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  • Trafficking, extortion, violence, and  murder; running a gang is a messy business.  

  • Though some organizations might have been  humanized, even glamorized in film and TV,  

  • make no mistake about it: organized crime  is a brutal and deadly field of work. All  

  • over the world, there are a handful of criminal  organizations that have extended their power and  

  • reach to levels of infamy. Some you may have heard  of; some keep their operations better hidden,  

  • or are only really well-known in their  corner of the world. We sent our terrified  

  • investigators out in the field to tell uswho are the deadliest gangs in the world?

  • [SINALOA CARTEL]

  • Let's start with an organization that seemingly  can't keep themselves out of the news;  

  • the Sinaloa Cartel. The most  powerful gang in Mexico,  

  • and at this point world-famous for its  drug trafficking activities, the Sinaloa  

  • Cartel has unfortunately made some parts of  beautiful Mexico almost unlivable for locals.

  • Their leader, nicknamed El Chapo - real nameJoaquin Guzman Loera - has profited so much  

  • off of the violence that Forbes included him on  a list of the most powerful people in the world.  

  • Loera ran Sinaloa with an iron fistand was so well-connected and powerful,  

  • corrupting so many of the countries' politicians,  

  • judges, and policemen, that he managed  to escape high-security prisons twice.

  • In fact, the Sinaloa Cartel is so  unafraid of legal repercussions,  

  • that they post videos of their murders online  to serve as warnings to rivals. The cartel has  

  • been directly or indirectly responsible for the  deaths of tens of thousands of people - at least.  

  • Just one turf war with Juarez Cartel, over  control of Ciudad Juarez trafficking routes,  

  • resulted in the deaths of 5,000 to 12,000 people.

  • Many people seem to think Mexican cartels  operate mainly between the US and Mexico.  

  • Even though the Sinaloa Cartel has [emphasisallegedly permeated both the US and Mexican  

  • federal governments, their reach is much more  global. Currently, the Sinaloa Cartel has a 60%  

  • stake in the US-Mexican drug tradeprofits of about $3 billion per year,  

  • and markets ranging from next door  neighbors to Russia and Australia.

  • [SOLNTSEVSKAYA BRATVA]

  • If a gang is feared by Russians, you know  it has to be one of the world's deadliest.  

  • This is the case with Solntsevskaya  Bratva. Named for the Solntsevo District  

  • in Moscow in which it was founded  in the 1980s by Sergei Mikhailov,  

  • this gang started as a rough and tumble  street gang. They recruited local, unemployed,  

  • aggressive young men as foot soldiers and got  their start in not-so-legal car import businesses.

  • However, during the 90s, Solntsevskaya Bratva  moved on up into banking. This enabled them  

  • to both launder money more efficiently and get  closer to the new class of Russian oligarchs.

  • Some people allege that the gang is now protected  by Russia's intelligence agency, the FSB.  

  • We would never make such allegations of course;  

  • we're just reporting on the rumors heard  around Moscow and in the Wikileaks scandal.

  • Currently, they are estimated to rake in up  to $8.5 billion a year from their several,  

  • apparently rather profitableventures. The - [pause] once again,  

  • alleged [pause] - protection of FSB  allows Solntsevskaya Bratva to operate  

  • pretty easily and discreetly without  much interference from law enforcement.

  • [MS-13 -MARA SALVATRUCHA]

  • No list of deadly gangs would be complete  without MS-13; full name, Mara Salvatrucha.  

  • Founded by Salvadorians in California in the  1980s, MS-13 operates in the US and El Salvador,  

  • Guatemala, and Honduras. They have  approximately 50,000 to 70,000 members,  

  • with an estimated 10,000 of them in the US.

  • MS-13 is by no means an enormous gang, especially  in the US. The Justice Department estimates that  

  • they account for less than 1% of all US gang  members. They also don't control a significant  

  • part of the drug trade. Unfortunatelythey are particularly well-known for  

  • their extreme violence, which frequently  gets them placed in nationwide headlines.

  • However, those who intensely  study and report on MS-13,  

  • including Hannah Dreier fromThe  Washington Post”, emphasize that  

  • the public wildly misunderstands the  group's reach, targets, and ambitions.

  • Unlike other organized crime families  whose bosses dress in $5,000 suits,  

  • many MS-13 members work minimum wage jobs  in the daytime, which is why they mostly  

  • meet at night. They are not raking in profits  from drugs, nor are they planning high-stakes  

  • international power plays. In fact, most are  teenagers, or at most in their early 20s.

  • That being said, they can be shockingly  violent and brutal within their local  

  • communities. They also mostly tend  to target other Latino immigrants,  

  • especially undocumented workers who  don't feel they can report to the police.

