When most people hear the word “Mafia” or “Syndicate”, they’ll probably think of Italy and the United States, and rightly so. Some of the most famous bosses in history like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, John Gotti and many others who were Italian-Americans. These people have been involved in organized crime of such a scale that the whole world knows about them even to this day. Their life and crimes have been passed on to history in the form of stories, movies, and books. Some of them were so ruthless and dangerous, that even to this day their name commands a lot of respect and power.
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The “Golden Age” of these gangs is gone now, but there are still some mob bosses in the United States that are hugely powerful. With that being said, if you’re interested in these high-profile mafia gangs and their interesting stories, you’d be severely limiting yourself if you didn’t look beyond the US-based gangs. There are tons of interesting stories that are spread all over the world, including places from not only the rest of the American continents but Europe, Asia, Russia, etc.
’Ndrangheta Of Calabria
There are a few words in Italian that command the same respect as ‘Ndrangheta does. This syndicate is on the same level as the Sicilian-originated La Cosa Nostra which is known by everybody.
As the name implies, this mob originates from Calabria, a region in southern Italy. The mob slowly rose in power, eventually even surpassing the La Cosa Nostra in wealth and influence. The family is currently the largest trafficker of cocaine in Europe. It operates numerous bars, hostels, and warehouses to smuggle cocaine in port cities.
Some experts estimate that their drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering’s value would amount to a total that would be equal to 3% of whole Italy’s GDP by 2010’s data. The total income of the group would be in the high dozen billions, making it one of the richest crime groups in the world.
‘Ndrangheta has very strong roots in Canada. Back in the 1950s, upon the request of one of the group’s bosses, the mob’s members were sent out to “populate the new world”, resulting in a large expansion of the family in many countries.
It’s believed that ‘Ndragheta’s presence in Canada is one of the strongest. Besides smuggling drugs, they smuggle copious amounts of tobacco and launder huge amounts of money. Canada has very ripe conditions for money laundering, as the banking system is very secretive, and allows for a lot of corruption in the wrong hands.
An interesting development occurred back in the summer of 2019 when police arrested over 20 people connected to the family. The police conducted a large-scale operation and raided over 48 businesses, cafes, and residences that were allegedly connected to the mob. They seized over $26 million in assets and five extremely expensive Ferrari cars.
Besides the obvious allegations of drug trafficking and money laundering, the group was accused of illegal gambling activities in the Toronto area. One of the main arrested “masterminds” behind the illegal operation was Angelo “Il Brigante” Figliomeni, who was being searched for by international authorities for a decade.
According to the authorities, Figliomeni had developed a money-laundering scheme so massive, that it exceeded $70 million Canadian dollars in value in just a few short years. Besides the casinos, illegal gambling activities were being conducted from hidden rooms in cafes and bars owned by the mob.
Besides the obvious evils of money laundering and criminal activities, this was a large blow to the online gambling industry. With gambling having a certain degree of stigma as it is, this kind of negative attention really can’t be afforded by the gambling industry. The point is that people need to learn the difference between playing online casino roulette real money Canada at a regular website with a license, and an elaborate illegal scheme that is there to launder money. With these illegal gambling practices, it’s common for other illegal, severely unethical practices like extortion and racketeering to come as a “package deal”, so it’s an issue with much more complexity than meets the eye.
Russia’s Semion Mogilevich
Originally from Ukraine, Mogilevich first got involved in crime back in 1970 after joining the Lyubertskaya crime clan, through which he quickly rose in ranks, and created his own syndicate known as the Solntsevo gang. Mogilevich was involved in a plethora of criminal activities including racketeering, extortion, wire fraud, and many more.
One of the most sickening acts that Mogilevich has pulled off was back in the 1980s. Originally of Jewish heritage and having held a Jewish passport, he scammed a lot of Israelis who were attempting to flee into Israel in search of refuge for millions of dollars. Mogilevich used the money to invest in both criminal and legitimate businesses.
One of his biggest publicly known scam operations was when he founded YBM Magnex International in Canada. It was supposed to be a company that would manufacture magnets out of Philadelphia, but it never came to be, and he scammed the investors for over $150 million. Back in 1999, Mogilevich was also accused of laundering over $500 million through the bank of New York.
Among crime circles, Mogilevich is known as the “Brainy Don”, and “The Boss of all Bosses”, hinting at his high level of cunning and craftiness. For a long time, Mogilevich was in an active search by both the FBI and Interpol, but it wasn’t possible to seize him as he’s living in Russia where there are no extradition laws.