France sentences two Georgian kingpins to 10 years' imprisonment

France sentences two Georgian kingpins to 10 years' imprisonment
Thieves in law Elerdzhiya and Kareleika

In France, thieves in law Gia Elerdzhiya and Kareleika are imprisoned.

Members of a criminal group controlled by thieves in law are jailed for the period from 18 months to 10 years in France. According to Radio France Internationale (RFI), the gang consisted of thirty men and four women aged from 25 to 61 years. Most of them are natives of Georgia, but there are also Azerbaijanis, Armenians, and Russians. All of them are charged with theft, organized concealment of stolen goods, participation in criminal association and money laundering with aggravating circumstances.

It is noted that the gang acted from 2013 to 2015, in Strasbourg, La Rochelle, Poitiers, and Niort.

Three kingpins who led the gang are jailed for maximum penalty - 10 years. They are Georgiy Elerdzhiya (Gia Galsky), and Zaza Elikashvili (Karaleika), the name of another arrestee is not disclosed. It is known that Elerdzhiya, 58, who lives in Greece, was arrested after arriving in Strasbourg for treatment. 44-year-old Elikashvili settled in La Rochelle, where he extended his influence over the criminals operating in the South-West of the country.

As deputy prosecutor Jean Richert stated, their daily income varied from 500 to 800 euros. And the annual one reached 36 million euros.

At the trial, which was accomplished on June 15, the roles of each member determined. So, three underbosses were sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment. Common fund keepers got up to 7 years. Flunkeys and concealers of stolen goods were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

The court also banned 12 gang leaders from entry into the country. Also, three more arrest warrants have been issued, and other nine suspects detained after the arrest of the leading gang members have been left in custody.

Recall the convicts were detained in mid-2015 in Alsace and Nouvelle-Aquitaine. During the searches, the police found hundreds of items obtained by criminal means, weapons, a consignment of smuggled cigarettes, cash; two containers of clothes and jewelry were found in Antwerp.

According to the investigation, the gang might also commit crimes in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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