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French Police Arrest 26 from Ex-Soviet Republics On Burglary, Extortion Charges

The Georgian Interior Ministry says 26 people from former Soviet republics have been detained in Paris on charges of burglary, extortion, and being members of a criminal group.

In a November 17 statement, the ministry said the suspects are “members of a criminal group operating in France” and that they were arrested in a joint operation conducted by French criminal and financial police officers along with officials from the Georgian Embassy in Paris.

Law enforcement officials seized large amounts of cash, firearms, masks, forged documents, stolen vehicles, and devices used to crack open door handles, the ministry said.

Citizens of Georgia, including five “crime bosses” and six women, were among those detained, officials said.

"The investigation established that the detainees burglarized shops and apartments in Paris and nearby towns,” the statement said. It added that the suspects had been “allied with Armenian citizens for further realization of the stolen goods.”

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