The sentencing of two suspected members of the Russian mafia in Palma yesterday for posession of a bomb and a pistol with a silencer, has sent shockwaves through the Balearic security forces which are concerned that former USSR mafias could be present on Majorca. Yesterday two Russians, arrested last summer in Arenal, were sentened by the Palma High Court to four years each in prison. The prosecution recommended that they serve six years each, but after a deal was apparently reached with the defence for a plea of guilty to be submitted, sentences of four were accepted. Juri Bechtold and Gennady Grintsov, who holds a German passport but was born in Russia, were both arrested by chance on August 27 last year by the Guardia Civil. The pair had arrived on the island on August 24, three days prior to the arrests, and hired a car. It was a routine Guardia Civil patrol which stumbled across the caché when they spotted the vehicle carrying out an unusual maneouvre in an Arenal car park. The patrol approached the vehicle and asked the two mafia suspects to step out of the car. Under the driver's seat, which had been occupied by Gennady Grintsov, the police found a bag containing an explosive device common to those used by the army, an Italian-made pistol, a silencer, five rounds of ammunition, a radio-control device, cables and a detonator with the batteries installed.


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