The Merger, How Organized Crime is Taking Over Canada and the World

Winter 2000 CSANews Issue 37  |  Posted date : Mar 07, 2007.Back to list

The Merger is an engrossing, authoritative book, documenting how Canada along with the rest of the world, is falling prey to a new sophisticated brand of globally organized crime. It's alarming to have it spelled out just how pitifully unprepared police forces of the world are to combat this development, and how ineffectual our legislators are in reacting or even recognizing the threat to our 21st Century society.

The birth of this modern transnational crime cartel is a fascinating tale in itself. The frightening strategic alliance was organized over Easter 1990, at a hotel complex in Vienna; in a series of meetings virtually ignored by law enforcement agencies. The players included Italian Mafia, Russian Maffiya, Colombian cartels, La Cosa Nostra, Chinese Triads, Japanese Yakuza and Hell's Angels Motorcycle Gangs. Their aim: to co-operate and develop links in the global expansion of illegal activities from drug distribution networks to credit card scams. These schemes are all extremely lucrative and result in an embarrassment of riches. This untaxable "dirty money" of course, when laundered, can purchase the most professional lawyers, accountants, politicians, bankers and company formation agents. "To maximize wealth, the underworld needs the upperworld". Without legitimate professionals, global criminals could never function on a global basis as successfully as they do.

You certainly read daily news stories from a more informed perspective when you learn that merging criminal capabilities have made the following operations possible. Asian criminals in Montreal import heroin into Canada, hand off the drugs to an Italian group, which ships them to New York in bakery trucks to be distributed by Puerto Rican street gangs. In Vancouver, Chinese Triad Societies have teamed up with Hell's Angels and Vietnamese gangs, in complex credit card scams. It's all so cosmopolitan!

Jeffery Robinson is an international best-selling author and a recognized expert on money laundering. He has certainly done extensive research (30 pages of source notes), so it's particularly disturbing to have him describe Canada as "The Maytag of the North". His chapter on the infamous 1990 RCMP sting operation reads like an Elmore Leonard thriller. Robinson makes it clear that the policing agencies in this country are at a distinct disadvantage. Self-taught police officers with little computer familiarity are pitted against corporate lawyers and sophisticated financiers.

The Sting, in which the Mounties set up a fake money laundering operation, did result in the arrest of 52 people and the seizure of drugs. However, there were always rumours and investigation into possible security breaches. One drug squad Inspector in Montreal committed suicide after having been accused of accepting bribes from the mob. There was so little professional liaison with US security agencies, that during the four years "The Mounties had come perilously close to being charged with money laundering in the United States".

Robinson is at his most compelling in describing the rapid expansion of the Russian Maffiya. "Communism vaporised overnight and the only people left standing were empowered criminals". In a society where nearly 80 percent of all businesses are forced to pay extortion, Yeltsin himself conceded that: "Russia is the biggest Mafia state in the world". This has particularly sinister implications when you consider retired KGB agents and unemployed nuclear scientists supplying rogue states with expertise and military surplus plutonium and uranium.

Even the traditional Cosa Nostra are impressed with the brutality of this new breed. John Gotti remarked, "We Italians will kill you, but the Russians are crazy. They'll kill your whole family". The Russian Maffiya have become the hit men of choice for all the criminal elements, because for the most part, the players are unknown to global police agencies. "They now do the heavy lifting".

Politicians are beginning to talk the talk. In a 1998 UN speech, President Clinton argued 'that we must create a world in which criminals have no place to run, no place to hide". Member states readily agreed, but to this day, not one nation has even proposed legislation that would make accountants, lawyers, and bankers, accountable under threat of criminal penalty for servicing transnational criminal organizations.

Jeffrey Robinson's The Merger is a good read and a real wake up call. In this new millennium.... "There will be no frontiers for crime. There should be no frontiers for justice". In other words, "the bad guys have all the money and no rules. The good guys have all the rules and no money". Do our leaders know what is going on? Ask your MP.