Alleged Russian Mobsters Indicted on Charges of Trafficking 10000 Pounds Of Chocolate

Alleged Russian Mobsters Indicted on Charges of Trafficking 10000 Pounds Of Chocolate

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.

'The indictments include charges against the alleged head of this national criminal enterprise, one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian "vor"'. Hacking casino slot machines with smuggled electronics is more exotic; and shipping around 4.5 metric tonnes (10,000 pounds) of chocolate is a genuine surprise. Another plan involved women seducing men and drugging them with chloroform in order to rob them. The seven other suspects remain at large.

"It's nighttime in NY now".

"Vor" refers to the high-ranking criminals from the former Soviet Union that were respected in the criminal underworld. Then, of course, there's the smuggling-the defendants are charged with transporting and selling cases of untaxed cigarettes, but more interestingly, they're accused of stealing a cargo shipment containing about 10,000 pounds of "chocolate confections".

Razhden Shulaya, 40, was among 33 people part of a Russian organized crime group called the Shulaya Enterprise, according to court documents.

Most of the 33 defendants were led by Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili and were born in the former Soviet Union with strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia, and Russian Federation, prosecutors said.

The chocolate part illustrates how innovative Russian and Eurasian crime groups have become, Mark Galeotti, a Russian crime specialist at the Institute of International Relations Prague, Czech Republic, told the New York Times.

More than 30 members and associates of an alleged Russian crime syndicate have been arrested and charged for racketeering, extortion, robbery, murder-for-hire conspiracy, fraud, narcotics and firearms offenses, the Department of Justice said in a press release. "Yes, there are tattooed thugs around".

The suspects arrested Wednesday are expected to appear in federal court later in the day.

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