The Abkhaz parliament has been presented with a bill criminalizing affiliations with crime groups
Abkhaz President Raul Khajimba introduced a bill to Parliament which will make “organizing and leading an organized criminal group” a prosecutable crime.
Criminal liability will extended to any form of involvement, including funding a criminal community.
Should the bill pass, “thieves-in-law” will either have to give up their status or leave the territory of Abkhazia in order to avoid prosecution.
There are believed to be more than 10 individuals that carry the title of “thief in law” in Abkhazia. Some of them live there permanently, while others spend most of their time in Russia and Turkey.
Some time ago, a similar bill was submitted to the State Duma by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Experts believe that it was the Russian initiative that prompted Khadjimba to take similar measures. Otherwise, Abkhazia would be in danger of becoming a refuge not only for leaders of the local underworld, but also for Russian criminals.