Globalization has brought down country barriers to trade and provided the opportunity for organized crime to flourish internationally like never before, especially with advances in electronic financial transfers and transactions. After the breakup of the USSR, these opportunities for immense profits reduced ethnic barriers among the various mafias and encouraged more cooperation between them internationally. Perhaps no mafia has prospered as much under this new environment in the past 10 years as the Russian Mafia. It has infiltrated governments in Russia and Ukraine, and has expanded into Europe, Israel, United States and Canada where it has been funding politicians and their political parties.
The Russian Mafia has formed alliances. A good example of this occurred in the Czech republic. [See "Russian, Italian Mafias Divide Republic" in Mlada Fronta Dnes 12Oct93]. In October 1992 members of the Italian and Russian Mafias met in Prague, and divided up the areas of their respective operations. Italian gangs use the Czech Republic as a place for recreation and support, while the Russians use it for money laundering as well as arms dealing, drug trafficking, blackmail and prostitution. The Russian Mafia has alliances with the Columbian drug cartels and the traditional Italian New York families. It has taken advantage of money laundering networks set up decades ago by the Lansky Criminal Syndicate in the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe. From its beachhead in Brighton Beach with the “Organizatsiya” in the 1970s and 1980s, the Russian Mafia has spread its tentacles to other American cities such as Miami and Los Angeles, and also into Canadian cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Articles about the mafia oligarchs in Ukraine/Russia have been regularly if not frequently appearing with information about their operations. They are written by courageous journalists, many of whom have disappeared as a result. The picture that has emerged is that Western countries, led by United States and the organizations such as the IMF/WB or HIID which it dominates, have supported the mafia oligarchs. When citizens started asking questions why Western politicians put their priorities on the mafia instead of the rule of law, they began to see that these same politicians had ties to organized crime. Authors such as Friedman and others have named names and parties such as the DNC and RNC in USA and both the Conservative and Liberal Parties in Canada. The list of politicians is long and includes the highest levels of politics. For examples, there are Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Benjamin Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky, Ehud Barak, Charles Schumer, Rudolph Giuliani, Benjamin Gilman, Mario Cuomo, Frank Lautenberg, Jim Greenwood, Brian Mulroney, Michael Wilson, Monte Kwinter, Gerry Weiner, Barbara McDougall, Paul Martin, Art Eggleton, Maurizio Bevilacqua, and Jean Augustine, to name but a few.
Last week in Canada, criminal charges were laid against the former Premier of British Columbia, Glen Clark wrt to “Casinogate”. There are also four criminal investigations under way in Prime Minister Chretien’s own riding (not yet known if mafia-linked). Another one that can be added to the list is Chretien’s Labour Minister, Alfonso Gagliano.
Below is an excerpt from the article, “The Rothschilds of the Mafia on Aruba” (Aruba has been described as the “world’s first Mafia state.”), published in Transnational Organized Crime, describing Gagliano’s accounting services linked to the Cuntrera-Caruana mafia family.
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Some, like Alfonso Gagliano, representative in the Canadian Federal Parliament for Montreal's 'Little Italy' Saint Leonard, rose to prominent positions.
The accountant Gagliano is a loyal supporter of Canada's Prime-Minister Jean Chretien. Gagliano organized the Liberal Party's fund raising for the 1993 election-campaign. He was a candidate for a position in the new government of Mr Chretien. The RCMP is asked to screen every probable future minister, and Mr Gagliano didn't quite pass the test.(65) The Montreal daily La Presse revealed why: Gagliano's accountancy firm kept the books of Agostino Cuntrera, a nephew of Pasquale Cuntrera and implicated in the murder of Paolo Violi, boss of the local Cotroni-family, in 1978. The murder was a sign that the Sicilian clan had taken over control in Montreal. Agostino Cuntrera was never convicted; he struck a deal with the Canadian Justice Department.
Asked about his relationship with Agostino Cuntrera, Gagliano said: 'Mr Cuntrera is an acquaintance. We both come from Siculiana. I met him during a engagement in a church. He came to me in the 1970's when he wanted me as his bookkeeper for his restaurant.' Gagliano et Cie kept Agostino Cuntrera as a client after his complicity in the Violi-murder was revealed. Agostino Cuntrera and Gagliano saw each other occasionally during marriages and activities of the Association de Siculiana, a cultural association founded by Mr Gagliano, who was its first president. Some years after Mr Gagliano's chairmanship, Agostino Cuntrera became president of the association.
Nor was Agostino Cuntrera the only client of Gagliano. Another was Dima Messina, the financial aid of Montreal Mafia-boss Vito Rizzuto. An RCMP investigation showed that Messina laundered 22 million Canadian dollars for Rizzuto in 1986-88. Rizzuto's Ferrari Testarossa (a 250,000 dollar Italian sports car) was registered under Messina's name.
During the controlled delivery of 58 kilos of heroin to Montreal in 1985 - the RCMP and British Customs were aware of the traffic and closely watched the transactions - one of the traffickers, Filippo Vaccarello, and an unidentified person, were observed entering the office of Mr Gagliano before the heroin arrived. After leaving the office Vaccarello proceeded with a tour of notorious bars well-known as selling points for heroin.
Bookkeeping proves to be a sensitive business for a politician. When
the matter was discussed in Parliament after La Presse disclosed the
facts, Premier Chretien declared: 'This Parliament would be much better
off if we had more Gagliano's.'(66)
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