Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Berlin: A Russian Mafia Hub

A UPI newswire article by Stefan Nicola, via The Middle East Times, reports that:

Berlin has become a European hub for the Russian mafia, according to security experts in the German capital.

If you own a BMW X5 or a Porsche Cayenne, you shouldn't park it in the streets of Berlin too often, because these fancy SUVs top the list from which the Russian mafia is "shopping" in Germany's capital. The criminals cruise the rich neighborhoods until they find their car of choice, then open, short-circuit and load it onto a truck -- in less than two minutes. Chances are the owners won't see their cars again.

"Such vehicles are brought into nearby body shops … where they are tuned or taken apart completely," Bernd Finger, the head of the Berlin Criminal Office, said earlier this month in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "From there they are taken to intermediate traders in Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia. And from there they are taken into the buyer's country, most often Russia or Asia."

Finger is Berlin's chief anti-mafia czar, and he raised eyebrows when he recently revealed that Berlin, along with London and New York, has turned into a hub for the Russian mafia.

More here.


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