Governments around the world are concerned about Powerful Criminal Organizations. People, businesses, and political structures are affected by the actions of criminal organizations. The Powerful Criminal Organizations dominates some legitimate industries in some regions. In law enforcement and bureaucratic communities, some infiltrators make decisions about individuals’ lives daily.
As long as these crime families provide wealth to the youths where they live, the powerful criminal organizations will be hard to stop. Members of today’s new breed prefer to be in the open rather than remain in the shadows, to avoid attracting law enforcement attention. Here is the list of top 10 Powerful Criminal Organizations.
Founding Location: Russia
Active Years: Late 1980-Present
Criminal Activities: Money laundering, drug trafficking, extortion, murder, and robbery
Membership: 3 million in Russia, 300,000 in 50+ countries
The Russian mob, the Bratva, is the largest criminal organization in the world. Bratva is active in most nations that were once part of the Soviet Union, all over Europe, and the United States. Criminologists also claim they have a quasi-military structure that makes them the best criminal gang in the world.
Former Soviet officials may be the leading members of their organization. Bratva, however, has roots in pre-Lenin Russian culture. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the groups ran black-market businesses.
Bratva is also thought to be working closely with the Russian government today, and they have an active New York City presence.
2. Yamaguchi Gumi
Founding Location: Kobe, Japan
Active Years: Late 1915-Present
Criminal Activities: Weapons trafficking, assassinations, blackmail, bid-rigging, extortion, drug trafficking, gambling, illegal Internet pornography, etc
As of 2017, the Yamaguchi Gumi, Japan’s largest known gang, has received over $1 billion in drug money, more than any other criminal organization. It is also one of several groups commonly known as Yamaguchi, which is similar to the word mafia in American usage. Following closely behind are gambling and extortion, respectively, followed by “dispute resolution.”
Founding Location: Campania, Italy
Active Years: Since the 17th century
Criminal Activity: extortion, counterfeiting, smuggling, illegal gambling, bidding rigging, counterfeiting, smuggling, racketeering
Membership: 7000 full members
Early in the 17th century, the Camorra formed. Whether the group started as a loose association or was transformed over time into an organized crime group is unclear. A hierarchical structure and secret society were evident, evidence shows.
Political leaders who needed support to overthrow the monarchy empowered them in the 19th century. The leaders of the Camorra had real power, including authority over law enforcement. Despite this, the government tried to crack down on the organization.
Camorra today is also an international organization. Naples’ waste management system is the most controversial instance of this firm’s power within Italy.
Founding Location: Calabria, Italy
Active Years: Since the late 18th century
Criminal Activities: Heists, drug trafficking, murders, extortions, kidnappings
By revenue, the ‘Ndarangheta is the second-largest mafia organization in Italy. Although ‘Ndrangheta engages in a number of the same illegal activities as Camorra, it has built a name for itself by maintaining international ties with cocaine dealers in South America, greatly expanding the American trans-Atlantic drug trade. As well, it has also expanded its operations in the United States and has helped prop up the Gambino and Bonnano crime families in New York. Italian and American police forces arrested dozens of members of the ‘Ndrangheta and Gambino family.
5. Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel
Founding Location: Sinaloa, Mexico
Active Years: 1987-Present
Criminal Activities: Distribution of drugs, money laundering, trafficking of weapons, murder, kidnapping, bribery
The Sinaloa cartel is one of several gangs terrorizing the Mexican population as it acts as a middleman connecting illegal drug producers from South America with a booming American market. White House Office of Drug Control Policy estimates that Americans spend $100 billion on illegal drugs every year, and the RAND Corporation estimates that some $6.5 billion of those dollars end up in Mexican cartels. A 60% market share translates into $3 billion in revenue for the Sinola cartel every year.
6. Los Caparrapos
Founding Location: Columbia
Active Years: 2008-Present
Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking and also illegal mining
It was also known as Los Caparrapos or Los Caparros (known in their time as the Virgilio Peralta Arena Bloc), a paramilitary narco-secret police force active during Colombia’s internal armed conflict. The people they are also speaking to are dissidents from the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia or the Clan del Golfo. Extortion, forced displacement, massacres, assassinations, and drug trafficking are all common practices.
It changed its name to Los Caparros in 2020 to avoid stigmatizing the inhabitants of Caparrapi (Cundinamarca).
7. Colombia’s Ex-FARC Mafia
Founding Location: Columbia
Active Years: 2016-Present
Colombia has made significant progress in improving security by brokering a peace agreement and demobilizing the leftist guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but a powerful criminal organization has arisen from FARC dissidents. Former FARC Mafia members killed three geologists working for Toronto-based gold miner Continental Gold in September 2018. The FARC bombers also attacked a Blockbuster in 2009 and killed two people. Former members of the FARC Mafia rank fifth on Latin America’s most powerful criminal groups list.
8. Colombia’s National Liberation Army
Active Years: 1964-Present
Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN). There is no doubt that Colombia’s ELN is Latin America’s most powerful criminal organization. Since the group broke into Venezuela it has grown to become the largest group in the hemisphere. It has diversified from kidnapping and extortion into drug trafficking, illegal mining, and smuggling previously ideologically motivated and dependent on extortion to make a living. In January 2019, the group detonated a car bomb in Bogota, killing 21 people. Over the last 25 years, the group is also accused of enslaving thousands of children and attacking hundreds of pipelines. According to Colombian police, ELN members may have carried out an attack on a union leader working for a mine run by U.S. company Drummond Coal.
9. Hell’s Angels
Founding Location: California, USA
Active Years: 1948-Present
Criminal Activities: Daemonizing, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, assaults, murders, extortions, fraud and also, kidnappings, arson, bombings, intimidation
Known as a criminal organization, the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club has a well-deserved reputation as a well-known motorcycle gang. For the clubs in the United States and Canada, incorporation also provides protection against others taking advantage of the group’s symbols and logos.
Although the club’s official statements deny the organized crime, law enforcement agencies have arrested members for crimes in several countries. Hell’s Angels groups do not appear to have a hierarchical structure, so individuals may participate in criminal activity or refrain from it.
10. D Company
Founding Location: Maharashtra, India
Active Years: 1970-Present
Criminal Activities: Mumbai underworld group, Indian mafia group, Pakistani mafia group, murder, extortion, targeted killings, drug trafficking, terrorism, multiple bomb attacks
An Indian Muslim from Mumbai named Dawood Ibrahim started a criminal organization called D Company. The heroin and also opium smuggling activities were at the center of his criminal organization. Ibrahim’s associations with Al-Qaeda have however since coming to light. Law enforcement officials in the US and India believe he played a role in terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan.
Moreover, Ibrahim is believed to have moved to Pakistan. At the same time, his organization is now committing white-collar crimes like fraud and extortion.