Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

More Than 30 Charged With Mob Crimes, Including Trafficking Chocolate

Chloe Pantazi  INSIDER Chloe Pantazi INSIDER
Craig Ferguson | 09 June, 2017, 09:37

The suspects, said to be members of the Shulaya Enterprise, a Russian-organized crime group operating in and around New York City, were apprehended Wednesday by the FBI's Joint Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.

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.

US prosecutors on June 7 arrested and charged more than two dozen alleged members of a Russian organized crime gang working out of New York City with what they called a "dizzying array of criminal schemes".

The Feds say the syndicate was led by Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili, and in proper Godfather fashion, Shulaya acted as "vor" ("thief-in-law", the release says) and promised protection to those working for him.

"The suspects in this case cast a wide net of criminal activity, aiming to make as much money as possible", FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney said.

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Four separate indictments laid out what Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim called "a dizzying array of criminal schemes" ranging from old standards like illicit poker operations in Brighton Beach, extortion and sale of untaxed cigarettes to murder for hire and the slot machine and seduction scams.

Yesterday, Manhattan's Federal District Court unsealed the enormous indictment-31 people are named in it, the majority of whom hail from Russian Federation and Ukraine but now live in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

More than 30 members and associates of a New York City-based Russian organized crime group are named in federal court papers charging them with racketeering, murder for hire and other crimes, including trafficking tens of thousands of pounds of stolen chocolate, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell NBC 4 New York. According to the document, Nikoloz Jikia, 26, and Bakai Marat-Uulu, 25, both of Brooklyn, sold a revolver to an informant identified as CS-1. Some of the charges carry a maximum penalty of decades in prison.

Suspects arrested on Wednesday were expected in federal court.

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