Thursday, December 28, 2017

US targets 'Thieves-in-Law,' Russian mafia royalty

business corruption crime Russia gangs

Washington (AFP) - US authorities moved Friday to blacklist one of Russia's oldest and most notorious organized crime gangs, the so-called "Vory v Zakone" or "Thieves-in-Law."

The group emerged from the Soviet Union's brutal gulags and its members are now kingpins in an underworld network that has spread far beyond Russia.

Those prisoners who agree to live by its code on the outside, and are "crowned" with its secret tattoos, now operate in cities from East Asia to the United States.

Authorities have targeted the Thieves before, but the Treasury's designation of the entire network as a "Transnational Criminal Organization" is the first measure that treats them as a single group.

And in doing so, Washington seems to be confirming that the threat posed by the fabled "Russian mafia" from the former Soviet republics is a more organized one than previously supposed.  (more...)


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