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Crime Watch

This recent commentary in Bloomberg brings up an interesting point about the role of the Yakuza or Japanese mafia in the reconstruction of the earthquake damaged parts of Japan.  Because of the need for construction to get underway as soon as possible, some think that the Yakuza will take advantage of the situation and become more deeply involved in the construction industry again.  They have been banned from several projects in the country and the government is trying to distance themselves from the crime organizations, but that might be hard to do in the light of the massive destruction caused by the earthquake.

This article brings up a major question in my mind.  We know that there is a history of crime involvement in the construction industry in the US that extends back into the 1800s.  Stories of links between organized crime and the unions is the stuff of novels.

The question that I am wondering about is the involvement of the Mexican cartels in the construction industry in the US today.  We’ve not read much about it recently, but it seems logical that with the amount of drug and people trafficking going on, especially in the southwest, that they just might be funding some of their operations through overrides on labor that they provide to the jobsites in the area where they operate.

This issue is something to watch.  Enforcement officials might do well to take a closer look at it as well.


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