Igor ‘the Russian’ arrested for extortion

Cape “mafia” figure Igor Russol and an accomplice have been arrested in connection with extorting around R600k and a Porsche Cayenne from Cape Town businesses.

It’s understood the Porsche is owned by MES Products. The company’s owner, Royd Brandon, has refused to confirm or deny ownership of the car. He said: “I have to go with what the Hawks told me: No comment. I can’t say anything.”

The Hawks’ McIntosh Polela told the Mail and Guardian that Russol would appear in court on Monday.

The underworld figure is meeting with his lawyer, Juan Smuts, ahead of Monday’s appearance when additional charges may be formally laid.

Russol has been linked to several of South Africa’s biggest underworld figures including Yuri Ulianitski and Cyril Beeka who was gunned down last year.

Russol followed his childhood friend, Ulianitski, from Russia to Cape Town in 2001. Ulianitski established himself as a strip club owner with Sea Point businessman Mark Lifman and was shot and killed in his car in Milnerton in 2007.

According to Russol, his friend had become too powerful and a threat to others in the criminal underworld: “I’m still waiting, for the time is coming when we find who killed Yuri.” Everybody knew who did it, he said to the M&G in January, “but we have not got strong proof”.

He said the same people were behind Beeka’s assassination.

For this week’s M&G story on Russol click here.

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