8 Russian gangsters arrested in New York
The arrested are: Aleksey Tsvetkov, Renat Yusufov, Igor Krugly, Vyacheslav Malkeyev, Leonid Gershman, Yusuf Pardilov, Librado Rivera and Yitzhak Aronov.
The New York’s Brooklyn court indicted 8 members of an organized crime syndicate run by immigrants from Russia and former Soviet states, who were detained by the police in a series of raids at Russian Brighton Beach.
According to The New York Post, the defendants were charged with a number of crimes, including drug trafficking, extortion, racketeering, loansharking and illegal gambling business. The arrested are: Aleksey Tsvetkov, Renat Yusufov, Igor Krugly, Vyacheslav Malkeyev, Leonid Gershman, Yusuf Pardilov, Librado Rivera and Yitzhak Aronov. None of the defendants plead guilty.
One member of the gang remains a fugitive, with NYPD taking measures to arrest him.
According to the court papers, nine members of transnational syndicate were involved in regular extortion, "collecting millions of dollars from their victims living abroad and threatening their families."
NY Daily News wrote that the arrested provided services to an underworld group in Eastern Europe, extorting outstanding debts for them from lenders hiding overseas.
The mobsters would track down debtors and their families even outside the US: in Israel they found the father of an extortion victim and demanded that he should pay them $200,000 for his son’s debt. In addition, the accused are charged with operating gambling dens in New York's Coney Island and Brighton Beach. They reportedly set up an illegal poker club in the Russian community center in Brooklyn that would earn them quite a lot.
The New York Post said that in order to track down the gang members their talks were wiretapped. Also, a series of undercover drug purchases was conducted.
“The United States remains the land of opportunity,” the US Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement. “But that does not include an opportunity for international organized criminal groups to profit by victimizing individuals residing here or abroad.”