Some gangsters, such as Al Capone have become infamous. Gangsters are the subject of many novels and films, particularly from the period between and Some contemporary criminals refer to themselves as "gangsta" in reference to non-rhotic Black American pronunciation. In today's usage, the term " gang " is generally used for a criminal organization, and the term "gangster" invariably describes a criminal. There is agreement that the members of a gang have a sense of common identity and belonging, and this is typically reinforced through shared activities and through visual identifications such as special clothing, tattoos or rings.
For example, the common view that illegal drug distribution in the United States is largely controlled by gangs has been questioned. A gang may be a relatively small group of people who cooperate in criminal acts, as with the Jesse James gang, which ended with the leader's death in But a gang may be a larger group with a formal organization that survives the death of its leader. The Chicago Outfit created by Al Capone outlasted its founder's imprisonment and death, and survived into the 21st century.
Large and well structured gangs such as the Mafia , drug cartels , Triads or even outlaw motorcycle gangs can undertake complex transactions that would be far beyond the capability of one individual, and can provide services such as dispute arbitration and contract enforcement that parallel those of a legitimate government.
The term " organized crime " is associated with gangs and gangsters, but is not synonymous. A small street gang that engages in sporadic low-level crime would not be seen as "organized". An organization that coordinates gangs in different countries involved in the international trade in drugs or prostitutes may not be considered a "gang".
Although gangs and gangsters have existed in many countries and at many times in the past, they have played more prominent roles during times of weakened social order or when governments have attempted to suppress access to goods or services for which there is a high demand. The Sicilian Mafia , or Cosa Nostra is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy.
It is a loose association of criminal groups that share common organizational structure and code of conduct. The origins lie in the upheaval of Sicily's transition out of feudalism in and its later annexation by mainland Italy in Under feudalism, the nobility owned most of the land and enforced law and order through their private armies. After , the feudal barons steadily sold off or rented their lands to private citizens.
Primogeniture was abolished, land could no longer be seized to settle debts, and one fifth of the land was to become private property of the peasants. Organized crime has existed in Russia since the days of Imperial Russia in the form of banditry and thievery.
In the Soviet period Vory v Zakone emerged, a class of criminals that had to abide by certain rules in the prison system. One such rule was that cooperation with the authorities of any kind was forbidden. During World War II some prisoners made a deal with the government to join the armed forces in return for a reduced sentence, but upon their return to prison they were attacked and killed by inmates who remained loyal to the rules of the thieves.
Crude markets emerged, the most notorious being the Rizhsky market where prostitution rings were run next to the Rizhsky Railway Station in Moscow.
As the Soviet Union headed for collapse many former government workers turned to crime, while others moved overseas. Former KGB agents and veterans of the Afghan and First and Second Chechen Wars , now unemployed but with experience that could prove useful in crime, joined the increasing crime wave. The Albanian Mafia is active in Albania , the United States, and the European Union EU countries, participating in a diverse range of criminal enterprises including drug and arms trafficking. Ethnic Albanian gangs have grown rapidly since during the prolonged period of instability in the Balkans after the collapse of Yugoslavia.
This coincided with large scale migration throughout Europe and to the United States and Canada. Although based in Albania, the gangs often handle international transactions such as trafficking in economic migrants, drugs and other contraband, and weapons. In China, Triads trace their roots to resistance or rebel groups opposed to Manchu rule during the Qing dynasty , which were given the triangle as their emblem.
When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in in mainland China, law enforcement became stricter and tough governmental crackdown on criminal organizations forced the triads to migrate to Hong Kong , then a British colony, and other cities around the world. Triads today are highly organized, with departments responsible for functions such as accounting, recruiting, communications, training and welfare in addition to the operational arms.
They engage in a variety of crimes including extortion, money laundering, smuggling, trafficking and prostitution. Yakuza are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan.
They are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and very organized nature. As of they had an estimated 80, members. As American society and culture developed, new immigrants were relocating to the United States.
The American Mafia arose from offshoots of the Mafia that emerged in the United States during the late nineteenth century, following waves of emigration from Sicily. There were similar offshoots in Canada among Italian Canadians. In the later s many Chinese emigrated to the United States, escaping from insecurity and economic hardship at home, at first working on the west coast and later moving east.
