Is the mafia active in north Philadelphia?

Russians and Latino clans attack "Cosa Nostra" | The new mafia power
in the USA

New York (USA) - Italian clans used to rule organized crime in the United States. Meanwhile, gangs from Russia, Central and South America also want their share of the profits. BILD analyzes the situation in the USA: Who are the most powerful organized crime syndicates in the USA?

Mafia charges in June

An indictment published in June illustrates how members of organized crime gangs make money:

• You take care of illegal poker houses or the distribution of stolen cigarettes.

• According to the New York Times, others tried to outsmart casinos technically.

• Attractive women seduced inexperienced men who were then drugged and robbed by these "sirens" with chloroform.

• A load of 4,500 kilograms of stolen candy was monetized.

The details come from the indictment filed by the US federal authorities in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. It forms the basis for the arrest warrants against 31 members of the Russian mafia.

The gangsters mostly pulled the strings in the New York underworld, but some were also active in US states such as Florida, New Jersey, Nevada or Pennsylvania.

The illegal sales that Italian, Russian and Latin American criminal organizations make with drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering and other crooked businesses are still considerable: As BILD learned from the US Federal Police FBI, organized crime generates illegal profits every year the amount of one trillion dollars (877 billion euros).

The beginnings of the US mafia

The myth of the times of the five great New York gangster families ("Lucchese", "Gambino", "Bonanno", "Genovese" and "Colombo") has faded. But the US Federal Police still regard the Mafia as one of the "greatest threats to US society from organized crime".

The mafia as a whole is also one of the most notorious and widely branched crime organizations in the USA. "Its main strength lies in the fact that it cooperates efficiently with other groups," says a report.

The US judiciary is almost biting its teeth on some mafiosi:The trial of one of the alleged masterminds of the most brazen attack since the Great Postal Train Robbery (1963, loot: 2.6 million pounds) is still the best example of this: Vincent Asaro (82), a member of the "Bonnano" family, was born in 2015 acquitted after several weeks of proceedings because of his alleged involvement in the big Lufthansa robbery at JFK airport.

He was accused of stealing cash and jewelry worth around $ 20 million today.

The 1976 robbery of an airport hangar is still considered one of the most spectacular crimes in city history and was the model for the hit movie "Good Fellas" (1990, Robert De Niro).

For the New York public prosecutor's office, the acquittal was a huge embarrassment - the crime remains unsolved to this day.

But the fight continues - and last year the FBI almost managed to destroy the US mafia: 46 members of high-ranking crime syndicates were arrested. The charges read "like mafia novels," said FBI agent Diego Rodriguez involved in the search.

The “Cosa Nostra” still has the most resounding name when it comes to organized crime in the USA - but its gangster colleagues from Russia and Latin America almost outstrip the mafiosi.

The "Cosa Nostra"

Despite all the setbacks, it is one of the largest, most branched and most dangerous criminal syndicates in the USA. The members, mostly Americans of Italian descent, see themselves as members of the "Cosa Nostra" ("Our Cause"), just like their colleagues from the country of origin Sicily.

In the past decades other gangster families have also joined the group, such as the "American Camorra", which also extended its tentacles to Canada. Their activities read almost like a lexicon of crime: extortion, fraud, smuggling of all kinds, drug trafficking, bribery, money laundering, illegal gambling, credit fraud, murder, prostitution, pornography, theft, arson.

According to estimates, the "Costa Nostra" in the USA should have 3000 members - and there are thousands of followers.

The mafia gained a foothold in America at the end of the 19th century - during waves of immigration from Sicily and other regions of southern Italy in the New York districts of East Harlem (then Italian Harlem), the Lower East Side and Brooklyn, as well as in other US cities such as New Orleans and Chicago .

To this day, the groups maintain excellent connections with the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra in Naples and the Ndrangheta in Calabria. The individual groups refer to themselves as "families", even if the members are usually not related to one another.

