Ten suspects have been imprisoned and five placed under judicial supervision as part of the dismantling of a Russian-Georgian criminal group, suspected of various thefts and cigarette trafficking in western France, the prosecution announced on Tuesday (February 16). of Rennes, in a press release sent to
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These thirteen men and two women, aged 31 to 70, were indicted by an investigating judge of the specialized interregional jurisdiction (Jirs) of Rennes, according to Philippe Astruc, the public prosecutor.
They are five Russians, one Armenian, seven Georgians, one French and one Azerbaijani, he said.
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On February 9 and 10, 27 suspected members of this criminal organization were arrested in Gironde, Ille-et-Vilaine, Morbihan, Vendée and Deux-Sèvres by officials from several police services
"in coordination with the Georgian police"
, according to the same source.
Clothing, tools, bottles of alcohol, perfumes and "
still packaged leather goods
" had been seized.
About 280 cartridges of cigarettes were apprehended, as well as aluminum bags used for shoplifting, an endoscope and blank Peugeot vehicle keys used for vehicle theft
," according to the prosecution.
A criminal organization that appeared in 1920
A sawed-off shotgun and several cartridges, a bulletproof vest and a dummy handgun were also seized along with five vehicles, numerous jewels and 53,500 euros in cash.
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The investigation started in April 2019 following an attempted murder committed against a Georgian national in the district of Maurepas in Rennes.
The investigations then revealed the existence "
of a criminal network belonging to the mafia structure of
thieves in the law
"", according to the magistrate.
Russian-speaking criminal organization
” appeared “
in the 1920s in Russian prisons and established a parallel prison hierarchy positioning a clan chief, a“ vor ”, at the head of the structure
”, specifies the prosecutor.
Obeying a very strict code, all members of the network must in particular pay to the '' vor '' a share of the income from their illicit activity,
" adds Mr. Astruc.
" was identified by the police as a 58-year-old man, remaining La Roche-Sur-Yon (85), "
inducted by his peers in the early 1990s
" and extending his influence over four groups spread over the 'West of France.
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The criminal teams were engaged in numerous aggravated thefts throughout France and also smuggled cigarettes with imports from Belgium, according to the prosecution.
The rogatory commission was extended in February 2021 to these new facts and to organized gang money laundering.
For each of these illicit activities, the "thief in the law" received a share, including when he intervened on several occasions within the community to settle disputes as a justice of the peace, Mr. Astruc further explained.