Georgia’s ongoing fight with thieves in law
Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs pushes for tougher legislation against thieves.
Georgia has been renewing efforts to give thieves in law a hard time. The new anti-thief initiative was proposed by the Interdepartmental Coordination Council for Combating Organized Crime chaired by Deputy Interior Minister Shalva Khutsishvili.
Drafts of 2017-2020 national strategy for combating organized crime were presented at the meeting of the council.
As our readers may remember, it was President Mikhail Saakashvili’s top priority to purge Georgia of thieves in law. It caused a mass flight of thieves to neighboring countries like Russia and Ukraine. Georgia, being practically thieves’ homeland (since over 50% of all thieves in law are of Georgian origin) has succeeded in becoming the only Post-Soviet country where thieves in law no longer control prisons, according to Saakashvili.
The new authorities chimed in backing the anti-thief initiatives Saakashvili had boasted about. Notably, even declaring someone a thief in law is a criminal offense in Georgia. Article "membership in a thieves' community" of the Criminal Code of Georgia provides 5 to 10 years of jail for that.
A large-scale purge of thieves in law, which started shortly after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s coming to power, continues in Armenia. After receiving threats of arrests, thieves were taken in custody for carrying weapons and drugs.
However, the thief, who is currently dividing the spheres of influence in Ukraine’s Odessa region with Antimoz Kukhilava through his representatives, has been sentenced in absentia. Mindiya Goradze is not in Georgia at the moment.