More than two dozen members of a New York City based Russian organized crime gang have been arrested today.
The U.S. attorney’s office in southern New York State said the suspects operated internationally and across the United States, trafficking in drugs and stolen goods, including cigarettes and chocolate, while engaging in extortion, murder for hire, and credit card fraud.
The leaders of the gang were Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili – both Georgians. Most of the gang members, 33 people were born in the former Soviet Union, and had strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia, the federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors called Shulaya a “vor” – the Russian word for thief. In Soviet criminal jargon this word has an important meaning. Vor belongs 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.” – Said the prosecutor.
The gang members also were charged with plotting to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform and using electronic devices to hack casino slot machines.