  • Why the name? “Marameans gang, “Salva”  references their Salvadorean origins,  

  • andtruchais slang forsavviness”.

  • [COSA NOSTRA]

  • Next up is Cosa Nostra - aka, the Italian Mafia.  

  • This is probably the first gang most  people in the US hear of growing up,  

  • especially if those people are Scorsese fansIf you've seen Robert DeNiro in anything,  

  • you may think you have a good idea of how Cosa  Nostra, which translates toour thing”, works.

  • The earliest records of a “mafiain Sicily were  the Gabellotto, businessmen who leased farmland  

  • from aristocrats then hired protection for the  land and kept strict control over the farmers-  

  • sound familiar?. Eventually, they took  over the land entirely, and used violence  

  • and fear to forcibly extract protection  money from the farmers under their thumb.

  • Perhaps the biggest power move the  mafia made was understanding that  

  • having a foothold in government  and alliances with politicians  

  • would help them grow exponentiallyDuring the Unification of Italy in 1861,  

  • the Italian government actually relied on the  mafiosi to control the Sicilian government.

  • During Mussolini's fascist rule, eliminating the  mafia, seemingly as violently as possible, was  

  • made a priority. Many mafiosi were either killed  in the 1920s or escaped to the United States.  

  • Us intelligence agencies ended up guaranteeing  Cosa Nostra bosses like Vito Genovese and Lucky  

  • Luciano their freedom in exchange for their  help in liberating Italy from fascist rule.

  • These days, Cosa Nostra still includes several  families, including the five prominent US  

  • families: Genovese, Bonanno, Gambino, ColomboLucchese. Some are allied and some are at war  

  • with each other. The mob retains around 25,000  members and 250,000 “associatesaround the world.  

  • They mostly deal in extortion, racketeeringgambling, smuggling and sale of illegal goods,  

  • and, let's just say, “settlingsome disputes by  making sure one side is never heard from again.

  • [MUNGIKI]

  • Though the Mungiki may not be as well-known as  Mexican cartels or Cosa Nostra, they are a force  

  • to be reckoned with in Kenya. They have at least  100,000 members, though no one is sure of their  

  • exact numbers, and conduct multi-million  dollar rackets in the slums of Nairobi.  

  • They can also be incredibly brutal, executing and  displaying the heads of those who betray them.

  • The machete-wielding Mungikiwhose name meansmultitude”,  

  • are mostly from the Kikuyu ethnic  group. In terms of reach of power,  

  • they are increasingly - and disturbingly - getting  involved in politics. They have played a central  

  • role in violence surrounding many contested  elections in Kenya, and have slaughtered men,  

  • women, and children from other ethnic groups  who opposed Kikuyu politicians. The Mungiki also  

  • back election candidates and have been linked to  several corrupt politicians in Kenyan government.

  • Kenyan police have responded  equally brutally to the violence,  

  • killing Mungiki members in the streets. In  2002, Kenya announced a ban on the Mungiki,  

  • which shockingly did little to change violent  gang members' minds about their group membership.

  • The gang is still very muchbrutal and violent force in Kenya,  

  • and perhaps even more terrifyingly, their  operations are so secretive that no one  

  • really knows the extent of  their influence and power.  

  • Some officials estimate that their numbers  could actually be in the couple of millions.

  • Cementing their role as one of the most  dangerous and terrifying gangs in the world,  

  • they have also been known to  conduct forced female circumcision.

  • [UNITED BAMBOO]

  • Though its name might sound  like a Benetton competitor,  

  • United Bamboo is no joke. Locallythey are known as Zhu Lien Bang.

  • Operating mostly out of Taiwan,  

  • this group maintains networks to many major  organized crime families around the world  

  • to enable their various drug smuggling and  human trafficking businesses to flourish.

  • Politically, they appear to have ties to  North Korea and were originally backed by the  

  • Chinese government. United Bamboo includes  10,000 mostly ethnically Chinese members,  

  • and is very adamant on silencing their  opponents. They have been known to kill  

  • journalists who look too closely into them and  their operations, even as far away as California.

  • [pause]....Aaaaand perhaps that's a good cue  

  • for us to move on and pretend we  never talked about any of this.

  • [YAKUZA]

  • Moving one country over, let's look at a gang  with a very different reputation - the Yakuza.  

  • You might wonder why the Yakuza are on this  list, as they have a more, let's say, “refined”  

  • reputation than most. At least, as refined as  criminals, smugglers, and murderers can be.

