Life for Turkov murder
by: SJ reporter - Last updated: 2005-07-27
Two men have been found guilty at the Old Bailey for the murder of Israeli drug dealer Simon Turkov on 28 March 2004 at the Marriott Hotel in London.
32-year-old Andrei Melnikov and 54-year-old Michael Antoneli were each given a life sentence with a recommendation they serve at least 20 years.
Antoneli and Simon Turkov were associates and the victim owed Antoneli a large amount of money.
On 28 March 2004 Melnikov and Antoneli arrived in England from mainland Europe coming in via Dover. They were in a Mercedes that was owned by Antoneli and registered in Belgium.
They visited a casino in Ramsgate before driving into London and booking into the Marriott Hotel using a Greek passport. Antoneli arranged for Turkov to come to the hotel later that morning and when he visited their hotel room, the two men tied him up and suffocated him with a pillow.
A member of the public alerted police, which led to the discovery of Turkov's body in the hotel room.
Police immediately launched a murder investigation, which involved officers liasing with police forces in both Israel where Melnikov was arrested and Belgium where Antoneli was arrested. Both men were arrested on 29 July 2004, four months after the murder.
Detective Inspector Chris Jones, from the Met's Specialist Crime Directorate, said:
"Simon Turkov was involved in criminal activity and owed Antoneli money but that does not mean anyone had the right to take his life. This was a calculated murder, these two men thought they could just come into this country and commit murder before disappearing."