- Israeli mafia
The Israeli mafia is the general term for
organized crimegroups operating in Israel.
Israeli organized crime
Israeli National Policespokesman Gil Kleiman, although there is a substantial presence of organized criminal gangs in Israel, they have not succeeded in infiltrating the establishment as for example gangsters such as Al Caponewho had judges, police chiefs and other authority figures in his pocket. Mr Kleiman also said that since the September 11th attacksa lot of police resources were diverted to fighting terrorism rather than organized crime, leading to a resurgence in gangland violence. In December 2003, three men were killed by a bomb in Tel Avivmeant for a local crime boss. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3723895.stm Israel struggles to keep a lid on crime] , BBC News, June 7, 2004]
The Israeli mafia in the United States
Israeli mobsters have a presence in the United States.
In New York City in the late 1980's Yehuda “Johnny” Attias operated a criminal organization heavily involved in drug trafficking, making millions through importing heroin from
Amsterdamand Thailandas well as hashishfrom Turkey. They also pulled off the biggest gold heist in the history of Manhattan's jewelery district, getting away with over $4 million in gold jewelery. However Attias was ultimately murdered in January 1990, and New York's Israeli mafia fell apart soon after. Several members such as Ron Gonenhad turned informant and the authorities arrested the rest of the gang in September of that year. [Dave Copeland, "Blood and Volume: Inside New York's Israeli Mafia" ISBN 1569803277]
The Israeli mafia (such as the
Abergil crime family) is heavily involved in ecstasy trafficking in America [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3723895.stm Israel struggles to keep a lid on crime] , BBC News, June 7, 2004] and were allegedly the suppliers to former Gambino crime familyunderboss Sammy Gravanoin his Arizonadrug ring. Gravano's main drug supplier was New York based Israeli mobster, Ilan Zarger. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1290579.stm FBI and the mafia: A tale of betrayal] , BBC News, May 30, 2001] [http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2000/07/07/2000-07-07__ecstasy_dealer_sold_to_grav.html Ecstasy Dealer Sold To Gravano, Feds Say] , New York Daily News, July 7, 2000] [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01EEDB1E3DF936A15756C0A9679C8B63 Gravano and Son Are to Enter Guilty Pleas in Ecstasy Case] , The New York Times, May 25, 2001] . Reportedly Israeli criminal organizations are trying to move into Las Vegas, to control the drug and prostitution rackets in the city. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3723895.stm Israel struggles to keep a lid on crime] , BBC News, June 7, 2004]
Russian organized crime in Israel
Russian organized crime in Israel began with the mass immigration of Russian Jews to
Israelafter the collapse of the Soviet Unionin 1989. [Glenny, pp. 120-1] An underground society of criminals and youth gangs developed quickly, encouraged by the increasing permissiveness of parts of Israel like Tel Avivduring the 1990s. The groups established networks and activities in narcotics, prostitutionand human traffickingwhich still exist today, and their operations are often funded by the Russian mafia.
By 1998, 750 000 Russian Jews had immigrated to Israel following the collapse of the Soviet Union. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/03/98/russian_mafia/69521.stm | title=How Russia's mafia is taking over Israel's underworld | accessdate=2008-06-14 | date=1998-11-21]
Israel appealed to the organized crime bosses after 1989 for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Russian mafia saw it as an ideal place to launder money, as Israel's banking system was designed to encourage
aliyah, the immigration of Jews, and the accompanying capital. [Glenny, 2008. pp. 130-1] Following the trend of global financial deregulation, Israel had also implemented legislation aimed at easing the movement of capital. Combined with the lack of anti- money launderinglegislation, Russian organised crime found it an easy place to transfer ill-gotten gains. In 2005, police estimated that Russian organised crime had laundered between $5 and 10 billion in the fifteen years since the end of the Soviet Union.Glenny, 2008. p. 131]
The other reason for Israel's popularity among Russian organized crime bosses was the fact that many were Jewish. Instead of being discriminated against and penalised in the Soviet Union for being Jewish, the bosses, who often posed as legitimate businessmen to gain a Israeli passport, were, in the words of
Misha Glenny, "welcomed as valuable and respected additions to the family". Even non-Jewish criminals, such as Sergei Mikhailov, were given citizenship of Israel. For these criminals, an Israeli passport was also seen as a door to the outside world.
Abergil Crime Family
Asi Abutbul& family
Jewish-American organized crime
*cite book |title=McMafia: Crime Without Frontiers |last=Glenny |first=Misha |authorlink=Misha Glenny |year=2008 |publisher=
The Bodley Head|location= London|isbn=978-0-224-07503-9
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