Latvia's mafia legend: Can a country go clean?

  • 1999-08-19
  • Katya Cengel
Gone are the days when Ivan Haritonov, "king of the racket," ruled the streets, murdering, kidnapping and extorting the citizens of Latvia. In the early 1990s Haritonov and his gang tried to control the shipment of oil products in and out of Latvia while another group, Pardaugava, used their dirty money to start a bank. Haritonov's group was powerful enough that when brought to trial in 1994 none of the 10 witnesses showed up. But with Haritonov in jail and most of the Pardaugava members in Russia little remains of the mafia that once ran Riga. No longer are newspapers filled with accounts ...
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