Russian Organized Crime
Zalisko, Walter, Law & Order
Trafficking in women, and the Government's response
White slavery rings have thrived on the exploitation of women and children from developing countries for years. Young Asian women have been a commodity for decades. However, rising unemployment, poverty and a weakened social structure have caused the Newly Independent Countries - Ukraine and Russia in particular - to become the latest targets for the recruitment of women and children into sexual slavery and as indentured servants.
Trafficking in women and children is a form of modem day slavery. When a woman or child is trafficked or sexually exploited, they are denied the most basic human rights - in the worst case, their right to life.
Law enforcement sources report a dramatic increase in this problem over the last two years in the New Jersey and New York area. These women are recruited, managed and transported by Russian Organized Crime (ROC) syndicates into the United States, and other countries, and used primarily as sex slaves, go-go dancers and indentured household workers.
Why are Russian Organized Crime syndicates involved in the trafficking of women and children? Because prostitution and the trafficking in human beings has become a six billion dollar a year business of choice for Russian organized crime. Why that business flourishes in the United States deserves closer scrutiny.
The tri-state region of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania has long been one of the top areas in the United States for the relocation of Russian emigres. Along with bringing hard working and upright emigres, this relocation brought the ROC syndicate and other small time criminals to the area as well.
In the former Soviet Union, personal wealth, privilege, dachas and diamonds rested on control of goods and services illegally diverted from the State and exchanged for other illegally diverted goods and services in vast and complex patterns of bribery, corruption and blackmail. The ROC came here well schooled in bureaucratic circumvention and with the ability to adapt governmental services for private gain. Common criminal activities committed by ROC include burglary, credit card forgery, theft, auto theft, insurance and medical fraud, fuel tax fraud, arson, prostitution and narcotics trafficking.
The ROC syndicates conduct the most sophisticated criminal operations ever seen in the United States, based on their access to expertise in computer technology, encryption techniques and money-laundering facilities that process hundreds of millions of dollars. Money and power are obtained through criminal conduct, and then infiltrates legitimate society. ROC members tend to be highly educated, and therefore, are very resourceful and sophisticated in their methods of operation.
It is reported that organized crime syndicates from Russia, Asia and Africa are forming alliances with traditional Italian and Latin American organizations, creating a formidable threat to international peace and stability. A great number of ROC gang members are former KGB agents or operatives who are skillfully trained in illicit techniques, including assassination.
To make use of this "talent", other crime syndicates are hiring ROC gang members to conduct their contract killings. While ROC continues to grow in Russia, their operations outside Russia could be categorized into three main classes:
1) Hard penetration. In some countries, such as Poland, Austria, Israel, United States and Canada, it has moved in with a clear goal of establishing itself as a dominant criminal force. In these cases, it has joined forces with local organized crime.
2) Soft penetration. Here they have adopted a more delicate technique. Mostly, because of the threat posed by local law enforcement agencies, or because there is some reason or opportunity to mount a major push.
3) Service penetration. Here they provide key criminal services to other gangs, whether money-laundering or assassination. …