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U.S. Treasury Designates 'Brothers Circle' Transnational Criminal Organization

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated the Eurasian crime syndicate known as the "Brothers' Circle" as a significant transnational criminal organization.

A statement by the U.S. Treasury Department named five key Georgian and Russian members and associates, including Circle leader Temuri Mirzoyev and members Lasha Shushanashvili, Vladimir Vagin, and Koba Shemazashvili.

A fifth man, Kakhaber Shushanashvili, was named for providing support to the group.

The designation freezes any U.S. assets the men may hold and prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions with them.

The Treasury Department said the Brothers' Circle coordinated and directed criminal activities globally and mediated disputes between criminal networks.

It described the group as a multiethnic criminal group composed of leaders and senior members of several Eurasian criminal groups mostly based in countries of the former Soviet Union.
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