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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Russian Mafia Strategic Threat to US

A National Security Council report on transnational criminal organized released Monday, named Russian organized crime as a strategic threat to Americans and US interests abroad.
“Russian and Eurasian organized crime networks represent a significant threat to eco­nomic growth and democratic institutions,” the report stated.
Russian organized crime syndicates and criminally linked oligarchs may attempt to collude with state or state-allied actors to undermine competition in strategic markets like natural gas, oil, aluminum, and precious metals, the National Security Council attests. At the same time, transnational criminal networks in Russia are establishing new ties to global drug trafficking networks to raise quick capital. Nuclear material trafficking is an especially prominent concern in the former Soviet Union, the report stated, adding that the US would continue to cooperate with Moscow and the nations of the region to combat illicit drugs and organized crime.
The report singled out the Russian mob run by Semion Mogilevich. He is wanted by the US for fraud, racketeering, and money laundering and was recently added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.
Mogilevich and several members of his organization were charged in 2003 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a 45-count racketeering indictment with involvement in a sophisticated securities fraud and money-laundering scheme, in which they allegedly used a Pennsylvania company, YBM Magnex, to defraud investors of more than $150 million. Even after that indictment—and being placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list—Mogilevich has continued to expand his operations. Mogilevich was arrested by Russian police on tax charges in January 2008 and was released pending trial in July 2009. Other members of his organization remain at large.
Mogilevich’s criminal empire currently operates in Europe (including Italy, Chech Republic, Switzerland and Russia) the United States, the Ukraine, Israel and the United Kingdom. He also allegedly has ties with organized crime in South America, Pakistan and Japan. Mogilevich is considered one of the smartest and most powerful gangsters in the world.
The Berlin-based non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has persistently rated Russia as one of the most corrupt nations on earth, and the worst among the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China. In the 2010 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked ahead of all three big emerging markets, on par with Libya and Pakistan.

See: Strategy to Combate Transnational Organized Crime

http://blogs.forbes.com/kenrapoza/2011/07/25/russian-organized-crime-strategic-threat-to-us-nsc/

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