Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper yesterday cited a government report that members of 15 Russian-based criminal organizations had sent agents to Israel and attempted to infiltrate the domestic political system. It also said an internal security report to the Israeli cabinet estimates that worldwide Russian criminal traffic in illegal money totals $30 billion. It quoted Israeli police as saying that $2 billion has already flowed into Israel due to the country’s lack of action against counterfeiting. Police also told Yediot they suspected Russian crime syndicates would seek to use their money to influence media networks, central public institutions, and government representatives. (13)
The latest wave of Russian emigration to Israel began four years ago with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. Since then some 600,000 Russian Jews arrived in Israel. Police sources had earlier reported that the original influx included members of Russia’s crime organizations.
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