There are too many definitions of organized crime (Abadinsky, 1994; Alba-nese, 1995; Arlacchi, 1986; and others). We will use the definition of organized crime as the functioning of stable, hierarchical associations, engaged in crime as a form of business, and setting up a system of protection against public control by means of corruption.
Organized crime is not only sum of criminal organizations. It is a complicated social phenomenon, which has an influence on the economy and the policy of states. The growth of the organizational aspect of crime is a natural, objective process; it is a manifestation of the growth of the organizational aspect of the social systems as well as of the sub-systems (the economy, politics, etc.). It is a global, world wide process.
Table 5.Rate (per 100.000 inhabitants) of Drug-Related Crimes in Russia (1990-2003)
Source: Crime and Delinquency. Statistical Review. Annual. Moscow: MVD RF, MJ RF. State of Crime in Russia. Annual. Moscow: MVD RF.
Table 6. Convicts for Drug-Related Crimes in Russia (1989-2001)
Source: Crime and Delinquency. Statistical Review. Annual. Moscow: MVD RF, MJ RF
Criminal business arises, exists and develops due to by certain conditions:
• Demand for illegal wares (drugs, arms, etc.) and services (sexual, etc.)
• Dissatisfied demand for legal wares and services (for example, total deficit in USSR)
• Unemployment and others sources of indigency as social basis of deviance, including criminality
• Defects in tax-policy, customs policy of state, etc.
The high degree of adaptability of criminal associations (resulting from their strict labor discipline, their careful selection of staff, the high profits, etc.) ensure their great vital capacity («Mafia is immortal!»). For example, the Russian criminal organizations recruit only the youngest, bravest, and the most enterprising persons.
Contemporary organized crime in Russia began during the 1970-1990 period; that was when some kind of contact was established and collaborations initiated between traditional white-collar criminals, corrupt part functionaries, and the criminals, including old «thieves-in-law» and the new generation of «bandits» or «sportsmen». This new generation of bandits is made up of young men who were not in the criminal population during the Soviet regime, and, who at the collapse of the Soviet Union, joined some former KGB elements in organized crime and commiying all kinds of vices. Criminals of the new generation shoved energy, activity, and cruelty in deciding a conflict situation that has allowed it to quickly occupy a place under the sun in the criminal world. Contemporary organized crime is a result of this process of amalgamation of the old «thieves-in-law» and «tsekhoviki» (shady operators) with new «bandits» and corrupt representatives of power structures, oriented to the pursuit of heightened levels of illegal (or legal or semi-legal) profit.
The Russian criminal organizations have differently dimensions, organization structure, and specialization, but are united in illegal (criminal) enterprise. The main fields of activity of criminal organizations in Russia are bank speculations (shady transaction), fictitious real estate transaction, stealing and reselling cars, illegal export of non-ferrous metals, production of and traffic in fake hard liquor, arms sales, control over gambling, agencies for supplying sexual service, drug trafficking, and laundering money (Gilinskiy, 2003: 146-164).
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