Organized Crime has existed in Russia (former Soviet Union) for centuries. Under the communist regime corruption was as normal in Russia as snow falling during the winter. One of the big money makers for the Russian criminals was selling Western products on the black market, a market they controlled in the 1970s and 80s.
It was also during this time that there was a wave of Russian émigrés who fled to North America. Most of these émigrés were Jewish, however a lot of Russians faked a Jewish passport, among them Russian criminals. Most of the Russians settled in Brighton Beach in New York, which has the largest Russian population outside of Russia.
When the Soviet Union fell apart, Russian organized crime was unleashed unto the world. Russian organized crime can now be found everywhere, from the US to Israel to Spain and England. The Russians can be considered to be among the most powerful criminals in the world.
Russian criminals are active in: Fraud, transnational money laundering, extortion, drug trafficking, weapon smuggling, auto theft, white slave trafficking/prostitution, hostage taking, extortion of immigrant celebrities and sport figures, transportation of stolen property for export, insurance and medical fraud, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, and murder.
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