At least 69 alleged Russian mafia arrested in European crackdown
A crackdown on the Russian mafia continued with at least 69 total arrests across Europe. 'We're going to find big mansions and enormous amounts of money,' a Spanish officer said.
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El Pais on Tuesday quoted Swiss prosecutors and a Spanish police source on the massive scope and reach of the criminal ring. (in Spanish)Skip to next paragraph
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"This is a perfectly structured, highly hierarchical international criminal organization, directed from Spain and mainly active in robbery, burglary, and receiving stolen goods," said Swiss prosecutors in a statement relating to 11 detainees.
The criminal group also raised money in Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Britain, and Turkey. "We're going to find big mansions and enormous amounts of money, as we did in other operations," a Spanish police source said.
See video report on the crackdown in Russia:
In March, investigative journalist Ruslan Gorevoy claimed that mobsters from the former Soviet Union operating outside Russia now numbered as many as 300,000 and have come to dominate the criminal underworld in several countries, the Moscow Times reported, citing an article in the Russian-language Versiya.
Gorevoy says law enforcement personnel in many countries – including Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, France, Mexico, “and even the United States” –have been surprised by how “confidently” criminal groups consisting of people from the former Soviet Union now dominate their national criminal worlds.
Indeed, the Versiya report continues, the Russian groups, which include “up to 300,000 of our compatriots,” have succeeded in pushing aside local groups and establishing their own “spheres of influence” to the point that they no longer need to “clarify relations with the help of arms.”