Thieves by Law, or Ganavim Ba Hok is a documentary film charting the rise of Russian organized crime in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union. In the film several noted crime figures are interviewed, a number of which are currently wanted by Interpol.
The term "thieves by law," which refers to the uppermost echelon of the Russian criminal world, was born in the 30s.
Some people say it might have something to do with "Chekists," or the early Soviet secret service (what later became the KGB).
At first, thieves by law followed a strict code: a thief by law had to serve time in jail, and had no right to have a family, a registered address, or belongings, surviving only by criminal means.