Top 8: illegal business

There are many ideas in the world that are far from respectable entrepreneurship. Particularly bright and daring projects that have already gone down in the history of world business will be presented in today's material: not as a role model, but only as an auxiliary material for expanding your consciousness. Criminals today will teach you not to cheat and commit crimes, but to put your mind and energy into certain working principles.

Sir Francis Drake - You Can't Please Everyone

Sir Francis Drake became a pirate legend in the 1500s. He was extremely skillful in attacking ships and stealing cargo. He regularly shared his trophies with the British government. This made him a hero to the British, but the Spanish, whose ships Francis hunted, called him a vile pirate.

In Spain, he was known as El Draque. The reward for his capture was an offer of $ 4 million (in modern money). Meanwhile, in Britain, his popularity was so great that he was knighted and became mayor of Plymouth. This story proves once again that you don't have to please everyone to be successful.

Charles Ponzi: Focus on what is good for your customers and then achieve it!

One of the most original, cunning and daring get-rich-quick plans was developed by him. So what did he do? Nothing fancy, just sold an investment opportunity to thousands of people. The money he received from new clients was used to pay off previous ones. Such investments were generally not considered approved by law. But the system worked successfully for a while. At its peak, Ponzi was making about $ 250,000 a day. But this scam relied on attracting more and more investors in order to prevent the entire system from collapsing. In the end, a logical collapse happened. Ponzi escaped, taking a huge amount of money from his "investors", but was caught. He was sentenced to prison.

In the 1920s, Charles Ponzi made people an offer they just couldn't refuse. Huge return on investment and no real work to do. Ponzi's proposal was based on circumvention of the law: there were no decrees in the system prohibiting pyramid schemes. In general, he offered up to 400% return on investment, but the problem was that such a technique, used on a small scale, was still sooner or later doomed to failure. But Ponzi had much more ambition than caution. The Ponzi scam was even later named after him. It exists to this day and has spread throughout the world. For example, in Russia this plan was implemented by Sergei Mavrodi, in the United States, Bernard Madoff was recently arrested, who was called to account for committing major financial fraud.

Ponzi was a genius swindler, and even though his plan was criminal in nature, there were a few things worth learning from him. For example, creating a compelling offer that makes it difficult for the client to say no. This is what helped him attract thousands of investors. The only difficulty was that his plan was not able to fulfill the promises for absolutely each of them. What lesson can be learned from this? Of course, focus not only on making promises that are skillful and effective, but also being able to keep them.

George Parker - the world is full of niche markets

The Brooklyn Bridge was one of his favorite attractions ... and he decided to sell it. He was able to convince clients that this was a profitable investment and that they could set up toll stands on the bridge to start making money. During that period, one of the main tasks for the New York police was to catch Parker's "clients" who were trying to stop traffic and prevent drivers from crossing the bridge they "bought". It was necessary to have remarkable patience to explain to each "owner" that he was deceived.

George Parker, a New Yorker in the early 1900s, found this "empty niche" in the market. He began to sell the city's attractions, arguing that this investment was incredibly profitable, since it would be possible to "collect tribute" from tourists who want to see it. He brought his work to filigree skill: he gave brilliant presentations, carefully prepared a package of documents. And it really was not difficult for him to convince a potential buyer of the attraction that it would increase his fortune.

This is an amazing and daring crime. Parker will eventually be caught and will spend the last 8 years of his life in prison. But those who plan to develop a business and need ideas should still learn from him that there are a lot of “niche” markets in the world, with no competition and it is enough just to find them. Of course, provided that it is not a sale of attractions or other crime.

Not so long ago I read in one book an interesting idea that everything in our world is dual: there is only white and black, good and evil, development and regression, etc. Everything else is just "shades", "offshoots" of these two principles. Whether this is so, I will not undertake to judge, in order not to get lost in the philosophical jungle. However, I started the article this way because I wanted to remind you that business has two "sides of the coin" - compliance with the laws and illegal.

Don't go kids to Africa!

