Björgólfur and the mafia wars of St. Petersburg

The Danish newspaper Extrabladet printed at incredible story about Björgólfur Thor and Björgólfur Sr and their exploits in Russia back in October 2005.

The Icelandic newschannel NFS (did not live long, is the same as Channel 2 today) and in face the public here in Iceland said that this was just envy and they should sue the newspaper for slander. People where outraged when this was brought up by the Danes and it seems that the Danish newspaper might have done some homework. Baltika0

The same reaction came from the government, the media and many of the public when Bursen the Danish business magazine criticised the Icelandic business practices. People where outraged because the Danish press was envyous of “our success”.

The story from Extra Bladet goes like this:

The newspaper connects the financial empire of Björgólfur Guðmundsson and Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson to bloody mafia wars in Russia. The issues named are assassinations, political corruption connected to the beer making industry of St. Petersburg in Russia. The headline reads: Beer with the taste of blood.

A whole layout in Extra Bladet from November 1st 2005 is about this mafia wars in the beer making industry in Russia. The paper explains the same thing I did in this post yesterday, about the selling of the Bravo brewery in St. Petersburg. The newspaper claims that bloody mafia wars had been over the beer market at the time the Icelanders started their brewery.

Galina_StarovoitovaExtra Bladet tells the story of Galina Vasilyevna Starovoitova who was a very powerful member of the Russian Duma (parliament) who was shot in the back of the head outside her home in 1998. Her personal advisor told in court that just before her murder, two men from Björgólfur Thor had come to her to seek help because of mafia pressure (harassment) against their Bravo brewery. Two companies wanted to squeeze Bravo into business with them.

The year after that (1999) assassins had killed Aslanbek Gallojev in broad daylight. Gallojev was linked to the Baltika brewery that was the main competition to Bravo brewery that was owned by Björgólfur jr and sr. In 2000 Ilja Weisman was also killed by assassins, he was the assistant CEO of Baltika brewery.

The newspaper links this bloody mafia battle to political corruption. Despite this Björgólfur got away from Russia with 400 million USD in his pocket after selling the Brewery to Heineken.

Here is a very interesting article on Björgólfur Thor.


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