February 20th, 2007 10:52 EST
Italian Mafia and The New Cast of Characters
How much do you know about organized crime, really?
Maybe you’re familiar with the enduring saga of the Italian Mafia in America, with all its strange and dangerous players yesterday and today—Al Capone ruling the Windy City in the 1920s; “Lucky” Luciano setting up the first U.S. crime syndicate a decade later; Vincent “the Chin” Gigante, aka the “Odd Father,” playing the part of a lunatic to elude authorities by walking the streets of New York in a bathrobe and slippers.
But have you heard about the other geographically based organized crime groups that are now part and parcel of our nation’s criminal landscape?
… Like the Asian syndicates—triads, tongs, and street gangs—that have been in the U.S. for a century and that now operate in more than 50 major metropolitan areas;
… Like the Eurasian crime groups that grew out of the Soviet prison system, emigrated to the West in the 1970s, proliferated after the fall of the U.S.S.R., and now cost our country millions of dollars a year through sophisticated frauds and corruption;
… Like the African criminal enterprises that have jumped on the globalization bandwagon in recent decades, earning vast profits through illegal drug trafficking and online financial frauds while entrenching themselves in nine major U.S. cities;
… And even like the Middle Eastern organized criminals, quietly active in the U.S. since the 1970s, engaged in everything from auto theft and money laundering to cigarette smuggling and identify theft.
If you want to learn all about the new face of organized crime, then take at our revised and redesigned Organized Crime website.
On the site you can:
- Read the long, storied history of the Italian Mafioso and get details on the other major crime groups; and
- Take our quiz on organized crime.
Along the way, you’ll learn how we’re dismantling these syndicates using both our longstanding investigative tools and our newfound partnerships with our international counterparts, including task forces and joint initiatives on both sides of the ocean.
It’s all part of our work to protect you, your families, and your businesses—to keep the streets safer, the economy healthy, and our democracy strong.