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In Claire Sterlings Thieves World new light is shed on the current status of organized crime in the world today The days of crime families battling it out in the streets is a thing of the past The fall of communism in Soviet Russia and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in Germany opened the doors to a land of endless wealth and opportunity that all the major crime syndicates have taken advantage of Sterling suggests that the early 90s was the beginning of a convergence of all great crime syndicates The Sicilians Russians Chinese Triads Japanese Yakusa and many other smaller groups began moving toward an agreement to avoid conflict devise common strategies and work the planet peaceably together This is referred to as a broader pax mafiosa With this agreement now in place the Italians and Colombians combined forces and moved in on the western half of the Europe and flooded it with supplies of cocaine Since the Italians no longer had quite the stronghold in the United States that they used to have and because Europe was their home turf it only made sense for them to supply the country with cocaine from the Colombians This partnership between the two most importantly strengthened bonds between the two criminal giants and provided a greater opportunity to take advantage of the newly spawned opportunities in ex-communist Russia With the downfall of communist Russia the mafia only increased its regular activities in the former USSR This was especially true when it came to laundering dirty money The money was used to buy Rubles and then reinvested into real estate and other ventures in Russia Russian President Boris Yeltsin was even quoted as saying that nearly two-thirds of Russias commercial structure has ties to the criminal world At one time the mafia in Russia was considered to be the fastest growing crime organization on the planet with more than five thousand different groups Its like
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