Misha Glenny -
It was the police who first noticed something odd happening ... the phenomenon of the youth gangs ... the crime wave centred on Tel Aviv. Misha Glenny, McMafia
A network of pimps, brothels, protection rackets, counterfeit documents and kidnapping. ibid.
The importation of labour into Israel is a corrupt business in which orgnised crime also engages ... The trafficking of indentured or slave labour as the fastest growing sector ... The brothels themselves are the bottom of this murky heap. I can barely describe the pathetic ageing women, listlessly chainsmoking in rooms seven feet by three, ready to survive any passer-by for ten bucks (yes, ten bucks). ibid.
The oligarchs and organised crime bosses started colonising Israel for a number of reasons. It was the ideal place to invest or launder money. Israel’s banking system was design to encourage atiyah ... Israel had embraced the zeitgeist of international financial deregulation and considerable eased controls on the import and export of capital ... It had no money-laundering legislation. ibid.
Israeli police estimated that these Russians laundered between $5 and $10 billion through Israeli banks in the 15 years following the collapse of communism. ibid.
For the Jewish oligarchs and gang bosses, Israel was both a retreat and, by dint of its passport, a door to the outside world. ibid.
Now Israelis were about to discover that the years of champagne and excess in the 1990s had spawned a new phenomenon – indigenous Israeli organised crime. And, unlike the Russians, these people cared little about their public image. ibid.
Gambling had been the traditional industry around which the Israeli crime syndicates gathered and thrived. ibid.
In 2003 the US State Department issued a report which claimed that Israel is the hub of global Ecstasy trafficking, having branched out from Europe to the US. ibid.
The DEA implied in one report that the turf was in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles over the Ecstasy trade may be directly linked to the open warfare between families in Israel. ibid.
But the extent of the internationalisation of organised crime and the role that Israelis played in it would not have been possible without globalisation – and one aspect in particular, the deregulation of international financial markets. ibid.