Saturday, 24 June, 2017

Russian Mobsters Charged For Murder And Trafficking 10K Pounds Of Chocolate

Chloe Pantazi  INSIDER Chloe Pantazi INSIDER
Owen Mccarthy | 09 June, 2017, 09:37

Most alleged members of the syndicate were born in the former Soviet Union and maintained ties to Georgia, Ukraine and Russian Federation.

Among the more colorful allegations is the charge that two of the defendants arranged the transport and sale of a whopping 10,000 pounds of "stolen chocolate confections" to a government informant. Hacking casino slot machines with smuggled electronics is more exotic; and shipping around 4.5 metric tonnes (10,000 pounds) of chocolate is a genuine surprise. The other seven members are reportedly still at large.

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".

Shulaya was a Russian "vor", one of the first ever charged with racketeering in the United States, prosecutors said, explaining that he belongs to an "order of elite criminals from the former Soviet Union who receive tribute from other criminals, offer protection, and use their recognized status as vor to adjudicate disputes among lower-level criminals".

The crims also ran underground poker games in NY seaside suburb Brighton Beach, with a side-order of extortion for those that ran up gambling debts.

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"Vor" refers to the high-ranking criminals from the former Soviet Union that were respected in the criminal underworld.

Now add chocolate trafficking to the list of criminal enterprises allegedly carried out by suspected mobsters. According to the Department, while many of these crews were based in New York City, the Shulaya Enterprise had operations in various locations throughout the United States, including in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada and overseas. Five people are still at large, the Justice Department said.

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon H. Kim said, "Today, we have charged 33 members and associates of a Russian organized crime syndicate allegedly engaging a panoply of crimes around the country".

"The kind of Russian gangster one sees in America is more likely to be a fraudster, a hacker or semi-criminal businessman".

Those taken into custody are expected to go before a judge later Wednesday, according to a source.

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