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The most powerful crime families in history

Espresso Logo By Ruby Pratka of Espresso | Slide 1 of 21: The term “crime family” conjures up images of aging mobsters passing family secrets onto their sons (and very occasionally, daughters) in smoke-filled rooms as the threat of a police sting hovers in the air. The reality is a bit more complex. Some organized crime syndicates do pass power from father to son (like Canada’s Musitano family) or sibling to sibling (like Mexico’s Arellano Félix cartel), but some groups, like the Sicilian-American Cosa Nostra, the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, blur the line between genetic and criminal families. Others, like Russia’s vory v zakone and Japan’s Yakuza clans, become veritable families for their members, with complex initiation rituals and demanding loyalty codes. Let’s learn more about crime families around the world.

The most powerful crime families in history

The term “crime family” conjures up images of aging mobsters passing family secrets onto their sons (and very occasionally, daughters) in smoke-filled rooms as the threat of a police sting hovers in the air. The reality is a bit more complex. Some organized crime syndicates do pass power from father to son (like Canada’s Musitano family) or sibling to sibling (like Mexico’s Arellano Félix cartel), but some groups, like the Sicilian-American Cosa Nostra, the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, blur the line between genetic and criminal families. Others, like Russia’s vory v zakone and Japan’s Yakuza clans, become veritable families for their members, with complex initiation rituals and demanding loyalty codes. Let’s learn more about crime families around the world.

© Gigi Romano/Sipa/Shutterstock

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