BERLIN – Mikhail Rabo was a senior member of the Jewish community in Berlin and for a short while even represented it in Germany's Jewish communities committee. But it seems Rabo was also busy heading another organization – the Russian mob.
Rabo, 55, was arrested last Thursday in Germany’s capital under a European arrest warrant issued against him following a large-scale raid on 20 Russian mobsters in Spain commissioned by the Spanish police.
During the extensive police operation, the Berlin police detained 20 members of the Tambov-Malyshev (Tambovskaya-Malyshevskaya) gang, considered the largest mafia organization in Russia and one of the four largest organized crime organizations in the world. According to German newspapers, Rabo was the gang’s deputy chief as well as its Berlin representative.
Rabo’s arrest was executed in the Charlottenburg district in West Berlin near his office. Later on, the Berlin police raided Rabo’s residence in the prestigious Grünwald district in which he had been living with his second wife. A native of St. Petersburg, Rabo is charged with money laundering, falsifying corporate documents and racketeering.
The German weekly newspaper Focus reported that a few senior members of the organization recently gathered in Berlin to celebrate Rabo’s birthday. Among the guests were the organization’s Chief Alexander Malyshev, who was also arrested during the police operation in Spain in mid June. The German intelligence services told Focus that Rabo’s birthday was a cover up for a meeting held by the gang's heads to “discuss professional matters.”
According to the Spanish police findings, Rabo was Malyshev’s second-in-command as well as his business partner. Spanish authorities appealed to have Rabo extradited to Spain, to be ruled by the German court in the coming days.
The Jewish community was shocked by the accusations being held against Rabo. “I would have never considered Rabo to be affiliated with such activity,” a senior community source told Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday.