Книга: Девиантность, преступность, социальный контроль в обществе постмодерна

3, Mid 1990s to early 2000s

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3, Mid 1990s to early 2000s

The third period, from mid 90s to early 2000s is a period of the bloom of «traditional» organized crime and of its gradual introduction into the organs of power and legal business.

Criminal organizations display a keen interest in privatization. One of our respondents said: «Their goal is to take hold of real estate». They obtain information about forthcoming auctions, come to the auctions with their armed men and decide who buys what property and at what price. Active rivals from legal businesses are requested to abstain from buying in order to avoid trouble.

The guns trading business has been very widespread and profitable since the mid 1990s. The Russian Army operates in hard economic conditions. Larceny of technicians and weapons from units becomes a regular channel of weapons coming onto the illegal market.

The illegal drugs market is being developed and changed. Before it was cannabis and poppy straw in the first place, now it is heroin, and exotic cocaine wich appeared earlier. Criminal organizations of St. Petersburg actively co-operate with regional representatives of organized crime, including foreign organizations, which deal with growing, production, and the trafficking of drugs to the city.

Russian criminal organizations have different dimensions, organizational structures, specialization, but a unified, general essence: illegal enterprises.

The following elements are typical of organized crime in this period:

• its widespread sphere of influence (they control over 40-60 % of the country's enterprises and 60-80 % banks);

• a very high profit („super-profit“) derived from criminal activity;

• organized crime performs some of the functions of law-enforcement bodies: «arbitration», «enforcement of rulings (verdicts)», «executive functions», protection rackets – the so-called «krysha» (roof), etc.

• total corruption of power, administrative and law-enforcement bodies at all levels;

• a wide social basis for organized crime, because, firstly, many idle hands are available among youth, and, secondly, in Russia legal business activity is impossible due to corruption, high taxes, criminal mentality and social anomie;

• the great extent to which violent methods are used;

• the new tendencies: striving for the legalization of criminal activity; laundering money; transition to legal and semi-legal activity; infiltration of legal business and of the power structure;

• the politicization of organized crime and the criminalization of politics and the economy.

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