Russia denies underworld ties to Cape Town

2017-04-18 17:18
A group of men have started going to nightclubs in Cape Town and taking over security operations in a club turf war. (Supplied)

A group of men have started going to nightclubs in Cape Town and taking over security operations in a club turf war. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The Russian Embassy in South Africa has denied that 25 men have been brought into Cape Town to bolster a faction of the underworld, intent on taking over club security.

News24 earlier this month reported that several sources had said that a change in visa regulations between Russia and South Africa may have spurred a massive underworld coup, and that Eastern European men had been brought into the country as part of this.

The nightclub security takeover was carried out in the early hours of March 31, the day after visa-free travel was introduced between Russia and South Africa.

It is understood this is under investigation by the authorities.

Well-placed sources said Russian men had been brought into the country.

Asked previously if he had brought a group of Russian men into the country to beef up security, businessman Nafiz Modack who apparently heads the new faction taking over club security - responded by sending a smiley face emoticon via email to News24.

READ: Power shifts in Cape Town’s underworld

When asked what exactly this meant, he said: "It means they all around in cpt [sic]."

However, in a statement issued via Twitter on Tuesday, the Russian Embassy in South Africa denied this.

"Even in terms of geography, unnamed citizens of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, either real or imaginary, come from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and visa regulations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa cannot be applied to them.

"Those personalities presented by the authorities as 'Russians' are also not Russian citizens."

The embassy labelled the News24 article as "fake news".

"This piece puts a taint on the visa-free regime in the eyes of the South African audience, and unfairly so, as this visa waiver has been introduced to benefit both out nations, strengthen people-to-people ties, bolster tourism and broaden economic cooperation."

But several well-placed sources told News24 that those recently brought into the country were guided by a Ukrainian businessman based in Cape Town, allegedly with close ties to the underworld, who the Hawks are trying to track down.

Previously Yuri "the Russian" Ulianitski, who was referred to as "the Russian", but who was Ukrainian, and who was killed in Milnerton in 2007, had run a bouncer racket in Cape Town.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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