Remember how in the good old Soviet cartoon about Dr. Aibolit, parents used to say these golden words to their children? So here too - practically all government structures warn against engaging in illegal business, but the prospect of huge, relatively easy income outweighs common sense.

It is very easy to do illegal business (just don’t consider this a guide to action!). If you don't register your business, your business is already illegal. In general, in Russia, there is even a legal guide to ideas for illegal business! Don't believe me? It is called the Criminal Code. Open and almost every article is an illegal business idea.

I bring to your attention (purely for informational purposes!) a kind of top-8 types of illegal business, which are engaged in in our country. And, I ask you, there is no need to say that this does not exist. In the 20th century, for several years, people were told that: “There is no sex in the USSR,” but the country did not die out. So it was after all ... back to contents ↑

Doubtful buzz at the cost of life

The illicit drug trade is the most lucrative type of illegal business. Can you imagine that the world turnover of "drug money" was equal to the budget of an average European state? To be honest, I'm not very good. But, nevertheless, believe me, the way it is. By the way, I was always surprised that many publications indicate "approximate" figures for income from drug trafficking. Where do they get it? What are drug dealers filing a tax return? I think that the true profit from this "business" is hard to even imagine!

And one more thing: the illegal circulation of any types of drugs, from "harmless" smoking mixtures that have literally flooded the country recently, to "heavy" synthetic drugs, includes both the sale and their cultivation, cultivation, manufacturing, transportation. In general, a complete list of all these acts can be found in the "Directory", which I wrote about above.

There is a body - there is a work

I can argue that prostitution is one of the most ancient professions, but there is no doubt that as a kind of illegal business it brings its “owners” a lot of money. By the way, in many countries the authorities are “fighting” the phenomenon of prostitution using somewhat unusual methods - they legalize it. So, for example, the situation is not only in developing countries: Bangladesh, Guatemala, India, Singapore, Nicaragua, but also in those who consider themselves highly developed: Italy, Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Canada. These lists are far from complete.

The number of women involved in illegal business is simply amazing in its numbers. In London, according to some sources, every 300th woman sells her body, in Amsterdam - every 35th, in Cambodia - every second woman. I will not publish data on Russia so as not to shock the readers. However, anyone interested can find this information on the net.

You are an insect without a "piece of paper"

How the ways of extorting money from businessmen have changed

At the beginning of June, a story about businessman Hikmet Salaev, who was buried alive for refusing to give 30 million rubles to his extortionist companions, made a lot of noise. Such "extreme" types of racketeering are very rare today. However, money from entrepreneurs, as in the dashing 90s, continues to extort money using various and sophisticated methods. The bandits' tools were understood by "Lenta. y ".

Below the grass

On June 6, it became known about the serious test that fell to the lot of Hikmet Salaev. According to media reports, the businessman's partners demanded 30 million rubles from him. When the businessman refused to give the money away, the attackers buried him at the Lyubertsy cemetery, leaving his cell phone behind.

Salaev was able to get through to his younger brother Ismail, who brought 1.2 million rubles to the kidnappers and gave his BMW of the fifth series. After that, the businessman's partners showed where he was buried. As a result, Salaev was rescued and hospitalized with rib fractures.

This story in the spirit of the 90s was continued on June 20. The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia reported that the customer of the extortion from Salayev is the thief in law Gulu, who is serving a sentence in Azerbaijan. According to the agency, five more people were involved in the crime: two were detained in Moscow, the third in Dagestan, and two more were put on the interstate wanted list.

The Prime Crime news agency names the thief in law not Gulu, but Guli. It is reported that 44-year-old Salifov Nadir Nariman oglu, an Azerbaijani by nationality, is known under this nickname in criminal circles. He was crowned in 2021 at the age of 27. According to the editor of the publication Victoria Gefter, Guli is unconditionally recognized as the first number among Azerbaijani thieves. So Hikmet Salaev's problems turned out to be really serious, but it is not known how the businessman annoyed the crime boss: information about the entrepreneur's activities is not advertised.

