A Walk in the Shadows
Vladislav Vladimirovich Leontyev
Vladislav, also known by his alias ‘Belobrysy’ (‘Blonde’), is a Russian gangster linked to drug trafficking, financial crimes embezzlement, fraud, extortion, and car theft. In 2012 the United States imposed sanctions on Leontyev as a central figure in a transnational crime gang called Brothers’ Circle, along with six other men linked to various syndicates tied into the Circle, and Japanese yakuza leaders Kenichi Shinoda and Kiyoshi Takayama.
He has been tied to former Nizhny Novgorod mayor Andrei Klimentyev, and attracted attention from the Russian authorities as early as the mid-1990s. Klimenteyev and Leontyev were operating in the United States as well. The former was extradited to Russia in 1998, but Leontyev eluded agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The FBI at the time said that Leontyev and his gang had been tied to local American gangs and that there was evidence that they had been involved in heroin and cocaine trafficking from Colombia.
Leontyev, 40, has aliases including ‘Vlantislav,’ ‘Vyacheslav,’ ‘Vadim’ and ‘Vadik,’ paired with variations of his last name. He was born in Gorky, Russia but has an alternate place of birth listed as Caracas, Venezuela. He allegedly carries identity documents from the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Ghana, and Venezuela.
He is currently wanted by Russian authorities for illegal transactions involving precious metals and narcotics.