Today the mafia is most active in the northeastern United States, especially in New York, Philadelphia and the US state of New Jersey. The authorities count a total of 26 “families” in major American cities.

The Russian brothers

The Russian Mafia (also known as “Bratva”, brotherhood) has established itself in the underworld of the United States. Criminal gangs from the former states of the Soviet Union represent one of the greatest threats posed by organized crime worldwide, especially in the USA.

Today 6000 groups are counted, 200 of the syndicates operate globally. In Europe, the French criminologist Alain Bauer described the Russian gangs as the “best structured criminal organizations”. They carry out criminal activities with almost military precision.

The Odessa Mafia operates from Brighton Beach in New York.

The rise in the USA seems unstoppable: The group "Armenian Power" (AP-13) spreads fear and horror in California with many crimes. Multinational syndicates like the "Brother Circle" became so powerful that former US President Barack Obama (55) classified them as one of the four most dangerous threats to US national security, according to "Business Insider".

Even spectacular mass arrests could hardly break the power of the Russians in the US metropolises:In 2011, 70 members of the "Armenian Power" went online during a major raid. The charges included kidnapping, extortion, bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, marijuana trafficking, illegal gambling and criminal conspiracies, the Huffington Post reported.

The Latino Mafia

The MS-13 gang, also known as “Mara Salvatrucha”, or “Mara” for short, has recently caused a stir among the Latino criminal groups. The number 13 stands for the letter M, the 13th in the alphabet. The dangerous gangs were founded in Los Angeles, but the "Mara"now groups in numerous other countries, especially in Central America.

US President Donald Trump (71) recently made the gangs a political issue - also because of a series of crimes that were reported across the country: According to the Washington Post, Trump claimed that "thousands of MS-13 members" are said to have been deported . “We have a gang called MS-13,” said the president last month at a performance in the US state of Iowa: “They shoot people, they cut people, they do things that nobody can imagine, they are like animals, ”he said to himself in a rage.

Nobody wants to deny that the gang is one of the most brutal in the world: They make themselves recognizable through martial tattoos all over their bodies, and communicate with each other using a secret sign language. Because of their harshness, members of the "Mara" were even recruited by the Mexican Sinaloa cartel during their wars against the Zeta cartel.

Most recently, the incredibly brutal murder of Damaris Reyes Rivas (15) caused a sensation: She was killed with 13 stab wounds by MS-13 member Venus Romero Iraheta (17) - allegedly after the victim was blamed for the death of a gang member, so the portal "Daily Mail".

60There are said to be 000 gang members in the USA, many of them from El Salvador and other Central American states.

The “Mexican Mafia”, known as “La eMe” (“the M”), is also notorious. It is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the USA. Despite its name, the gangster organization did not originate in Mexico, it only exists in the United States.

A strict catalog of rules was drawn up with eleven “commandments”, including warnings against treason and cowardice.

The members of the “Mexican Mafia” engage the racist group “Aryan Brotherhood” as allies: They are charged with contract killings.

UN in great concern

The UN, which with the United Nations Office for the Fight against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) evaluates global trends and supports member states in the fight against organized crime, is following the increasing globalization of criminal activities with great concern.

"The UN Security Council is also increasingly determining the effects of organized crime organizations on peace and the stability of entire regions of the world," Warda Henning told BILD in the UNODC office in New York.

The drug trade gives criminals almost 20 percent of their illegal, global sales. And: Opium from Afghanistan alone is for the death of 100000 people responsible worldwide.

The risk also increases because crime organizations like the Mafia now operate globally and efficiently like global corporations. "They use the speed and range of the Internet for agreements and internal logistics, the criminal networks have copied a lot from the private sector." Translated: A global village of crime is developing, a totally networked shadow world of criminal forces.

Who wins the war - the gangsters or the rule of law?Henning: "There are reports of success from individual countries, but the organizations are very flexible, they simply migrate to other countries."

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