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Portugal Extradites Notorious Russian Crime Lord

By North.Realities February 23, 2022

Russia says Portugal has extradited Stepan Furman, a notorious criminal figure, to Moscow for being a "thief-in-law," the highest title in the criminal world's hierarchy in the former Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Interior Ministry, the probe against the 58-year-old Furman, known among criminal groups as Stepan Murmansky, was launched in 2019 right after being a "thief-in-law" was criminalized in Russia in April that year.

The ministry said on February 23 that Portugal was the first European nation that had extradited a criminal wanted in Russia on the simple charge of holding the title.

The title of "thief-in-law" originated in Stalin-era prison camps across the Soviet Union.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) describes the "thieves-in-law" as a "Eurasian crime syndicate that has been linked to a long list of illicit activity across the globe." It says the syndicate poses a threat to the United States and its allies.

According to OFAC, the syndicate's members are "initiated or "crowned" after demonstrating an "ideal" criminal biography and take an oath to uphold a code that includes living exclusively off their criminal profits and supporting other "thieves-in-law."

Being a "thief-in-law" was criminalized in Georgia in 2005.

Two other former Soviet republics -- Armenia and Ukraine -- also have made it a crime to hold the title.

Source: httpshttps://www.rferl.org/a/russia-portugal- thieves-in-law/31718798.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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