  • It is generally true that Japanese people  and tourists who don't actively seek  

  • business with the Yakuza don't have much to  fear from them. The Yakuza generally avoid  

  • flashy mass violence so they can dodge  too much attention from authorities.

  • However, the Yakuza are still an  over 100-year old organization  

  • that is heavily involved in Japanese governmentsupporting and financing several candidates and  

  • parties of their choosing. Moreover, the Yakuza  are one of the wealthiest gangs in the world,  

  • with estimated revenues of  over $10 billion per year.  

  • Their wealth and power makes them quite  dangerous to anyone who opposes them.

  • Since Japan doesn't have equivalent laws  to the RICO Act - Racketeer Influenced and  

  • Corrupt Organizations Act - in the  US, it's hard for the legal system  

  • in Japan to tie Yakuza bosses to  the crimes of their organizations.

  • Though the Yakuza try to project  a “nobleimage in Japan,  

  • with members generally dressing  well and speaking politely,  

  • it's important to remember that they are still  criminals responsible for thriving trafficking,  

  • prostitution - much of it forced, - extortionand other drug and gambling businesses in Japan.

  • [ARYAN BROTHERHOOD]

  • Back to US soil. Founded in  1964 in San Quentin Prison,  

  • the Aryan Brotherhood has mostly beenprison gang for the majority of its existence.  

  • Though they only have around 15,000 members,  a tiny percent of the prison population,  

  • US authorities believe they are responsible  for around 25% of all prison murders.

  • Because their spheres of operation  are mostly within jail cell walls,  

  • many citizens underestimate the power, extentand influence of the Aryan Brotherhood. However,  

  • anyone who has been in jail is  probably aware of the brutality  

  • and extreme violence this particular  gang inflicts on those they hate.

  • In fact, the Anti-Defamation League has given  them the title ofmost violent extremist group  

  • in the US”. Their neo-Nazi beliefs translate to  them generally only accepting white members. Many  

  • people have to either kill or aid in the killing  of another inmate to gain entry into the gang.

  • The Aryan Brotherhood is engaged in drug  trafficking, prostitution - including forced  

  • inmate prostitution, and murder for hire. We  know this list of activities is starting to  

  • sound repetitive, but it turns out dangerous gangs  aren't very creative with their income sources.

  • They are also pretty easy to spot thanks to  things most of society has thankfully rejected,  

  • like prominent swastika tattoos.

  • [14K TRIAD]

  • The Hong Kong-based 14k Triad gang might not  be very well known outside East Asia. However,  

  • it is estimated to be the second largest  drug trafficking syndicate in the world,  

  • dealing mostly in exporting heroin and opium from  China and Southeast Asia to the rest of the globe.

  • In addition to the usual prostitutionweapons trafficking, etc.,  

  • the 14k Triad has very effectively  infiltrated Chinese police ranks  

  • and even some government offices. This not  only protects their operations at home,  

  • but has also enabled them to extend their  influence internationally. The gang operates  

  • in Africa, South America, Europe, North  America, even Australia and New Zealand.

  • People in these countries aren't necessarily  safe from the 14k Triad's dealings if they  

  • stay away from drugs. The gang has kidnapped  high-profile and rich families in the past,  

  • killed bystanders in Macau, and recklessly  engages in drive-by shootings and car bombings.

  • [BLOODS & CRIPS]

  • Though the Bloods and Crips are two  separate gangs that operate as enemies,  

  • we grouped them together as people usually  don't mention one without mentioning the other.

  • Many high-profile rappers, especially from the  West Coast, litter references to the Bloods and  

  • Crips in their songs to show their street credThese gangs originally started in Los Angeles,  

  • even though they now boast members andsets” -  what their chapters are called - all over the US.

  • As we're certain some friends told you in middle  school to sound cool, Bloods wear red and Crips  

  • wear blue. You can't walk into some neighborhoods  if you're wearing the opposing colors.

  • The Bloods were actually created in 1972 in  order to fight the increasing power and danger  

  • of the Crips. Did you know that bothBloods”  andCripsare acronyms? Better yet, there's  

  • almost no way you can guess what these acronyms  stand for. “Bloodsstands forBrotherly Love  

  • Overrides Oppression and Destructionwhile Crips  stands forCommunity Revolution In Progress”.

  • Originally these two organizations were meant to  help oppressed black communities throw off the  

  • yoke of police brutality, but sadly devolved into  the petty street gangs they are today. Currently,  

  • the Bloods are estimated to have around 25,000  members, while the Crips number closer to 50,000.

  • Now go check out Deadliest gangs in the United  States, or click this other video instead!

Trafficking, extortion, violence, and  murder; running a gang is a messy business.  

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Deadliest Gangs in the World

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/21
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