih five-story building, but he was not found there.
After all, in fact, this address is only for cover. As the investigators found out, Ozhiganov lives and works in a large estate surrounded by a high fence. Reporters guarded him for several evenings, but to no avail. And by the way, it was in this building, judging by a recent video from law enforcement officers, that a weapon, a painting, a lot of cash and, of course, drugs were seized.
“As we managed to establish, for negotiations Ozhiganov has not only a house, but also his own restaurant in the center of Krivoy Rog. Of course, it was not recorded on him, but our surveillance there turned out to be quite successful.“, – the journalist notes.
However, it was not possible to trace exactly where the elite BMW car drove, on which the businessman left the restaurant, was not possible.
As the media learned, it was on this day that he crossed the border with Hungary. How did he do it?
It turns out that a few days after the beginning of the invasion, Ozhiganov received a “white ticket” from the Krivoy Rog military registration and enlistment office about unsuitability for military service. The legality of obtaining these documents is additionally checked by law enforcement agencies. And the BMW “Seeds” now decorates the police station, and not the entrance to the restaurant.
Is such an activity of a large-scale drug cartel possible without the high patronage of law enforcement officers?
“I don’t want to blame anyone now that somewhere someone is crushing someone, but I can say one thing that at the time when I used, there were people who actively defended drug trafficking. Nothing just gets done. If there are drugs, it means that it is beneficial for someone, if it is beneficial for someone, someone protects it. If someone defends it, then these are people holding certain positions”, Yuri Lavrov comments.
Concerning the situation in Krivoy Rog talked and with the head of the city Alexander Vilkul.
“By the beginning of the war, the crime rate had decreased, the first two months were very scary for everyone. Unfortunately, now it is returning to the level it has always been. But I think that this question is better to ask law enforcement officers, this is their area of responsibility“, the mayor said.
How is the “twenty-twenty” case going?
According to the National Police, the court has already chosen a measure of restraint in the form of detention for all the detainees. Regarding the main person involved, Alexander Ozhiganov, the most difficult thing was: he allegedly lost consciousness three times during the trial, but Themis still sent him to jail, albeit temporarily, until the full consideration of the case.
Law enforcement officers are already ready to defend the interests of the state in court and bring the case to its logical conclusion. And we will continue to closely monitor the progress of the process and be sure to report new details.
Remember, law enforcement exposed two criminal organizations that were part of the “dvadtsatovskie” gang. According to the investigation, they were led by two brothers: one of them was responsible for the fraudulent scheme for taking possession of citizens’ funds, and the other for the sale of drugs on the territory of Krivoy Rog.