Georgian Parliament approves stricter legislation to fight criminal world
19 April, 2018
Georgian Parliament approves stricter legislation to fight criminal world
Parliament of Georgia has unanimously endorsed amendments aiming at stepping up efforts in the fight against the criminal world. The legislative amendments, initiated by the Interior Ministry, was approved with 75 votes after the third, final hearing on Wednesday.

The draft law was endorsed by the Government on February 2 and submitted to the Parliament for approval.

According to the amendments, the penalty for membership to “crim
inal underworld” will increase from five to eight years to seven to ten years in prison. The penalty for being a “thief-in-law” is set to increase as well; from seven to ten years to nine to fifteen years in prison.

The bill also criminalizes addressing members of the “criminal underworld” for settling disputes, as well as providing support to them. Convening and participating in “a criminal discussion” will be penalized as well.
Penalty for membership to “criminal underworld” will increase

Organization of a crime gathering or participation in it has also been criminalized - under the current legislation, only legal thieves or members of the criminal world are punished for organizing such a gathering , according to the draft law, any person , who organizes the similar meeting or participates in it, will be punished.

According to the new initiative of Georgian Parliament, the definitions of so-called "thieves’ world," “the member of thieves’ world,” “thieves-in-law” change. Additionally, more definitions will be introduced, such as “activities of the criminal world” and “criminal gathering.”
The bill also criminalizes addressing members of the “criminal underworld” for settling disputes

According to the above-mentioned changes, these definitions are described as follows:

"Thieves’ world" - any unity of persons agreed on the implementation of the activities of "thieves' world".

“The activities of the thieves' world" – the activities conducted by the member of the “thieves’ world” or “thief-in-law,” which is aimed at getting some benefit, gaining power and / or influence for the member of the “thieves’ world”/ “thief-in-law” by intimidating the others, by means of “criminal gathering”, involving the juveniles in criminal activities, committing crime, encouraging others to commit the crimes, using their own criminal influence, or other illegal activities.
The penalty for being a “thief-in-law” is set to increase as well

“The member of the thieves’ world” - the person who recognizes “thieves’ world” and is actively involved in their activities, also, the person who recognizes “thieves’ world,” has connections with it and expresses readiness to participate in the activities of “thieves’ world.”

"Thief-in-law" - a person who manages and / or organizes “thieves 'world” or a certain group of people connected with "thieves' world".
Recently 4 Georgian so-called thieves-in-law and 34 members of the Georgian criminal gang were detained

“Criminal discussion” – evaluating the one’s activity or discussing/solving the dispute by all means including using the virtual communication in order to carry out the activities of the "criminal world".

“Criminal gathering” – gathering or connecting (including through virtual communications) of two or more persons aimed at discussing the issues such as the one’s joining to “thieves’ world,” or abolishing the one’s membership or status in it, managing the financial/material resources related with “thieves’ world,” etc.
The members of criminal gang had been robbing apartments and shops, and selling the stolen items

As a reminder, recently 4 Georgian so-called thieves-in-law and 34 members of the Georgian criminal gang were detained as a result of special operations carried out in France and Greece.

Well-known Georgian actor and singer, Kakha Abuashvili, also known by his nickname Kabu, is among the detainees. He has been arrested in France.
Well-known Georgian actor and singer, Kakha Abuashvili has been arrested in France

In total, 15 members of the transnational organized criminal group were arrested in France, including 14 Georgian and 1 citizen of Armenia; additionally 23 citizens of Georgia were arrested in Greece. They had been robbing apartments and shops, and selling the stolen items.

Investigation is in progress under the relevant articles of the Greek and French Criminal Codes.

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