: Russian mafia expands in Germany

15:41 Jul. 10, 2016

Russian mafia expands in Germany

Barbwire at the wall for executions in the Prison Castle in Tobolsk, Russia, January 20, 2016. (Getty Images)

Ties with former USSR criminals and German prisons enhance Russian criminals' positions

The Russian mafia actively establishes new criminal networks and commits multiple crimes in Germany. This is according to Holger Münch, President of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

Read also Seven members of Russian mafia arrested in Spain

In the interview with German Die Welt am Sonntag he stated that billions of euros might be lost since the Russian mafia is spreading within the country.

"We are experiencing Russian-Eurasian organized crime as very dynamic," Holger Münch told the Sunday edition of the daily Die Welt newspaper.

According to him, the Russian mafia is also active in crimes which are considered ‘unpopular' for the organized mafia like mass burglary and shop thefts.

One of the most dangerous phenomena is the so-called "thieves in law" - mafia bosses who bring together not only Russians, but also Abkhazians, Georgians and Turkmen (all ethnic groups of the former Soviet Union multi-ethnic state).

Read also: Operation "Matryoshka": Russian mafia penetrates European football clubs

According to police, earlier about 20,000-40,000 individuals living in Germany might have ties with the Russian mafia. In the meantime, officials can report a very approximate 'five-digit number because some of the crimes committed are never reported, Münch says.

The criminals have formed strong networks like those built in the Soviet Union or in German prisons.

"From 8 to 10 percent of prisoners in Germany are Russian speaking or immigrants from Russia. It is nearly 5,000 people," Münch stated branding this as Germany's mafia ‘potential for recruiting'.

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