8 Georgian gangsters detained in France

8 Georgian gangsters detained in France
French security forces have just completed another operation Photo: Reuters

Europe continues making concerted efforts against post-Soviet criminals.

Eight Georgian citizens engaged in apartment thefts have been detained in Paris, Interfax reported citing the French gendarmerie.

As established by the investigation, the gang operated since last March and committed a lot of thefts. Searches in the apartments where the criminals lived turned up stolen golden items, computer equipment, mobile phones, drugs, Georgian and French bank cards and cash.

According to local law enforcers, the detainees are linked to an international gang arrested in November 2017 in France, which handed over some of the money to them, thus replenishing the pooled cash fund.

It was a large-scale operation conducted in Paris that resulted in 35 people from former Soviet Union detained.

L'Agence France-Presse referred to them as “Vory v Zakone” (lit. "thieves in law"), explaining the concept as "a criminal brotherhood from the former Soviet bloc (Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine)".

The detainees are mostly of Georgian origin, and some of them are women. They are suspected of apartment and pocket thefts, extortions and smuggling. During the operation, the police seized 70.000 euros in cash and weapons, and blocked 200.000 euros in the accounts of the suspects. Apart from France, searches were also carried out in the Italian region of Calabria, where some of the detainees owned real estate.

After a little while, police detained 23 members of the gang led by thief in law Kakhaber Shushanashvili (Kakha Rustavsky), including his wife, in different parts of Spain. The criminal boss is currently serving time in a Spanish prison for a number of charges.

The gang would send its loot to Georgia using its own small postal company.

In March, Spanish National Police reported the arrest of 48 Georgian immigrants, which was the third mass detention of the so-called "Georgian mafia" that year. The first wave of detentions happened in July 2016, and the second was in November: 43 and 61 Georgians were captured respectively. All of them were charged with burglaries. However, since this act does not qualify as a grave crime in Spain, many of them were released before the trial.

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