Infamous Gangster Shot Dead in Restaurant by His Dining Companion

A gangster infamous throughout the former Soviet Union and southern Europe was shot dead by his dinner companion as he sat at a restaurant in Turkey on Wednesday, according to Turkish and Russian media reports.

Nadir Salifov, 47, who was nicknamed Lotu Guli, was in the restaurant in Boğazkent District of Serik, Antalya when he was shot at point-blank range, a police source in Baku, Azerbaijan, told RIA Novosti.

The killer fled the scene after firing four bullets into Salifov but was arrested by police on the road heading to the city of Denizli. Salifov was taken to hospital with a severe head wound, but never regained consciousness.

"Lotu Guli was killed with a pistol by a man who had dinner with him in one of Antalya's restaurants. He was shot in the head. He was hospitalized in serious condition, but it was not possible to save him," the source told RIA.

Azeri suç örgütü elebaşı Nadir Salifov, silahlı saldırıda öldürüldü

— Gerçek Gündem (@gercekgundem) August 20, 2020

"According to preliminary information another member of the criminal world, nicknamed Khan Akhmedlinsky, who was a member of Lotu Guli's inner circle, has been arrested," the source added.

Salifov was born in present day Georgia in 1972 and Russia media reports described him as one of the most notorious criminals in the region. He spent much of his time in Azerbaijan and his gang controlled the fruit and vegetable import market throughout the region, according to the Turkish news outlet Gerçek Gündem.

The group he headed was investigated for manslaughter and extortion and he still managed to control his empire even when he was jailed in Azerbaijan between 2005 and 2017 following his conviction for the murder of gang rivals.

After his release, he moved to Turkey from where he controlled his criminal operation although he was deported in 2018 only to return to the country illegally.

The tentacles of his operation spread far and wide, with authorities in Ukraine, Russia and Georgia seeking his arrest. An arrest warrant was issued for him over claims he was linked to the killing of the Russian-Azerbaijani mafia boss Rovshan Caniyev in Istanbul in August 2016, Hurriyet reported.

He was also said to be linked to an attack in Toulouse, France of an Azeri man who had claimed to be an exiled journalist, although it was more likely to have been due to a feud between them, Open Democracy reported.

Turkish police
A Turkish police cordon is pictured in Istanbul in this illustrative image. Nadir Salifov, 47, an infamous gangster was shot dead in a restaurant in Antalya. Getty Images/OZAN KOSE