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Georgian Boxing ex-Champion Stabbed in US Prison

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 30
Georgian boxing ex-champion Avtandil Khurtsidze and Russian criminal boss [with Georgian origin] Razhden Shulaia have been wounded in the Brooklyn Prison about three weeks ago, Russian media CrimeRussia reports.

The source for the media was Shulaia’s interpreter.

The media reports that the reason for the incident is unknown, but it stemmed from conflict during a walk between Shulaia and one of the leaders of the Latin American prison gang.

When a verbal dispute between them escalated into a fight, Khurtsidze (Chakucha), came to the aid of Shulaia.

The source reports that the Latin Americans outnumbered their rivals and used cold weapons against the Georgians.

After the prison administration intervened, the mass brawl was discontinued; Shulaia and Khurtsidze were hospitalized with multiple hematomas and stab wounds.

The CrimeRussia source says that Khurtsidze suffered the most: they stabbed him in the face.

The Georgian middleweight boxing champion, Khurtsidze, was initially facing up to 40 years in prison in the United States for his connections with Shulaia, racketeering, and money laundering.

Khurtsidze, a boxing champion and enforcer of Shulaia, was found guilty of racketeering and related charges in connection with a sprawling and violent criminal enterprise operating in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and abroad.

"As a unanimous jury found, Razhden Shulaia and his chief enforcer, Khurtsidze, engaged in an array of criminal schemes that included violence, extortion, theft, trafficking in stolen goods, and fraud. Shulaia, a Russian ‘vor v zakone’ or ‘thief-in-law,’ is now a convicted thief under the US law. Both defendants now await sentencing for their crimes,” Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.

According to the evidence at trial, Shulaia Enterprise was an organized criminal group operating under the direction and protection of Shulaia.

The US investigators say that Shulaia, with his associates, was engaged in widespread criminal activities, including acts of violence, extortion, the operation of illegal gambling businesses, fraud on various casinos, identity theft, credit card frauds, trafficking in large quantities of stolen goods, money laundering through a fraudulently established vodka import-export company, payment of bribes to local law enforcement officers, and the operation of a Brooklyn-based brothel.

Later Khurtsidze wrote on Facebook that he was found guilty with only illegal gambling and racketeering and that he would leave prison in one year.

He also stated that he was angry with the government of Georgia and planned to continue his life and career in Russia.

The family of Khurtsidze claimed that the man was innocent and the Georgian government did nothing to help the boxer prove his truth.

Khurtsidze was arrested in New York together with 14 other Georgians on charges of membership of Russian criminal syndicate in July 2017.

Another famous Georgian boxer Levan Makashvili was released soon, while Khurtsidze was sentenced to pretrial detention.

15 Georgians were among 33 members of a Russian gang who were charged with racketeering, fraud, narcotics, firearms, and stolen property offenses in the United States about a year ago.