- Authorities say ringleader is among elite order of Soviet criminals
- Alleged ringleader Razhden Shulaya says he doesn’t understand why he is being arrested
- Group allegedly used female seductress to gas and rob men
- “One of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian ‘vor.’”
US Federal prosecutors this week announced charges against more than two dozen alleged Russian mobsters for racketeering, running an illegal gambling business and…chocolate smuggling.
Razhden Shulaya, the alleged leader of a Soviet mafia syndicate, was arrested on Wednesday.
Authorities describe him as a “vor v zakone”, which translates into “thief-in-law” and elite order of Soviet criminals.
“I understand what they accused me of, but I just don’t understand why,” the 40-year-old Shulaya, a Russian national, said through a translator after the judge asked him if he understood the charges contained in the seven-count indictment against him and other members of the New York City-based “Shulaya Enterprise.”
Scroll Down For More…
Authorities also referred to the organization as especially violent, with allegations that including using a female member to seduce men, incapacitate them with gas and rob them.
In a statement released by acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, he accused the Shulaya Enterprise of engaging in a “panoply of crimes around the country.” And referred to the case as “one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian ‘vor.’”