The new immigrants formed Chinese Benevolent Associations. In some cases these evolved into Tongs , or criminal organizations primarily involved in gambling. Members of Triads who migrated to the United States often joined these tongs. With a new wave of migration in the s, street gangs began to flourish in major cities.
The tongs recruited these gangs to protect their extortion, gambling and narcotics operations. The terms "gangster" and "mobster" are mostly used in the United States to refer to members of criminal organizations associated with Prohibition or with an American offshoot of the Italian Mafia such as the Chicago Outfit , the Philadelphia Mafia , or the Five Families. Many gangs sold alcohol illegally for tremendous profit, and used acute violence to stake turf and protect their interest.
Often, police officers and politicians were paid off or extorted to ensure continued operation. Most cocaine is grown and processed in South America , particularly in Colombia , Bolivia , Peru , and smuggled into the United States and Europe, the United States being the world's largest consumer of cocaine.
By , the Colombian government, helped by the US, had successfully dismantled the cartel by imprisoning or hunting and gunning down its members. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States. Cocaine shipments from South America transported through Mexico or Central America are generally moved over land or by air to staging sites in northern Mexico. The cocaine is then broken down into smaller loads for smuggling across the U. Cocaine traffickers from Colombia, and recently Mexico, have also established a labyrinth of smuggling routes throughout the Caribbean , the Bahama Island chain, and South Florida.
They often hire traffickers from Mexico or the Dominican Republic to transport the drug. The traffickers use a variety of smuggling techniques to transfer their drug to U. Another route of cocaine traffic goes through Chile, this route is primarily used for cocaine produced in Bolivia since the nearest seaports lie in northern Chile. The arid Bolivia-Chile border is easily crossed by 4x4 vehicles that then head to the seaports of Iquique and Antofagasta.
Al Capone was one of the most influential gangsters during the period. Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in to immigrant parents, Capone was recruited by members of the Five Points Gang in the early s.
Capone would rise to control a major portion of illicit activity such as gambling , prostitution , and bootlegging in Chicago during the early twentieth century. Frank Costello was another influential gangster. He was born in southern Italy but moved to America when he was four years old.
He later changed his name from Francesco Castiglia to Frank Costello when he joined a gang at age His name change led some people to mistakenly believe he was Irish. He worked with Charlie Luciano in bootlegging and gambling. He also had a lot of political power which enabled him to continue his business.
He took charge when Luciano was arrested and expanded the gang's operations. He decided to step away from the gangster life and died peacefully in Carlo Gambino was an influential gangster in America. From until he died in , he was chairman of the Italian-American Mafia.
Gambino was born in Palermo, Sicily , but moved to the United States at the age of Through his Castellano relatives, he joined the Masseria Family. Later Scalise was stripped of his rank, and Vincenzo Mangano became boss until , when Mangano disappeared. His body was never found. They were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including torture and the murders of Jack "The Hat" McVitie and George Cornell.
The Krays were highly feared within their social environment. In the s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television. They were arrested in and both sentenced to life imprisonment. Lucky Luciano born Salvatore Lucania , a Sicilian gangster, is considered to be the father of modern organized crime and the mastermind of the massive postwar expansion of the international heroin trade.
He was the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family and is credited with organizing the American Mafia's ruling body.
Born in southern Italy in , Torrio immigrated to the United States with his mother after his father's death, which happened when he was three years old. Known as "The Fox" for his cunning, he helped the formation of the Chicago Outfit and he is credited for inspiring the birth of the National Crime Syndicate. He was severely wounded by members of the North Side Gang while returning from a shopping trip, forcing him, along with other problems, to quit the criminal activity.
He died in and the media learned about his death three weeks after his burial. Color preview Color code. Writing Machine Bold Oblique. Writing Machine-Badkeys One Oblique. Writing Machine-Badkeys Two Oblique. DS Magi Writing Regular. Reading and Writing Doodles. DS Celestial Writing Regular. DS Enochian Writing Regular. DS Malachim Writing Regular. DS Masonic Writing Regular. DS Sanskrit Writing Regular. Old English Style Value Pack.
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