The Fortune Five largest organized crime families have been revealed and, while cyber crime is all over the news these days, these organizations still practice the tried and true trades of sex, drugs, gambling and extortion.
A 2013 survey from Javelin Strategy and Research estimates that the annual total loss to Americans due to identity theft was roughly $20 billion. But much of those costs comes from efforts to prevent identity theft or recover from its effects, rather than what thieves earn from their crimes. Compare that to estimates of pure revenue from other forms of organized crime like the drug trade and human trafficking: the Organization of American States estimates that the revenue for cocaine sales in the U.S. has reached $34 billion annually. When you add the market for other illicit drugs and revenue generators like human trafficking and extortion, it becomes clear that organized crime is still making most of its money from its legacy businesses, despite the fact that criminals are always looking for new ways to make a buck.
So who are the top five biggest crime families in the world?
Fifth on the list is Mexico’s largest drug cartel, Sinaloa. With an estimated 60% market share, Sinola cartel is raking in approximately $3 billion per year.
In fourth place is a crime family we have heard a great deal about in recent months, Italy’s notorious ‘Ndrangheta with revenues of $4.5 billion a year. The Gambino Crime Family in the US does have ties to ‘Ndrangheta and, in February of this year, some members of that Mob family were charged with helping to transport drugs on behalf of ‘Ndrangheta.
This crime family is so brutal, one of its members was once charged with feeding a rival too ravenous hogs. There are even rumors that 'Ndrangheta wants the Pope dead.
The third largest is none other than Camorra, with yearly revenues estimated just slightly above that of ‘Ndrangheta.
Camorra has its stronghold in Italy much like 'Ndrangheta. They make most of their money from sexual exploitation, firearms trafficking, drugs, counterfeiting, gambling … usury and extortion.
Second on the list is Solntsevskaya Bratva, and you can probably tell by the name, the Russian Mob has pushed ahead of Italy's mainstays. In fact, Solntsevskaya Bratva takes in nearly double of that of Camorra.
Their structure, according to Frederico Varese, a professor of criminology at the University of Oxford and an expert on international organized crime, is highly decentralized. The group is composed of 10 separate quasi-autonomous “brigades” that operate more or less independently of each other. The group does pool its resources, however, and the money is overseen by a 12-person council that “meets regularly in different parts of the world, often disguising their meetings as festive occasions,” Varesi says.
Yet the Russians and Italians have nothing on the Japanese when it comes to organized crime.
The top crime family in the world is none other than Yamaguchi Gumi, which takes in a staggering $80 billion annually. That's more than all four other crime families combined multiplied by four.
Much of that money is derived from illegal drug sales. The next two leading sources of revenue are gambling and extortion, followed closely by “dispute resolution”, according to Fortune.com.
- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com