According to reports in Russia the charges against Khusein Askhabov and his brother have been dropped. The news has not been verified by any sources in Thailand and cannot be confirmed at the time of writing.
Khusein Askhabov had a UFC fight cancelled when he was arrested in Phuket for kidnap, torture and extortion along with his brother Khasan Askhabov. Neither man has posted on social media since and there have not been any updates until now.
The Phuket News reported that the following message had been posted by Red Fury MMA on Russian social network the VKontakte,
“Officially. All charges against the Askhabov brothers have been dropped and they are already free. The injured person named the athletes, but during the investigation it turned out that they were not involved in this incident. Now the police are going to open a case against the victim for false testimony.”
Neither brother has posted on Instagram since the arrests. They have clearly invested a lot of time, and possibly money, in building their following on that network and have an improbable 10 million followers between them.
The victim in question is an Italian tourist who was attacked in his villa in Phuket by a group of men who blindfolded him and robbed him of various expensive items including:
- One Rolex ‘Daytona’ watch valued at about 2.5 million baht ($68,000 USD)
- One Patek Philippe ‘Nautilus’ watch valued at about 3.8mn baht ($107,000 USD)
- One Graff watch valued at about 1.6mn baht ($45,000 USD)
- One Macbook, a new iPhone 13 and a new iPhone 14, and a pair of sunglasses
The idea that the victim would be facing criminal charges for implicating the Askhabov brothers seems a little far fetched. In this context the entire report about them being released possibly shouldn’t be taken at face value.
View this post on Instagram
The Phuket News made it very clear that there had been no further updates from the local police. The story broke at the start of September and in the months that have elapsed since then neither brother has made a public statement.
Khusein Askhabov was removed from the UFC Fight Night 229 card which had been scheduled for October 7th. The promotion put out a statement noting that,
“UFC is aware of the recent arrest and allegations regarding Khusein Askhabov. The organization will continue to gather additional details regarding the incident. UFC will allow the legal process to play out before making any additional statements.”
If Askhabov has indeed been released without charge then you would think he would want to share the good news with his 5.2 million Instagram followers. Time will tell whether this report from Russia was strictly factual or just a case of wishful thinking.