With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the deregulation of international financial markets in 1989, governments and entrepreneurs alike became intoxicated by dreams of newly opened markets. But no one could have foreseen that the greatest success story to arise from these events would be the worldwide rise of organized crime. Today, it is estimated that illegal trade accounts for one-fifth of the global GDP.
In this fearless and wholly authoritative investigation of the seemingly insatiable demand for illegal wares, veteran reporter Misha Glenny travels across five continents to speak with participants from every level of the global underworld—police, victims, politicians, and even the criminals themselves. What follows is a groundbreaking, propulsive look at an unprecedented phenomenon from a savvy, street-wise guide.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: McMafia|
|Release Date: 04-08-2008|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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It was the evening of April 30, 1994, and spring had settled on Woking in Surrey. The Barnesbury Estate is not quite middle management, but there is no shortage of aspiration in this part of southern England. And as dusk fell on Willow Way, a quiet road of terraced housing, cars had already been garaged and families sat down for dinner and Saturday night television.
At nine o’clock, a man emerged from his red Toyota outside number 31. Carrying a flat blue and white box, he strolled up to the front door and tapped on it. Inside Karen Reed, a thirty-three-year-old geophysicist who analyzed seismic data for a living, was enjoying a glass of white wine and a chat with a friend when they heard the man’s muffled voice through the window. “Have you ordered a pizza?” he inquired. Karen opened the door, whereupon the pizza deliverer drew a .38 pistol and shot her several times in the head with calm deliberation. The killer then ran back to the car and drove off.
Karen Reed was not the intended victim that night. There was a reason for the murderer’s confusion, however. His real target was Karen’s sister, Alison Ponting, a producer at the BBC World Service, who was living with Karen at the time but happened to be out that evening. The killing had probably been carried out at the instigation of Djokar Dudayev, president of the Republic of Chechnya.
In 1986, Alison had married a chubby Armenian charmer, Gacic Ter-Oganisyan, whom she had met a couple of years earlier while studying Russian at a university. The marriage triggered a chain of improbable events that eight years later unleashed the whirlwind of death, imperi