Fishing with social media

“In terms of racketeering and pressure on entrepreneurs, nothing new has been invented compared to the 90s. The pressure is delivered either physically or psychologically. In the first case, the perpetrators kidnap victims and deprive them of their freedom of movement, torture and beat them. I remember there was a case when an entrepreneur was hung upside down from a chandelier and tortured to get what he wanted. If we talk about psychological pressure, threats to the businessman himself, his relatives or relatives are used, ”says forensic expert, Doctor of Law Lev Bertovsky.

According to the expert, the Internet has become the main innovation in the arsenal of modern racketeers: entrepreneurs are often threatened “online” with the help of networked means of communication. In addition, before the start of active actions, the bandits carefully study the property of the future victim, sometimes the attackers hire for these purposes hackers who break into specialized servers with databases (sometimes even government organizations), where there is information about the property of specific people.

If a person has entrepreneurial skills, then he can implement them in any area, including criminal. Many well-known gangster groups and clans, in fact, were business structures with a strict hierarchy, development strategy and personnel changes. Each of them was headed by a person or a group of people (a kind of board of directors) who carried out operational management. In this article, we'll highlight the criminals who have achieved great success with their entrepreneurial talent. We in no way justify their actions, but only offer to look at their activities from a different angle.

Al Capone

"Alfonso Capone, antique furniture dealer" - this was the inscription on the business card of one of the most famous gangsters in history. The sale of antiques was just an official cover for the mobsters. His main asset over the years has been the family business of several Italian clans. True, in order to ascend to its top, the gangster had to remove direct competitors: he unleashed a war between crime bosses and emerged victorious from it. So Capone became the monopoly of the Chicago underworld.

The Italian built his capital on three pillars: brothels, bootlegging and gambling. The gangster was one of the first to take advantage of the Prohibition Law introduced in the United States in 1920 and made a fortune on the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages. So that nothing threatened his income, Capone developed a corruption scheme that involved police officers, officials and politicians.

Thanks to the activities of the Italian about 100 years ago, the concept of money laundering appeared: in those days, gangsters could not spend the capital obtained by dishonest means, since the attention of special services was riveted on them. To bring dollars back to the legal field, the mafiosi created a network of laundries. The FBI and the tax police could not track the actual number of customers who came to wash their clothes, so the laundries could claim whatever income they wanted.

The gangster empire brought Capone about $ 60 million annually. Thanks to his connections, the Italian held a high position in society, but at the same time he never forgot about the "social responsibility" of the business: at his direction, a network of free canteens was opened in Brooklyn. unemployed. Charity has always been a hallmark of the Italian mafia, and Capone held sacred to tradition.

Charles Luciano

Charles "Lucky" Luciano is considered the person who systematized the activities of Cosa Nostra in the United States. It was under him that the mafia turned into a single, strong and powerful structure. The Italian, like many of his colleagues, earned his capital from bootlegging, gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking. At the same time, he approached each case from the perspective of an entrepreneur: Luciano systematized, optimized criminal activity and transformed it into capital. "Lucky" was one of the first to realize the importance of business development by inviting foreign "specialists": he was one of the organizers of the "Corporation of Murders" - a group that, along with the Italians, included Jewish criminals.

In his criminal career, Luciano also showed talent as a market analyst: in search of heroin buyers, he decided to sell drugs at a reduced price to residents of disadvantaged areas of New York. Thanks to this strategy, he was the first to capture new niches and quickly became a monopolist. Becoming one of the most powerful criminal leaders in the United States, "Lucky" came up with an important initiative: in order to prevent the struggle between clans, he proposed to create a "board of directors" of the mafia and divide New York between five families. To ensure that none of the branches had significant influence, representatives of Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago were invited to the "Commission" (as the structure was named).

The police arrested Luciano in 1936 - the Italian was accused of forced prostitution and imprisoned for 30 years. However, soon the services of the mafiosi were needed at the government level: during the Second World War, "Lucky" acted as an intermediary in negotiations between the US Navy and the clans that controlled seaports. Later, Luciano helped to establish relations with the Italian mafia before the Allied landing in Sicily. For services to the country, the gangster was released in 1946 and deported from the United States.

