Arrests in Europe Indicate progress in Russian Transnational Crime Investigation

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Thursday, August 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
During the beginning of June, investigations against Russian transnational organized crime progressed with the arrest of more than 40 persons suspected of involvement in a network of businesses connected with Russian operatives, showing European and international enforcement cooperation against the network. Much of the enforcement activity has occurred as a result of an investigation into Russian organized crime activities near the seaside resort of Rimini in northeastern Italy, where Russian businesses became active in the purchase of clothing and consumer goods for the Russian market. Law enforcement officials have linked some of the money involved in the investigation of accounts of the Benex Corporation and related accounts at the Bank of New York. The investigation of bank and commercial records revealed a criminal network of primarily Russian and Italian businesses. Law enforcement officials have detained 20 persons in Italy, 12 in France and Monte Carlo, and the remainder in several other European countries and Canada. About half of the detainees are Russian. The arrests have led to the uncovering of further documents and investigative leads.