Streetwise Professor

December 1, 2012

Surrey Police In Search of a Clue

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 10:31 pm

A youngish (44) and apparently healthy Russian drops over dead in a wealthy neighborhood.  He has been giving evidence about Russian officials-including those involved in the Magnitsky/Hermitage tax fraud and Magnitsky’s murder-putting large sums in Swiss bank accounts.

Given those facts, would you suspect foul play?  I surely would.

But apparently not Surrey police, who had to be dragooned into considering the possibility that Alexander Perepilichnyy had been murdered:

Police investigating the death of a whistleblower found dead in Surrey were unwilling to believe that the Russian mafia may have been involved and “brushed off” attempts to explain that he had been at risk from an international organised crime syndicate, it has been claimed.

. . . .

London law firms Brown Rudnick and Peters & Peters wrote repeatedly to the Surrey force on behalf of Browder, explaining they had considerable information on “Perepilichnyy’s role as an informant against Russian organised crime, fraud and corruption”.

Browder added: “They contacted Surrey police multiple times to make sure they were treating this seriously, but were brushed off entirely. All our approaches were apparently ignored.” He said it was only when media reports emerged last week of Perepilichnyy’s death that Surrey police appeared to change tack. Since then the force has ordered a second postmortem, after the first proved inconclusive, and toxicology tests.

Sheesh.  Get a clue.  Really.

So why would British law enforcement turn a blind eye to the possibility that a mob-connected Russian’s death might not have been the result of natural causes?

Maybe because Britain cashes in from rich Russian immigrants.  Or maybe because upper class twit Tories have been co-opted by Russian agents of influence.

Seriously, given the body count of anyone associated with the Hermitage fraud, the nature of the Russians involved, the amount of money involved, and the long history of Russian mob murders, any law enforcement official assigned to investigate the death of a Russian immigrant with mob ties-especially one now cooperating with the authorities-should immediately suspect the death was not natural.

Even now that Surrey police are alert to the possibility, I doubt this case will be resolved.  If there’s one thing Russians do well, it’s contract murder.  The Litvinenko case remains open, almost 7 years later.  There the means-polonium-was identified, but the poisoner remains at large.  It’s quite possible that those who wanted Perepilichnyy dead could find someone capable of poisoning him with a very difficult to detect substance.

But the Magnitsky Act is an outrage.  Putin, Medvedev, Lavrov, et al tell me so.

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  1. Apparently, the law firms Brown Rudnick and Peters & Peters were not “brushed off” entirely, as these recently released tapes from Surrey police demonstrate:

    Comment by markets.aurelius — December 2, 2012 @ 4:47 am

  2. Maybe because Britain cashes in from rich Russian immigrants. Or maybe because upper class twit Tories have been co-opted by Russian agents of influence.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. Dealing with a murder involving nasty Russians is a difficult business and might require some effort, competence, and perhaps exposure to personal danger. It’s far easier for the British police to harass motorists, investigate potentially racist remarks made on a football pitch, arrest students for calling a police horse “gay”, hold diversity workshops, and submit umpteen demands for sweeping new powers. Oh no, following up on the murder of some dodgy foreigner might result in unflattering statistics, and that would never do.

    If the law firms wanted the full Surrey police force to take on the case – helicopters, dawn raids, the works – they should have reported a racially motivated murder of an ethnic Russian.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 2, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  3. Wasn’t there a case of a Russian defector, supposedly been under government protection, dying choking on a steak a couple years ago in the US?

    Comment by LadderLogic — December 2, 2012 @ 7:32 am

  4. @LadderLogic. Good memory.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 2, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  5. Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War

    According to Sergei Tretyakov, Kryuchkov secretly sent US$50 billion worth of funds of the Communist Party to an unknown location in the lead up to the collapse of the Soviet Union .

    Comment by Anders — December 2, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

  6. @ Tim Newman

    Exactly what I was going to say.

    To your list, you might have added sending six officers to the home of a blogger to confiscate the laptop he used to disseminate the link to the Climategate emails.

    Violent criminals are dangerous and clever criminals are too risky for the police to want to get involved with. It is much safer for them to harass the law-abiding because by definition they’re not going to give you any trouble.

    Britain is the country in which a Brazilian electrician was assumed to be an Islamic terrorist and shot 7 times in the face by the police from a range of less than three feet. Even though the police lied about it, no crime was committed, and nobody has been charged with anything.

    State within a state.

    Comment by Green as Grass — December 3, 2012 @ 3:57 am

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