Mafia refers to secretive groups involved in organized crimes spread over a lot of countries. They are usually referred to by the name of the country they originated in and the majority of members will be of this nationality. They usually aspire to have a monopoly over illegal activities like drugs, firearm trafficking, etc. This is an article about the mafia groups and their activities. They are listed in an increasing order of their influence in the world.
10. Jamaican-British Yardies
Jamaican-British Yardies were the Jamaicans who immigrated to Britain in 1950s. They were involved in gang violence and got to be known as Yardies. They conduct organized crimes like drug trade and other gun crimes. They haven’t tried infiltrating the law enforcement system so they aren’t considered to be as strong as other mafia groups. All the crimes involve the use of firearms the use of which is strictly controlled in Britain.
9. The Albanian Mafia
The Albanian Mafia consists of a large number of criminal organizations which are based in Albania. They are active in US and European countries as well. It is said that the Albanian mafia spread to international levels in the 1980s. Organized crime prevailed in Albania right from the 15th century. In United States and United Kingdom, they run sex and drug trafficking rackets and are known for quick use of violence for vengeance.
8. The Serbian mafia
The Serbian mafia operates in more than ten nations including Germany, United States, United Kingdom, France, etc. They are involved in diverse activities like drug trafficking, smuggling, contract killing, protection rackets, gambling and gen thefts. It has three major groups called Vozdovac, Surcin and Zemun which control the smaller groups. Presently there are about 30-40 groups working in Serbia.
7. Israeli Mafia
Israeli Mafia works in a lot of countries in activities like narcotics, drug trafficking and prostitution. Times have changed as the Israeli mafia was once looked at with awe and known for its patronage but today they are ruthless and don’t think twice about killing by standers. The Russian-Israeli Mafia has permeated the US political system so well that the US forces are failing to make any significant progress in stopping them.
6. Mexican Mafia
Mexican Mafia is a very strong prison gang in the United States. It was started in the late 1950s to protect prisoners against other inmates and from the officers. This gang has also been involved in extortion and drug trafficking. It has about 30,000 members all over the United States. The gang members sometimes sport a tattoo with a common design which is a Mexican national symbol over a flaming circle and crossed knives. It is said that there are 150 prison members who have the authority to command murder and 2000 associates who will execute these commands. They force gangs and dealers to pay a protection tax and the ones who refuse will be killed.
5. Japanese Yakuza
Japanese Yakuza is a native organized crime group which uses threat and extortion to get their way. Its origin is found to be in the 17th century. A missing joint of the little finger is a tell tale sign of the gang members. This is often offered to the leader as an act of appeasement or apology. Some of the members even have full body tattoos. It has 110,000 active members in this group who are from 2500 families. They are involved in protection rackets, importing uncensored pornography from Europe and America, prostitution and in illegal immigration.
4. Chinese Triads
Chinese Triads consists of many criminal organizations which are based in Mainland China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. They are also very active in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver as well as San Francisco. Their organized crime involves theft, contract killing, drug trafficking, extortion, piracy, etc. It is now involved in piracy as well. They started in the 18th century but were called Tian Di Hui then. Even though it is steadily increasing in power, the activities have been low key. The triads can have 50 to over 30,000 members. They are also involved in counterfeiting Chinese currency.
3. Colombian Drug Cartels
Colombian Drug Cartels were formed mainly for controlling and trafficking drugs. They operate in a lot of countries. They have many organizations that deal with political, military and legal aspects of the cartels. The important cartels from Columbia are the Cali Cartel, Medellin Cartel and the Norte del Valle Cartel. At one point these cartels were threatened by the extradition treaty between the US and Columbia. The lords went into hiding and ordered its members to kill its supporters. They have also been involved in a lot of kidnappings and terrorism
2. Sicilian and American Cosa Nostra
Sicilian and American Cosa Nostra is a relatively new group. It was started in the second half of the nineteenth century in Italy. In spite of it being a young mafia, it has a great ability to plan large crimes and get away with it. It is involved in protection rackets, drug and arms trafficking, mediation of criminal business are some of the things the Sicilian and American Cosa Nostra are involved in. It has a small number of members ranging from 3500 to 4000. In addition to these members they have associates who aren’t true members. A member will have to undergo the initiation ceremony where he will probably have to murder somebody to prove his worth. Every member will have to follow the code of silence.
Russian Mafia originated in the Soviet Union and now has influence all over the world. It has between 100,000 to 500,000 members. They are involved in organized crimes in countries like Israel, Hungary, Spain, Canada, UK, US, Russia, etc. They have also immigrated to Israel, America and Germany by using Jewish and German identities. Their activities include drug and firearm trafficking, bombings, smuggling, pornography, internet fraud, etc. One of their rules is to never co-operate with the authorities. If any of the members squealed when captured, they would be killed on release. They are feared for their vandalism, terrorism, organ trafficking and contract killings.