mafia power play
EXCERPTS FROM 9/97 CLASSIFIED ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING ON EAST EUROPEAN-BASED ORGANIZED CRIME
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NOTE: Several sections of this document were redacted by the RCMP


Connections to Canada and the United States: National Hockey League Players

This brings us to the issue of Russian hockey players who have left the former Soviet Union (FSU) and entered the National Hockey League (NHL). There have been reports regarding extortion of individual players[1].

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. These occurrences may subside, however, as East European-based organized crime (EEOC) operating in North America finds it more lucrative to lure and co-opt Russian NHL players. While it is not in a position to wrestle for financial control of the NHL, Eastern European based organized crime operating in North America, in imitation of its counterparts in Russia, will attempt to use the public acceptance and enthusiasm for NHL players to lend itself seeming legitimacy

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East European-based Organized Crime: Organized Sports and Organized Crime

While Russian hockey players in the NHL should not be branded as organized crime associates, law enforcement needs to be mindful of the nature of the relationship between organized crime and sports in Russia, and the ways in which EEOC in North America may attempt to use Russian NHL players in order to establish itself, either through its representatives or its business fronts, in Canada.

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Missing NHL transfer Fees

Another connection between the NHL and Russian hockey organizations, yet to be explored, relates to the lucrative transfer fees paid to Russian hockey clubs by NHL teams eager to recruit Russian hockey players. Although this money was supposedly earmarked for the ailing Russian hockey system, there is little evidence of reinvestment in Russian hockey. The possibility is high that at least a portion of this money has fallen into the hands of criminal organizations in Russia.


EEOC's Proceeds from Russia Enter North America

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As these activites continue, EEOC will increasingly seek out North American commercial structures and financial institutions in which to place its illegally obtained proceeds. The use of Russian sports figures in North America can facilitate not only the entry of EEOC figures into Canada, but also the laundering of illegal proceeds and the furthering of EEOC commercial interests and fronts.

[1] A fifteen-month U.S. Senate investigation to determine the influence of Russian organized crime on former Soviet players in the NHL was conducted, including interviews with over 100 NHL players, officials, owners, team members and agents. The investigation stated that "a significant percentage" of Russian NHL players from the FSU have been extorted, with an estimated one-third of the players having some direct involvement.
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