Chinese criminal authority Lao Da (which means Old Hooligan in Russian) has been “working” in the Russian Primorye region for almost a decade. His profile was basically attacks against Chinese vendors. His crimes were rapid and impudent: he would enter a house, knock the doors out, and cut fingers of ears off, if someone showed resistance. When leaving, he would promise that he would come back again, setting a certain date and even hour. And he kept his every promise.
Several times he organized large gangs – up to ten or 15 people. The criminal groups were “working” on market places, and shuttle buses. The groups were making two or three raids daily. The police were investigating over a dozen of criminal cases, in which Lao Da and his accomplices were involved. Old Hooligan was detained several times and put behind the bars. Lao Da had a Russian way of behavior in such cases: he fought with police officers, broke everything in his cell, supplied his co-prisoners with drugs.
None of those cases was considered at court. Local journalists spent a lot of their time, trying to guess, how it was possible for the Chinese criminal to avoid trial. The enigma unveiled last November, after the major criminal of the Primorye region nicknamed Jam passed away. Old Hooligan was noticed amid the criminals that were bustling around the dead mob: he reportedly assigned $100 thousand for the funeral of his former patron.
Jam used to believe that the most important thing was to repulse the attacks of competitors from Moscow and the Caucasus. Chinese nationals seemed to be harmful newcomers in this respect. Chinese criminals did not encroach upon the Russian sources of income. Their raids were seldom and they basically happened on the Russian-Chinese border. But the main thing was that Chinese vendors were paying “taxes” to the local racketeers of Primorye, just the Russian vendors did.
Jam had more intimate reasons to be loyal about the Chinese: he wanted to become the head of the transnational criminal community, to run his global criminal policy, to control international cash flows. And the shortest way for transnational links was a road to China.
His intentions proved right in the middle of the 1990s. Jam visited China three times over a short period of time for his personal contacts with the leaders of the Chinese criminal world. The point of those negotiations is not known, but the special services of Primorye have a couple of version for that. One of the versions says that Jam was officially included in the international criminal administration. It is not ruled out that the criminal groups of the Primorye region became the divisions of that international group, without being aware of that.
The aspiration of the criminals from China to the Russian way of conduct is rather surprising. They carefully study Russian, take Russian nicknames, they even change their traditions. For example, the authority of the Chinese mob was determined with his skills to violate laws and get away with it. If the police get you – you are no authority any longer. Now Chinese criminals spend a lot of their time in prison, and when they are freed, they can even boast that they know the taste of prison soup – and this is so typical for Russian criminals.
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