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French-Georgian Cooperation Leads to Detention of 22 in Lyon

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 12
22 members of an organized criminal group have been detained in France due to the cooperation of Georgian and French law enforcers, the Georgian Interior Ministry reported on Tuesday.

“On December 10 a large-scale special operation VORS 69-01 was conducted in Lyon, France, and 22 members of the Georgian, Armenian and Azeri organized criminal group operating in France and Belgium, were detained. 10 citizens of Georgia, including two criminal bosses, are among the detainees,” Vladimer Bortsvadze from the Georgian Interior Ministry stated.

He said that during the search of the houses of the detainees, police seized various items as evidence, including jewelry, firearms, expensive cars, large amounts of money, equipment for preparing counterfeit documents, keys.

“Law enforcers also seized narcotic drugs of Subotex and Methadone group and 1,500 packages of smuggled cigarettes. According to the investigation, total damage to the state amounted to more than EUR 400, 000,” the ministry says.

The detainees have been charged with repeatedly committed robbery, possession and the sale of stolen goods, money laundering and membership of a criminal group.

More than 300 law enforcers from France, Belgium and Georgia participated in the detention operation. Special Forces Units were also involved and a helicopter was used in the raid.