Georgians among Russian crime syndicate arrested in US

Raquel Nash
June 9, 2017

The Shulaya Enterprise, which has links to crime organizations in Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia, is accused of committing a number of crimes including a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a robbery scheme, and stealing cargo shipments containing the chocolate, according to USA Today.

Having females seduce men, incapacitate them with gas, and then rob them. Something like 10,000 pounds of chocolate, which these particular gangsters were also charged with stealing. Seven members of the group are still at large, according to NBC 4.

The leaders of the organization, 40-year-old Razhden Shulaya, of Edgewater, New Jersey, and 37-year-old Zurab Dzhanashvili, of Brooklyn, are among those arrested.

The defendants are allegedly directly associated with the Shulaya Enterprise, an organized criminal group operating under the protection and direction of a "vor", or "thief-in-law".

Read: What Is La Cosa Nostra, Infamous New York Mafia?

"As a vor, Shulaya had substantial influence in the criminal underworld and offered assistance to and protection of the members and associates", the indictment said.

Shulaya, part of an "order of elite criminals from the former Soviet Union", orchestrated offenses ranging from trafficking stolen cigarettes and chocolate to illegal gambling, the feds allege.

Most of the 33 defendants were led by Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili and were born in the former Soviet Union with strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia, and Russian Federation, prosecutors said.

The federal government is alleging that the Shulaya Enterprise was active not just in NY, but also in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada.

"What surprises me actually is they were still involved in the traditional types of crime", he said to the New York Times in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim called the spectrum of alleged racketeering charges a "dizzying array of criminal schemes".

When people hear about Russian organized crime, they picture a stereotypical Russian thug, said Galeotti, the Russian crime expert.

The Justice Department said it had taken most of those charged into federal custody, but five were still at large.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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