If you believe Hollywood, then all members of criminal gangs are exceptionally kind and sweet people who were thrown into this environment by evil fate. The gangster appears to us as a laconic handsome Italian in a suit from Armani, with a cigar in his teeth.
In reality, each country has its own organized crime syndicates. There are probably few countries in the world that are not affected by organized crime.
If at the small level we are talking about racketeering and extortion, then at the international level we have to talk about the drug trade. Let's talk about the 10 most famous criminal groups in the world, indicating not only the place of their action, but also the area of specialization, as well as the name of the alleged leader.
Five families. This group is based in the United States. Her field of activity is bookmaking and gambling, racketeering, drugs and usury. The names of the leaders are also known - they are Vincent Basquiano, Nicholas Corozzo, Carmine Persico, Daniel Leo, Vittorio Amuso. The group united five mafia families, which were mainly based in New York. They included the Bonnano, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese and Colombo clans. These mafia structures have been controlling virtually all criminal activity in the country since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The FBI and the New York prosecutor's office are trying in every possible way to destroy the criminal syndicate, but all they succeeded in was to slightly reduce its influence. Among the five families, the most influential and numerous is the Genovese clan. The progenitor of the American "Cosa Nostra" is considered the infamous Lucky Luciano, who came to the United States from Italy in the mid-1920s. In addition to his luggage, he also brought methods of influencing the Italian mafia.
"Consolidated bamboo". The group is located in Taiwan. Her main occupation is contract killings and debt collection, bribery and gambling. It is still unclear who runs the syndicate, it is only known that there is more than one person, since there is a complex horizontal hierarchy here. It is the largest criminal group in Taiwan, with about 10,000 members. United Bamboo follows a rather old-fashioned principle: the members of the triad value unity and harmony with people most of all. United Bamboo is suspected of drug trafficking, and it is believed that the criminals are associated with politicians (in particular, with Taiwan's ruling KMT party). The leaders of the grouping themselves, which is natural, in every possible way deny such connections. "Bamboo" operates not only throughout Asia and the Pacific, but also in Europe and the Americas.
Tijuana cartel. This mafia group operates in northwest Mexico in the Tijuana and Baja regions. The main area of activity is drug dealing, banditry, bribery and contract killings. The leader of the group is Eduardo Arellano Felix. Colombian cartels reigned in South America until the 90s, but their collapse created a vacuum, which was suitably filled by three Mexican cartels - Sinaloa with Jochin Guzman at its head, Juarez with Vicente Fuentes and the already mentioned Tijuana cartel. It is also called Arellano Felix's organization and is considered the most aggressive and violent of the trio. It is only natural that there is a constant war between cartels for spheres of influence, in which dozens of people die every year. It is rumored that more than a million dollars are paid in bribes each week to keep the cartel afloat.
Tai Huen Tea. This gang operates in China. She does not have a clearly defined leader, but she is the largest and most influential in the country. Literally, the name of the group is translated as "Guys of the Big Circle", and they are still engaged in the same drugs, extortion, prostitution, usury and even human trafficking. The unification was the unexpected fruit of the cultural revolution of the great helmsman Mao Zedong. After his death, most of the Hunwenbin soldiers who represented the Red Guard were sent to re-education camps, where they were subjected to brutal torture and monstrous humiliation. Is it any wonder that they left the camps even more embittered and cruel than they were? So this gang was born. It differs from other crime syndicates in that there is no specific organizational structure. Often, gang members are compared to strangers who suddenly decided to play basketball together. The criminals are practically unknown among themselves, but the fame about them thunders all over Asia, even reaching Australia and America.
Sicilian Mafia. This organization is based on the Italian island of Sicily. The Mafia is not only involved in drugs and arms trafficking, but also in murder, arson, corruption and counterfeiting of money. The leader of the group is Matteo Messina Denaro. The community was originally organized on a territorial basis, it includes about 100 criminal families. This mafia emerged in the middle of the 19th century, but it acquired its influence and organization only at the beginning of the 20th century. With the export of the Lucky Luciano mafia to the United States in the 1930s, its membership began to skyrocket. Some experts believe that in America alone, the number of members of this group exceeds 2,500. In Sicily, the mafia was able to seize power thanks to its control over construction contracts. After receiving the first tangible fruits in the form of influence and funds, the group began to engage in the sale of weapons and drugs. The subsequent series of arrests did not change the situation - the mafia retained influence not only in Sicily, but throughout Italy. In the mid-90s, they started talking about the group again - the murders of two members of the Italian magistrate were organized.
