Russian organized crime
Russian Organized Crime has existed in the Czars time and throughout the Communist rule of the USSR.
The Russian organized crime was not an Italian mafia style organization but was a simple system of relationships among different classes of people.
(Abadinsky p, 232)The economic disaster of the 90's and the fall of the Soviet Union gave the criminal element a real boost.
Many former government workers turned to crime and Russian organized crime became a natural extension of this trend.According to Abadinsky between 1992 and 1994 the Russian criminals targeted commercial centers of power, seizing control of the country's fragile banking system.
They began to put large cash holdings in legitimate institutions, but they soon realized the next step was the easiest of all direct ownership of the bank itself.Executives, business leaders who were trying to lead the reform of the country, journalists who thought they could finally print what they wanted found themselves being assassinated or kidnapped.Russians are expanding into America, through the drug trade and illegal arms.
These Russian Mafia's are thought to have links with the Columbian Cartels and transporting Afghan heroin destined for Western European Markets.
The Russian Mafia also is involved in white slavery where they approach women and offer them positions as nanny's or maids and they end up as prostitutes to pay off their travel debt.
(Abadinsky 239-240).Over the last few years, the FBI and Russian security services have tried to crack down on the Mafia, though the impact of this has yet to be measured.
Their was an article I found from the New York Times, it was about one Russian gang who calls itself Vory v Zakone ("Thieves in Law").
This gang is said not to be the worst of the rest of the Russian Mafia families.
The reason is this particular gang does not try and sell nuclear weapons, but the group is involved in everything from petty theft and gambling to billion-dollar money-laundering while also acting as unofficial arbiter among conflicting Russian criminal factions.
This mob was born of Stalin's prison camps and grew into a group of criminal barons who kept order in the gulags and governed the dark gaps in Soviet life beyond the reach of the KGB.
They are not allowed to marry, and in order to join their resume would have to have read like a who's who of Russian Gulags or prisons.
This gang like some other Russian gangs show what they have been sent to prison for by their tattoos.
There are several websites that show the intricate art that these men have received in prison and showing their statue in the gang.The New York Times added that Vory is not as powerful now, as they are being replaced by younger, better-educated gangsters some who have Ph.D.'s who get the most lucrative deals.
Such as the story of the enigmatic Viktor Bout, "The Merchant of Death", a former Russian lieutenant they just arrested in Thailand, and who became one of the world's biggest arms dealers, flying his ancient Soviet planes into battlefields from Liberia to Afghanistan.
I have to say he did not discriminate in any way, his clients ranged from the Taliban and the US government, African warlords and the UN.
He knew his game well, had studied at Moscow's military institute of foreign languages, speaks everything from Uzbek to French, Portuguese to African dialects.
If his alleged crimes are true, he represents the worst kind new fear, a mobster who will not hesitate to sell arms to any terrorist group.
Organized crime (9th ed.).
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Interpol(2010).
INTERPOL praises international co-operation behind arrest of suspected international arms dealer by Thai Police.
Retrieved January 23, 2010 from http://www.interpol.int/public/ICPO/PressReleases/PR2008/PR200810.aspSchwirtz, M.
(2008, July 29).
Vory v Zakone.
New York Times, pp.
Retrieved January 24, 2010 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/world/europe/29iht-moscow.4.14865004.html