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OLYMPICS chiefs face a new hurdle in the run-up to the 2012 Games as the Russian Mafia is set to swoop on London.

Gangsters from one of the world’s most feared mobs have set up business around the site in Stratford, East London.
Ruthless Russians, who have links to several vice dens in London, plan to cash in when hundreds of thousands of tourists hit the capital.
Hookers will whore themselves to punters, cocaine will flood the streets and extortion rackets will hit small businesses, police fear.
Gamblers could also be targeted in illegal betting rings. Sources at Scotland Yard’s organised crime unit say Russian families are working in bars close to the Olympic site.
The Daily Star Sunday has been told the names of the bars suspected of laundering millions in illegal cash but cannot reveal them for legal reasons.
One Yard insider said: “Several of these people are active members of the Russian Mafia. “They are suspected major players in drug trafficking, prostitution and protection.
“The Russians are highly skilled in averting the attentions of the police so it is very difficult to detect their criminal activities. They are also adept at integrating into communities and putting on a legitimate front for their business.
“But we are certainly keeping an eye on them.” The source said Russian mobs would most likely use low-level dealers from Eastern Europe to lure foreigners into buying drugs on the back streets of London’s vice blackspots like Soho.
He also revealed that young women would be paid pennies as sex slaves working in seedy strip joints, brothels and casinos.
And some would even pose as “birthday girls” inviting ogling fellas to splash their cash on drinks – only to hit them with whopping credit card bills in extortion scams.
He added: “Drugs and prostitution bring in most of the money.
“Obviously there’s going to be a hell of a lot of people flooding into London from all over the world so it’s prime time for sophisticated criminal gangs – and the Russians are certainly that.
“They pose a different kind of threat than terrorist fanatics and suicide bombers but they will still target innocent people.
“There’ll be a lot of tourists and even Brits visiting clubs and lap- dancing bars – and, while they may not know it, it’s likely in some places they’ll be funding Mafia activity with every shot of vodka they buy.”
The mob menace comes as Olympics bosses worldwide warn of a 2012 Mafia betting scandal.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said: “We should not be naive. Sooner or later this might occur in the Olympic Games.”
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, suspected Russian Mafia kingpin Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov was nicked for allegedly bribing ice skating judges but later cleared.
He is now one of the world’s most wanted men.

Russian mob influence growing in South Florida, FBI says

When the feds busted a syndicate of Russian-speaking nightclub owners and their so-called Bar Girls, it seemed like just another titillating tale from South Beach.
But the April bust showed that the FBI is taking the Eastern European mob a lot more seriously these days than the Italian Mafia. La Cosa Nostra is no longer the bureau's Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to organized crime in South Florida.
"Eurasian organized crime is our No. 1 priority," said FBI supervisory special agent Rick Brodsky of the Miami office.
In April, six reputed members of an Eastern European network — along with a Sunny Isles investor and 10 Bar Girls imported mostly from Latvia and Estonia — were charged with conspiring to seduce and fleece unsuspecting South Beach tourists by running up their credit card bills for booze at private clubs on Washington Avenue. The prosecution's case has moved so quickly that two of the "B-Girls'' girls pleaded guilty Thursday in Miami federal court.
Sunny Isles Beach, where some of the reputed mobsters live, has so many immigrants from the former Soviet Union that it has earned the nickname "Little Moscow." The high-rise coastal cities of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach also are home to many Russian-speaking nationals.
The alleged B-Girl scam was hardly the first time the Eastern European mob struck South Florida. In February, 13 South Florida members and associates of an alleged Armenian crime organization were charged with extortion and other offenses as part of a series of indictments against more than 100 suspects from Miami to Los Angeles.
The main extortion charge accused ringleader Aram Khranyan, 41, of Sunny Isles Beach, and others of threatening "physical violence" against a man if he did not pay a $12,000 debt to a member of Khranyan's organization.
Despite the nationwide publicity, it didn't quite measure up to the B-Girl scam for sheer amusement.
Consider this tale:
Brett Daniels, a professional magician, had just finished his February show at the Gulfstream Casino when he and a few colleagues headed down to South Beach.
At Mango's, a lively tourist spot on Ocean Drive, he met an attractive woman clad in a short leopard-skin dress and her sidekick, who wasn't as pretty. After showing them a few magic tricks, one of the girls told Daniels it was her birthday and proposed taking him to a private club a few blocks away to drink Russian vodka.
Four or five shots later -- he can't remember exactly -- Daniels found himself fighting over an incomprehensible $1,368 credit card tab with the owner of the Tangia club on Washington Avenue. "Pay your bill or you're going to jail," the bouncer told him.
What Daniels didn't know at the time was that he had been scammed by the Eastern European mob, according to the FBI.
At the helm of the alleged South Beach club racket: Alec Simchuk, 44, of Hallandale, who is now a fugitive.