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Four Gang Members Convicted Of Highway Killings In Moscow Get Life In Prison

Hazrathon Dadahonov, one of the members of the so-called GTA gang, in court earlier this month

Four members of a notorious gang convicted of highway killings and robberies in Moscow have been sentenced to life in prison.

The August 9 sentences against the four men from Central Asia -- Sherjon Qodirov, Umar Hasanov, Anvar Ulugmuradov, and Hazrathon Dadahonov -- were given by Moscow's Regional Court.

A fifth man, Zafarjon Gulyamov, received 20 years in prison.

The five were found guilty of 17 murders, two attempted murders, robbery, banditry, the illegal manufacture and possession of weapons, and theft.

Media dubbed the group the GTA gang after the video game Grand Theft Auto.

Residents of Moscow and districts around the Russian capital were on alert in 2014 after the media reported on a gang that carried out a series of murders on local highways in which its members robbed and killed motorists after using caltrops to bring their cars to a halt.

The leader of the group, Ubaidullo Subhanov, was killed during a police operation which resulted in the arrest of the remaining gang members in 2014.

In August last year, the gang members made headlines after they tried to escape from the Moscow Regional Court building overpowering guards.

Four members of the group were killed and one injured in what was described as a botched escape attempt.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Dozhd