Time: Sun Oct 05 07:22:31 1997
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Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 07:06:37 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: FBI chief tells of Russian organized crime's widening
  grip (fwd)
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<snip>
>
>http://www.phillynews.com:80/inquirer/97/Oct/02/international/MAFI02.htm
>
>-
>FBI chief tells of Russian organized crime's widening grip
>
>He described complex scams and weaponry. He also spoke of links with
>South American drug cartels.
>
>By Patricia Wilson
>REUTERS
>
>WASHINGTON -- Russian organized-crime groups, rich and sophisticated,
>are running complex frauds in the United States, forging links with
>South American drug cartels, and operating ``supermarkets'' for weapons,
>Congress heard yesterday.
>
>``The size of the problem is really immense,'' FBI Director Louis J.
>Freeh told the House International Relations Committee. ``We're a long
>way from getting our hands around it.''
>
>Freeh said organized crime had exploded in Russia following the end of
>the Cold War, the emergence of global economies, and advances in
>computer and communications technologies. It now poses a real threat to
>reform in Russia and ``imminent dangers'' to the United States, he said.
>
>``In the United States, we have 24 traditional organized-crime families
>and about 2,000 active members of the Cosa Nostra,'' he said. ``In
>Russia, there are between 5,000 and 8,000 groups with 100,000 members.''
>
>About 30 of those Russian groups are active in other countries,
>including the United States, he added.
>
>Freeh cautioned against underestimating the groups, saying the United
>States had ``strong indications'' that former Soviet KGB officials were
>working closely with many of them.
>
>``What makes these groups very unique and more troublesome is the way
>they operate. These guys hit the ground with gasoline excise tax frauds,
>health frauds . . . a much more sophisticated type of organized crime
>than we've ever seen in the United States,'' he said, adding that such
>scams had been uncovered in Los Angeles and New York.
>
>He told the hearing that Russians had formed alliances with South
>American drug cartels that were growing and ``very dangerous.''
>
>Committee Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman said Russian organized-crime
>groups had become ``virtual Kmarts for Colombian narco-guerrillas to
>purchase weapons.''
>
>``These new global cartels could ultimately be capable of buying entire
>governments and commercial trade zones in emerging democracies and,
>eventually, undermining established Western markets and stable world
>financial trading systems,'' the New York Republican declared.
>
>Giovanni De Gennaro, deputy director of the Italian National Police, who
>also appeared before the panel, said Russian organized crime posed a
>major threat through its use of sophisticated financial procedures to
>accumulate huge funds.
>
>``A significant example . . . is represented by brokerage houses
>established to purchase huge quantities of oil for companies controlled
>by the Russian mafia.''
>
>De Gennaro said the complex phenomenon had crossed Russian borders and
>was affecting other European countries ``with a modus operandi similar
>to that used in the United States, where the Russian mafia has obtained
>huge profits in this sector.''
>
>Earlier this week, the Washington Post quoted Barry R. McCaffrey, the
>Clinton administration's national drug-control policy director, as
>saying that ``the Russians, along with the Nigerians, are the most
>threatening criminal organizations based in the United States.''
>
>That is because, according to McCaffrey and others, the Russian
>organizations offer drug cartels access to sophisticated weapons that
>previously were beyond their reach. The Russians also bring access to
>new drug markets in Russia and other former Soviet republics at a time
>when consumption is falling in the United States.
>
>Freeh, who endorsed the findings of a U.S. public policy research group
>that reported Monday that corrupt officials, crooked businessmen and
>organized crime had a choke hold on the Russian economy, said Moscow was
>``having an extremely difficult time'' in dealing with the problem.
>
>Asked if he believed crime genuinely threatened reform in Russia, Freeh
>replied: ``Yes, I do.''
>
>He also said the scope of the problem required immediate attention from
>Washington, such as the posting of full-time FBI agents in Russia and
>other former Soviet republics to gather their own intelligence and
>develop their own sources.
>
>``As a result of increased inquiries from FBI field offices and growing
>cooperation with Russian authorities, we quickly learned that the
>problem was more extensive than we thought,'' he said.
>
>1997 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
>
<snip>

===========================================================================
Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night 03
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website: http://supremelaw.com       : visit the Supreme Law Library now 05
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best 06
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_____________________________________: Law is authority in written words 09
As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall 10
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal. 11
======================================================================== 12
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