A side-thought: we need new terms for new types of organised crime figures

This morning I gave an interview via skype with the Danish TV channel DR2 on the case of Semyon Mogilevich. One point which quickly became clear is that modern organised crime has in some ways evolved beyond the language; Mogilevich is clearly a powerful figure within the transnational Russian underworld. However, he is not a ‘boss’ or a ‘godfather’ – he has a small organisation of his own, but essentially he is a specialised service provider, a mafiya banker. He is not a ‘leader’, as he does not control large numbers of slope-foreheaded leg-breakers or sharp-eyed gunmen, does not traffic in drugs or people. Nor is he even ‘in’ any specific crime network, although he is probably closest to Solntsevo. But for all that, he is undoubtedly powerful and influential, just in more indirect ways. So what do we call him and those like him, whose role as providers of specialised services have made them underworld powers in their own rights?

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