Thieves’ World: The Threat of the New Global Network of Organized Crime
By Claire Sterling
Simon & Schuster, 1994, 304 pp.
The author has followed her earlier books on terrorist networks and the Mafia with a clear and accessible account of the growth of ostensibly new international alliances of criminal organizations. The end of the Cold War brought an opening of borders and a collapse of authority in the East, which created vast new opportunities for criminal activity. What is particularly troubling is the dramatic rise in organized crime in Europe, led by gangs from Russia and other former communist countries. In journalistic fashion, this book tends to report allegations a bit uncritically, such as dm 50 billion said to be invested in East Germany by the Mafia, or the corruption charges leveled against Yeltsin's associates by former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and friends as part of the power struggle in Moscow. However, the book is crammed with fascinating facts and underscores how Europeans will have to square punctilious regard for individual rights with the need to fight some very tough criminals.