Jeweller emigrants from former USSR arrested in New York

As a result of a special operation conducted by New York police on Wednesday 22 jewellers, including emigrants from the former USSR and accused of buying and reselling the stolen goods, were arrested.

They are charged with the organisation of a wide-scale underground trade in precious stones, electronics and luxury articles to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. According to the police, this trade was organized by brothers Igor and Alexander Kateyev who came from Uzbekistan. They and some other emigrants from the former USSR are accused of buying the stolen goods from criminal structures, a part of which they sold in their shops, another part remelted, and still another part sent abroad, possibly to their former homeland.

The investigation began 18 months ago when a victim of apartment robbing saw in the window of a jeweller's shop her gems. In the course of the operation precious stones, huge sums of money and a dozen of Mercedes and Lexus cars which were used, as police says, to transport the stolen goods, were confiscated.

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