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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reputed Crime Boss Shot Dead

A reputed crime boss known by the nickname Besik was shot dead early Thursday near the Smolenskaya metro station.

Beslan Johnua, 52, was shot multiple times in a yard outside an apartment house near the metro station, according to news reports. The killer left a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the scene of the crime and fled.

Prosecutors were unwilling to identify Johnua as a crime boss.

Speculation swirled Thursday that reputed crime boss Robinson Arabuly might be linked to Johnua's death. But Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's Office, said it was too early to speculate on who might have ordered the killing.

"The only thing we can say for sure now is that the man who was killed was an Abkhaz and a businessman who has been convicted [of other crimes] several times before," Petrenko said.

Johnua tried unsuccessfully to have Arabuly killed Jan. 31, local media have reported.