European Commission worries about activity of Georgian gangs and crime lords in EU states

European Commission worries about activity of Georgian gangs and crime lords in EU states

Georgia is the leader among non-EU states when it comes to the number of gangsters committing felonies in the EU per capita, according to the European Commission report on liberalization of the visa regime.

The Commission seriously worries over activity of Georgian gangs in Europe, according to the European Commission report on liberalization of the visa regime for the Western Balkans, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Georgia remains the leader among non-EU states when it comes to the number of gangsters committing felonies in the EU per capita, according to the report, as quoted by Novosti-Gruziya.

The EU introduced the visa free regime for Georgia on March 28, 2017. Georgian citizens were allowed to enter the Schengen Area for 90 days out of 180 for tourist, business, and guest trips. Georgian citizens only need a biometric travel passport, a booked hotel room, medical insurance, a set amount of money, and return ticket to enter the Schengen Area.

Meanwhile, Georgian gangs threaten the EU, according to the report. They promote their influence over criminal markets. The Georgian gangs are highly mobile, usually commit such crimes against property as theft and robbery, and are especially active in France, Greece, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Georgia has become a money laundering center, according to the report.

At the same time, Georgian government eagerly fights crime and strives to contribute to the internarial law enforcement effort, according to the report. Its 2017-2020 crime reduction plan was praised. The Georgian government adopted the plan in May 2017.

The national crime reduction plan provides for prosecution of crime lords, drug dealers, and cyber criminals as well as for bilateral and multilateral cooperation for crime reduction.

Let us remind you that the EU law enforcement carried out a number of special operations against Georgian gangs some of which were led by crime lords.

German and Italian police arrested a gang of house robbers in September. The gang is believed to have robbed 85 apartments. The gang reportedly sent its loot back to Georgia. French police arrested 35 people in November. They are suspected of house robberies, mugging, smuggling, and extortion. Many of the arrestees are Georgian nationals. Five of them turned out to be crime lords.

Spanish National Police and Catalonia Regional Police dealt another blow to Georgian 'mafia' in Spain in late November. They carried out the Naples special operation and arrested 23 suspected members of crime lord Kakhaber Shushanashvili’s gang. He is also known as Kakha Rustavsky. The gang is known to have sent stolen watches, jewelry, and e-gadgets to Georgia. The gang used a carrier company owned by one of its members.

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