US Police Arrest 33 including 15 Georgians for Various Crimes

Thirty-three suspected members of an Russian organized crime syndicate were arrested on a variety of charges, including racketeering, fraud, narcotics traffickings, firearms possession, and stolen property.

The information was released by the United States (US) Department of Justice on Thursday.

The Justice Department reports that 27 of the detained are associated with a nationwide racketeering enterprise led by Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili and are charged in United States v. Razhden Shulaya, et al. (the “Shulaya Indictment”) and an accompanying superseding indictment.

The US Attorney’s Office of Southern District of New York says that Charged Defendants Include Alleged “Vor” or “Thief-In-Law” of a Russian and Georgian Criminal Enterprise.

We have charged 33 members and associates of a Russian organized crime syndicate allegedly engaging a panoply of crimes around the country. The indictments include charges against the alleged head of this national criminal enterprise, one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian ‘vor.’ The dizzying array of criminal schemes committed by this organized crime syndicate allegedly include a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices,” the statement reads.

The office says that the charges include:

  • Theft of cargo shipments, including approximately 10,000 pounds of chocolate confections.

  • Having females seduce men, incapacitate them with gas, and then rob them.

  • Selling untaxed cigarettes.

  • Scheming to pay bribes for law-enforcement officials.

  • Operating illegal poker businesses and extorting gamblers who became indebted to them.

  • Plans to defraud casinos in Atlantic City and Philadelphia by using electronics that could predict the behavior of slot machines.

According to the allegations in the indictments and complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court, Shulaya Enterprise was an organized criminal group operating under the direction and protection of Razhden Shulaya aka “Brother,” aka “Roma,” aka “vor v zakone” or “vor,” which are Russian phrases translated roughly as “thief-in-law” or “thief.”

Most members and associates of the Shulaya Enterprise were born in the former Soviet Union and many maintained substantial ties to Georgia, the Ukraine, and the Russian Federation, including regular travel to those countries, communication with associates in those countries, and the transfer of criminal proceeds to individuals in those countries,” the statement reads.

 

By Thea Morrison

09 June 2017 11:59
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