Frank Lucas

In the late 1960s, New York City was awash with poor quality heroin. Before reaching the buyer, the drug passed from hand to hand through a long chain of dealers, and at each stage its quality deteriorated markedly. 30-year-old Frank Lucas, a member of one of the gangs, understood that he could make a splash in the market if he sold goods of the highest standard. The answer to the question of where to get pure heroin was prompted by the Vietnam War: rumors reached Lucas that this Asian country was awash with excellent quality drugs. To gain direct access to them, the criminal acquired useful connections with the US military and went into the jungle.


According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 1999, 2.4 million crimes were registered in Russia. That is, formally, every fiftieth citizen of the country is a criminal. Or, to put it more mildly, illegally obtains his daily bread. Add to this the army of prostitutes and beggars, to whom, as you know, the Russian Themis is merciful. And it turns out that millions of our compatriots earn their living, not to say in an unconventional way, but in an unrighteous way.

A native land, forever beloved

. And they earn regularly - every evening they go out to the panel, dressing up as beggars, breaking into someone else's door. For us, all these underground people are exotic. Sometimes even shrouded in the haze of romanticism: for a Russian person with a higher education, any prostitute is, first of all, Sonechka Marmeladova. But, we repeat, for millions of Russians, dubious, from the point of view of law and morality, earnings are not a fun and dangerous adventure, but an ordinary job. "Went to work" - this is how these people relate to their craft. And they are right in a sense: what is work if not a source of regular earnings?

"Profile" decided to conduct a study: what is the most profitable and prestigious craft among these millions of gentlemen and ladies ("either lady or ladi", as in an old joke)? We were interested in: for what money do people go into illegal business? And do “anti-professions” really guarantee high wages? Do you need mental inclinations for this, or are people driven only by greed?

The list of "professions" (hereinafter we will write this word without quotes) turned out to be small: recidivist thieves, thieves in law, counterfeiters, racketeers, killers, prostitutes, beggars, fraudsters, computer crackers (hackers), plastic thieves. Total ten.

Many of these professions are as old as the world (theft, prostitution, begging, fraud, counterfeit money making). As a rule, this is the most regular income. A professional can do the same thing for years, and his income will depend mainly on diligence. No special education is required here. Yes, in fact, no education is needed at all. These professions involve the exploitation of one's own body and require purely physical skills. They are not punished very severely by law (except for counterfeiters).

During perestroika, we got killers and racketeers. People do these dangerous things, usually in order to make a fortune and do less dangerous businesses.

Other professions generated by technological progress have emerged quite recently (computer crackers - "hackers" and plastic thieves). These professions require specialized training, college education, imagination, and cunning.

Just note: in every business there are professionals, beginners and amateurs. Everyone takes the same risk, but the police often fall into the hands of amateurs. For example, professional killers, which take 2-3 years to train, are almost elusive. And two Moscow teenagers who killed her husband's woman for $ 14 on the order of a woman were caught right there.

So, when compiling the anti-rating, we took into account the number of permanently employed, the number of periodically employed, income - on average per year and maximum from one operation, duration of professional activity, age restrictions, degree of risk and maximum sentences. When calculating points, we separately took into account all positive factors and separately - negative ones. The plus went to the annual income ($ 10 thousand - 1 point) and the ability to feed on this craft for a long time (1 year - 1 point). In minus - the maximum terms of punishment (1 year - minus 1 point) and the degree of risk in points, according to our experts.

The higher the score, the more stable and safe income the craft gives. The lower - the more the criminal risks making money, the more casual his earnings.

The editors would like to thank the following divisions of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs (GUVD) of Moscow for their help in preparing the material: the center of public relations, the department for combating economic crimes, the morality police, the department for ensuring public security, the MUR, as well as the regional the Department for Combating Organized Crime, the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the chief editor of the newspaper "Crime Chronicle" Leonid Sharov.

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