14K. Based in Hong Kong, this triad is believed to be the strongest, largest and most ruthless. She is engaged in extortion, contract killings, abductions, prostitution, drugs and counterfeiting of money. The leader of the group is still unknown. In the 90s, it was 14K that was considered the largest criminal community in the world, until one of the leaders of numerous cells was tried in Portugal. This slightly shaken the power of the group. The region of its influence now extends to the whole of Asia, while there are 14K cells in almost all major American cities. The triad has no special moral principles - it uses any means of earning money, the group is accused of practically all violations provided for by law.
"Battalion D". This structure is located in India and the United Arab Emirates. Criminals do not hesitate to trade drugs and weapons, extortion, contract killings and counterfeiting of money. The leader of the gang is Daud Ibrahim, who has long been on the international wanted list. India's leading gangster group is also accused of having links with Islamic terrorists, in particular with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and carrying out their orders in the country. It is Battalion D that is credited with a series of terrorist attacks in Bombay in 1993, when 257 people were killed and more than 700 were injured. Ibrahim is well known in India, they even say that he has his own professional interests in Bollywood. American intelligence has information that the gang leader is now hiding in Pakistan, while he has already managed to perform a number of plastic surgeries to change his appearance.
Ndranghetta. A group with such a difficult to pronounce name is based in Calabria, in the south of Italy. The main areas of activity are the same: drug trafficking, extortion and contract killings. There is no pronounced leader here, the principles of horizontal hierarchy are used. The Ndranghetta, unlike other criminal organizations that are forced to narrow their sphere of influence, expand their controlled territories. The task of fighting criminals is complicated for the authorities by the fact that there are practically no cases of betrayal among the Calabrians. Today there are more than 10 thousand people in the ndranghetta, and the family's annual income is estimated at tens of billions of dollars. This group is the largest cocaine supplier in Europe, but the path to power and big money began with a chain of fast food restaurants.
"Yamaguchi-gumi". The group is based in Kobe, Japan. The bandits are engaged in gambling business, extortion, trade in weapons and drugs, prostitution and buying stolen goods. The leader of the gang is Kenichi Shinoda, also known as Shinobu Tsukasa. The Yamaguchi-gumi is the largest clan of the Japanese yakuza, founded back in 1915. Its status as the most influential and cruel clan was obtained thanks to the leader Kazuo Taoke. "Yamaguchi-gumi" almost broke up. Now the group consists of 40 thousand people. Since 2005, Shinobu Tsukasa has come to power in it, more diplomatic than the famous Taoke, but no less cruel. This criminal is currently serving a prison sentence for carrying a firearm, but from prison he leads a gang, trying to expand its sphere of influence to the north of the country.
Solntsevskaya lads. The legendary Russian group is based in Moscow. The scope of activity of the "brothers" is wide: extortion and murder, drug trafficking, weapons and stolen goods, car theft and money laundering, oil. Prostitution and even trafficking in nuclear materials. The leader of the gang is Sergey Mikhailov. Assessing the Russian mafia, former FBI special agent Bob Levinson called it the most dangerous criminal gang on the planet. Such a statement inspires respect and horror, especially considering that, according to the most conservative estimates, there are about 300 thousand people in the criminal association. The "lads" generally include 450 groups, the most famous of which is Solntsevo. This syndicate stands out for its particular cruelty. Its leader is rumored to be Sergei Mikhailov, nicknamed Mikhas. A short stay in the camp gave him a connection with many criminal authorities, including the world famous Semyon Mogilevich. Small scattered gangs of racketeers of the late 1980s were united, based on the American model rather than the Italian one. The Russian flavor was also introduced. The bandits did a lot of work in gyms, drugs and alcohol abuse were prohibited. The strength of faith and family relationships was welcomed.