Victor Vargotskii worked with Georges St. Pierre as a Tristar kickboxing coach and cornerman in the past. Now, Canadian police say he’s part of a large-scale money-laundering offence.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) busted a number of locations in Quebec and Ontario conducting a multi-year investigation into international cases of money-laundering. The former mixed martial arts coach has been enlisted as one of the fugitives.
Million-Dollar Laundering Case
RCMP’s ‘Project Collector’ kicked off this week to raid points where alleged money-laundering groups syndicate international swindling. This mission is targetting an alleged scheme which was suspected to collect money for criminal groups in Montreal.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the alleged money-laundering network is trafficking lawless bodies’ funds from individuals and currency exchanges in Toronto (with connections to Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States, and China). This ring of large-scale money-laundering is apparently supporting drug exporters in Colombia and Mexico.
According to CTV News, the police raid seized $2.2 million ($1.7 million USD) worth of cannabis, cocaine, hashish, and methamphetamines, $8.7 million ($6.6 million USD) worth of foreign cash and bank accounts, and six properties worth $15 million ($11.3 million USD).
RCMP released the names of 14 individual captured in lieu of the investigation. The list includes three individuals who are still at large at the time of writing; now under pursuit for their alleged role in the swindling operation.
One of the men in the wanted list was Vargotskii, whose name is sometimes spelt Vargotski or Vargotsky, GSP’s former coach and cornerman.
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C’est avec joie et avec une très grande fierté que j’ai participé aujourd’hui à l’annonce de l’acquisition de ma ceinture de championnat du UFC 94 par le @muscanhistoire. Cette ceinture, dont nous risquions de perdre la trace à la suite d’un malheureux concours de circonstances, est maintenant en bonnes mains et en lieu sûr pour longtemps! C’est un immense honneur qu’elle soit désormais ainsi exposée au public. Je tiens à exprimer ma profonde gratitude et mes remerciements à la direction du Musée ainsi qu’à tous ceux et celles qui m’encouragent depuis tant d’années! I was very pleased and proud to participate today in the announcement of the acquisition of my UFC 94 championship belt by the Canadian Museum of History. The belt, which could have been lost as a result of an unfortunate set of circumstances, is now in good hands for the long term. It is a great honour to have it on public display in such a prestigious institution. I express my deep gratitude and thanks to the Museum’s management, as well as to the public who has encouraged me so much over the years!
GSP’s Former Coach
Vargotskii is a former kickboxing champion from Ukraine who also has been part of the ex-Soviet Union special forces as a sniper, serving in Afghanistan during the ’80s. According to a Montreal Gazette article, the 59-year-old is a ‘Quebec athlete few Quebecers have heard of.’
The suspected money-launderer was also featured in the UFC’s All Access program in 2007 where he was featured to train St-Pierre ahead of his welterweight title defence against Matt Serra.
“When I go to back to my corner I am more afraid of my corner-man than my opponent,” the former three-time welterweight champ joked in the video, referring to Vargotskii.
GSP reportedly decided to switch kickboxing coaches from Vargotskii to Phil Nurse after losing his title to Matt Serra. The Canadian mixed martial artist has also changed management teams; making Firas Zahabi his head trainer and began and began cross-training with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, NM.
Vargotskii is now facing charges of conspiracy, possession of drugs with intent to traffic, selling criminally-obtained goods, laundering proceeds of crime, and more with two other suspects at large.
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Georges St-Pierre and Montreal CTV