French Riviera Overrun With Organized Crime

Cornish Road, Marseilles, France. From the Library of Congress.

Marseilles has long been considered a hotbed of organized crime, but as The Telegraph reports, mobs from the former Soviet republics are so endemic to Southern France now that detectives in the region “expect an eastern connection to almost every crime.”

Said to control prostitution, money laundering, and burglary, the eastern organized crime figures come from Georgia and Chechnya as often as from Russia. Mobs from both countries tend to have strong military and paramilitary roots because of conflicts in the region, from Georgia’s free-form battle with Russian-supported separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to Chechen separatists’ almost twenty-year war against the Russians, in recent years supported by Al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist groups.



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