Until the 1980s, practically no one knew the word "racketeer" in the USSR. Such a social phenomenon appeared and developed when the citizens of our country gained access to information about the life of the Western world. And along with this, not only the good that was there came to us, but also the bad. A racketeer is a word that has become a business card of crime in our country.
It was at the end of the eighties of the last century that criminals, along with traditional violations of the law, began to threaten violence against a person, damage and destruction of property if citizens did not want to pay tribute. This was caused by the changes in the socio-economic life of the country. This type of criminal activity very soon became one of the highly profitable. The meaning of the word "racketeer" is a representative of the criminal world, who, taking advantage of the insecurity of citizens before force, guaranteed illegal immunity from their own attacks. This type of activity began to be called racketeering.
From the point of view of the law, this word meant the criminal seizure of part of the profit by force, if the "target" did not agree to it voluntarily. This profession has become very popular in those days. It got to the point of absurdity: when the children in the kindergarten were asked about who they want to become, then very many said that they were a "racketeer." So who is a racketeer? This word called the representatives of criminal organizations that were engaged in extorting part of the profits from companies and firms in exchange for security. These services were then called security. A whole system has formed. Each group had its own territory, on which they levied tribute to all business representatives indiscriminately. A kind of state within the state. The crime representative was both a tax collector and a judge in disputes with other businessmen. Moreover, the laws at such a court were different from those that were adopted in the country.
Basically, former or current athletes recruited into gangs of racketeers, because they often had to use force against intractable clients and, for example, punish obstinate businessmen. After perestroika, such organizations were transformed into legal security companies. Crime has become a business. By the end of the 90s, up to 90% of all commercial structures were under the roof of gangs and security companies. It was all but those who worked under the direct cover of law enforcement. There are different types of criminals:
- a racketeer is like a “roof”, the functions of which include taxing merchants;
- criminals in the market who collect fees from stalls;
- fighters on the streets who are engaged in extortion in schools, in the yards, sometimes the most commonplace things;
- tourist gangsters who are surrounded by tribute to tourists;
- racketeers who took fares on a certain territory;
- "security guards" who beat out debts for a percentage;
- Organizations that took on the role of trade unions suppressed the discontent of workers.
Stages of development
Racket as a phenomenon in its history went through various stages of formation. In the early stages of his development, he was mainly engaged in the strict seizure of part of the profits from persons who were engaged in a legal or illegal type of business. The racketeer did this in various forms. At the second stage, this phenomenon began to have a milder character. Racket began to be legalized in the form of all kinds of security firms, took part in the privatization of commercial enterprises, and created its own enterprises. And already at the third step of his development, he began to promote the goods and services of controlled firms in the market. For selected types of products conditions of monopoly consumption were created. In other words, racketeers agreed to sell products of "sponsored" firms to entrepreneurs who were in their territory and were under their control. Therefore, these businessmen were obliged, unless, of course, they needed it, to buy the products of those firms that the racketeers indicated to them. At the fourth, last but one stage, there was a transformation of criminal activity into a private security business. Thus, a racketeer is a profession that has gradually receded into the past, transforming itself into another, more legal one.