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Two Gang Members Convicted Of Highway Killings In Russia Sentenced In Tajikistan

Members of the so-called GTA gang are seen during the verdict announcement in the Moscow regional court in August 2018.

Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office says two members of a notorious gang have been convicted of highway killings and robberies in Russia and sentenced to 25 years in prison each in Tajikistan.

In a March 10 statement, the office said that Tajikistan's Sughd regional court had sentenced Boir Gulomov and Murodjon Karimov, members of the "GTA gang," after finding them guilty of "being members of an organized criminal group, murders, robberies, and other crimes committed on the territory of the Russian Federation."

According to the statement, Gulomov and Karimov managed to escape prosecution in Russia by fleeing to Tajikistan, and since Tajik laws do not allow for the extradition of its citizens to foreign countries, the two were tried in the northern region of Sughd.

In August 2018, the Moscow regional court sentenced four members of the group to life in prison and a fifth man to 20 years in prison.

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

Media dubbed the group the "GTA gang" after the videogame series Grand Theft Auto.

Residents of Moscow and districts around the Russian capital were on alert in 2014 after media reported on a gang that carried out a series of robberies on local highways in which its members robbed and killed drivers after using caltrops, a spiked metal device thrown on the ground to impede wheeled vehicles, to bring their cars to a halt.

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

In August 2017, the gang members made headlines after they tried to escape from the Moscow regional court building by overpowering the guards.

Four members of the group were killed and one injured in the escape attempt.

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