WBO world boxing champ Avtandil Khurtsidze arrested by US over connections with Russian mafia
Avtandil Khurtsidze is taken into custody in New York. He denies connections with the Russian mafia.
Georgian boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze, who was to compete for the WBO middleweight title against British Billy Joe Saunders on July 8, was arrested. He is suspected of having links with the criminal group of thief in law Raden Shulaya, known in the criminal world under the nicknames Razhden Pitersky, Roma and Brat.
As reported by the portal Boxing News referring to promoter of the battle Frank Warren, Khurtsidze was among the 33 alleged members of the organized crime group, 23 of whom were detained by the police of New York.
Earlier, the CrimeRussia quoted the official report of the US Justice Department, which published a list of detainees. Avtandil Khurtsidze was the 18th number.
Another five members of the OCG are currently on the wanted list. They are Mamuka Chaganava, Semyon Saraidarov (Sammy), Irakli Kereselidze, Georgy Lomishvili and Denis Savgir. Another, Timur Suyunov, is already serving time in a federal prison for another crime.
"Under such circumstances, Khurtsidze's fight with Saunders, scheduled for July 8, can not be held on the appointed day. Promoter of the Georgian boxer Lu DiBella said that he will not be able to come to this moment," Warren said. He added that the issue of adjourning the fight is now being considered.
Khurtsidze himself hastened in his Facebook account to report that the incident is a big mistake, and he himself is not guilty of anything.
Recall that all members of the organized crime group have already been charged with a number of crimes ranging from smuggling cigarettes, stealing goods, including 10.000 pounds (4.5 tons) of chocolate and confectionery, drug possession, racketeering, selling stolen and giving bribes to the organization of illegal gambling, storage and sale of weapons, looting, drug trafficking and contract killings.