Organized crime

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Genovese Crime Family
Gambino Crime Family
Magliocco Crime Family
Lucchese Crime Family
Bonanno Crime Family

Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, rebel forces, white supremacists, and separatists, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for "protection". Gangs may often be deemed organized crime groups or, under stricter definitions of organized crime, may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. A criminal organization can also be referred to as a gang, mafia, mob, ring, or syndicate; the network, subculture, and community of criminals may be referred to as the underworld.


  • That is why despite its imperfections, the European Union can be, and indeed is, a powerful inspiration for many around the world. Because the challenges faced from one region to the other may differ in scale but they do not differ in nature. We all share the same planet. Poverty, organised crime, terrorism, climate change: these are problems that do not respect national borders. We share the same aspirations and universal values: these are progressively taking root in a growing number of countries all over the world. We share “l’irréductible humain, the irreducible uniqueness of the human being. Beyond our nation, beyond our continent, we are all part of one mankind. Jean Monnet, ends his Memoirs with these words: “Les nations souveraines du passé ne sont plus le cadre où peuvent se résoudre les problèmes du présent. Et la communauté elle-même n’est qu’un étape vers les formes d’organisation du monde de demain.” (“The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present. And the [European] Community itself is only a stage on the way to the organised world of the future.”) This federalist and cosmopolitan vision is one of the most important contributions that the European Union can bring to a global order in the making.
  • If you look into the history of what is called the CIA, which means the US White House, its secret wars, clandestine warfare, the trail of drug production just follows. It started in France after the Second World War when the United States was essentially trying to reinstitute the traditional social order, to rehabilitate Fascist collaborators, wipe out the Resistance and destroy the unions and so on. The first thing they did was reconstitute the Mafia, as strikebreakers or for other such useful services. And the Mafia doesn't do it for fun, so there was a tradeoff: Essentially, they allowed them to reinstitute the heroin production system, which had been destroyed by the Fascists. The Fascists tended to run a pretty tight ship; they didn't want any competition, so they wiped out the Mafia. But the US reconstituted it, first in southern Italy, and then in southern France with the Corsican Mafia. That's where the famous French Connection comes from. That was the main heroin center for many years. Then US terrorist activities shifted over to Southeast Asia. If you want to carry out terrorist activities, you need local people to do it for you, and you also need secret money to pay for it, clandestine hidden money. Well, if you need to hire thugs and murderers with secret money, there aren't many options. One of them is the drug connection. The so-called Golden Triangle around Burma, Laos and Thailand became a big drug producing area with the help of the United States, as part of the secret wars against those populations.
    • Noam Chomsky, Interview by John Veit in High Times, April 1998
  • A very interesting report on the London property market as a refuge for secret assets and dirty money – published in March 2015 by Transparency UK – spoke of money coming from corruption or corrupt individuals, without ever mentioning the word “Mafia”; nor did it ever mention “organised crime”. The reason is simple: with the exception of a few very rare cases, in the UK the mafia is not something that you can see or hear. There aren’t dead bodies on the streets, or shootings. In Mexico or in Italy, between corpses, blood and drug seizures it’s impossible to think that the Mafia doesn’t exist. In Italy and in Mexico Mafia is loud and it smells of blood. In London, as in Paris, it exists, but it’s quiet, it acts in the dark. And most of all it doesn’t have the pungent smell of blood, but the reassuring smell of money. It’s not true that money doesn’t smell, it does smell indeed, but you definitely can’t rely on your sense of smell to identify criminal money.
  • In silence, illegal assets are moving around and undermining our economy and our democracies. In silence. But it doesn’t stop here; organised crime is providing us with a winning economic model. Organised crime is the only segment of global economy to have not been affected by the financial crisis; to have profited from the crisis, to have fed on the crisis, to have contributed to the crisis. And it’s in the crisis that it finds its satellite activities, such as usury, gambling, counterfeiting. But the most important – and most alarming – aspect of this issue is that it’s exactly in times of crisis that criminal organisations find their safe haven in banks.
  • Have you ever asked yourselves why Mafias from all over the world are constantly opening restaurants, cafes or shops? Because this type of commercial activity has huge amounts of cash coming in. A Mafioso businessman’s number one priority is not to make money, but to hand out receipts in order to justify money that he already has. In Italy, where tax avoidance is extremely high, we know that when a shopkeeper is reluctant to give you a receipt he or she is almost definitely committing an offence, but almost definitely not a Mafioso. Businesses run by the Mafia will always give you a receipt. And the Russian Mafia, in the years of the wavering ruble, safely stored away its money in London’s luxury homes, fuelling London’s property bubble with dirty money. The fictitious buying and selling of property is one of organised crime’s favourite ways of laundering money. ... This is how entire neighbourhoods in London are becoming unoccupied, turning into investments’ empty spaces. Money moves in, and people move out.


  • Danbury wasn't a prison, it was a crime school. I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana, came out with a Doctorate of cocaine. ~ George Jung.
  • A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night. ~ Nicky Santoro.
  • When they send for you, you go in alive, you come out dead, and it's your best friend that does it. ~ Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero.
  • When I introduce you, I'm gonna say, "This is a friend of mine." That means you're a connected guy. Now if I said instead, "this is a friend of ours", that would mean you a made guy. Capice? ~ Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero.
  • [Luca Brasi's bulletproof vest is delivered with a fish inside]
    • What the hell is this? ~ Sonny Corleone
    • It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes. ~ Pete Clemenza.
  • There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. ~ Michael Corleone.
  • You know, Michael; now that you're so respectable, I think you're more dangerous than ever. I liked you better when you were just a common Mafia hood. ~ Kay Adams/Corleone.
  • The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends ~ Don Altobello.
  • And when the cops, when they assigned a whole army to stop Jimmy, what'd he do? He made 'em partners ~ Henry Hill.
  • All they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. That's what it's all about. That's what the FBI can never understand - that what Paulie and the organization offer is protection for the kinds of guys who can't go to the cops. They're like the police department for wiseguys. ~ Henry Hill.
  • For most of the guys, killing's got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules. But sometimes, even if people didn't get out of line, they got whacked. I mean, hits just became a habit for some of the guys. Guys would get into arguments over nothing and before you knew it, one of them was dead. And they were shooting each other all the time. Shooting people was a normal thing. It was no big deal. ~ Henry Hill.
  • Don't get high on your own supply. ~ Elvira Hancock
  • I'm in the waste management business. Everybody immediately assumes you're mobbed up. It's a stereotype, and it's offensive. ~ Tony Soprano.
  • There is no Mafia. ~ Tony Soprano.
  • You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word. ~ Al Capone.
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