MOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) – Reputed mafia leader Aslan Usoyan, murdered earlier this week, will be buried in Moscow on Sunday, a source with the city administration said.
Usoyan, known as “Gramps Khasan”, gunned down outside a restaurant in downtown Moscow on Wednesday, was expected to be transferred to his native Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi for burial. But press reports said on Saturday that a plane carrying his body had to fly back to Moscow after Tbilisi authorities refused a burial permit.
“We have information saying that “Gramps Khasan” will be buried tomorrow at the Khovanskoye cemetery,” an anonymous source with the City Hall told RIA Novosti on Saturday.
Usoyan had long been labeled Russia’s most influential “thief-in-law” – a title denoting a don of the underworld both in Soviet and post-Soviet criminal culture. The contract-style killing has been linked by the investigators to a possible dispute among crime bosses.
The Khovanskoye cemetery is located in southwestern Moscow outside the MKAD outer ring road. It will become a second funeral of a mafia boss in the Russian capital in recent years.
In 2009 Usoyan’s supporter and crime boss, Vyacheslav Ivankov (“Little Japanese”), who was also shot dead outside a Moscow restaurant, was buried at the prestigious and central Vagankovskoye cemetery. Hundreds of people believed to be part of the criminal underworld attended the ceremony guarded by the police, what prompted observers criticize the city authorities for allowing a mafia gathering in broad daylight.