Russian gang, gambling, bribery and chocolate trafficking

Russian gang, gambling, bribery and chocolate trafficking

Along with allegedly stealing and trafficking thousands of pounds of chocolate, 32 members of the group were indicted on charges of racketeering, murder for hire, extortion, gambling, wire fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft and narcotics trafficking, which also included moving large quantities of cigarettes. The seven other suspects remain at large.

Law enforcement officials confirmed 25 members of the group, including its two leaders Razhdan Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili, were arrested by the FBI's Joint Eurasian Organized Task Force in New York City.

While the Shulaya Enterprise operates throughout the us, many of its members were born in the former Soviet Union and have strong ties to the country of Georgia, the Ukraine and the Russian Federation, according to the release.

Vor refers to "an order of elite criminals from the former Soviet Union who receive tribute from other criminals, offer protection, and use their recognized status as vor to adjudicate disputes among lower-level criminals", according the Justice Department. The Shulaya Enterprise had operations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada, according to court papers. "As a vor, Shulaya had substantial influence in the criminal underworld and offered assistance to and protection of the members and associates of the Shulaya Enterprise".

"It's nighttime in NY now".

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Almost three-dozen organized crime members were busted by federal authorities in Manhattan Wednesday for an odd mishmash of crimes - trafficking 5 tons of stolen chocolate as well as hordes of illegal cigarettes.

This isn't the first time chocolate crime has been in the news.

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim called the spectrum of alleged racketeering charges a "dizzying array of criminal schemes". The authorities revealed three indictments and one criminal complaint.

"Yes there are tattooed thugs around, he said. But actually the kind of Russian gangster one sees in America is more likely to be a fraudster, a hacker or semi-criminal businessman".

Those taken into custody are expected to go before a judge later Wednesday, according to a source.

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