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#5 - JRL 7069 - RAS 16
THE CRIMINAL ECONOMY: THE STRUCTURE OF PROSTITUTION

SOURCE. A. A. Mukhin, Rossiiskaia organizovannaia prestupnost' i vlast': Istoriia vzaimootnoshenii [Russian Organized Crime and the State: History of Mutual Relations]. Moscow: Center for Political Information, 2002. pp. 55-57

The author lists eight levels of female prostitution (1) in descending order of profitability:

1) lite prostitution with wealthy regular clients

2) prostitution in relaxation and massage salons

3) prostitution in nightclubs

4) prostitution on call in hotels and clients' homes

5) prostitution at a particular hotel

6) street prostitution (about 80 percent of the total)

7) prostitution in service of long-distance drivers

8) prostitution at railroad stations (the cheapest and the most risky)

Women who start at one of the higher levels gradually slip down to lower levels as they grow older.

In Moscow there are an estimated 15,000 "organized" prostitutes and about 120 brothels. The elite sex business is concentrated at about ten high-class hotels and massage salons. The market is controlled by about thirty groups. Street prostitution in the city center is controlled by Chechen and Daghestani groups.

In some regions there has been discussion about legalizing prostitution. Saratov province governor Dmitry Ayatskov is regarded as a pioneer in this respect. He has given sanction to the opening of a public brothel in Balakovo, but the plan has yet to be put into effect.

Although criminal groups are involved in prostitution, it is not (as it is in the West) one of the main sources of criminal income. Other "roofs" include the security departments of hotels, individual pimps, and (especially in the case of street prostitution) the local police.

The main division is that between voluntary and forced prostitution. Groups of voluntary prostitutes are often formed, trained, and supervised by older "retired" prostitutes. These groups negotiate with their roofs just as other businesses do. (2) Typically 20 percent of income goes to the pimp and 30 percent to the roof, leaving 50 percent for the prostitutes themselves. Since 1996 the number of under-age pimps has increased: they cannot be prosecuted and charge much less than adult pimps.

Forced prostitution rings are controlled by pimps. Here "training" begins with gang rape to break the victim's will.

Many women end up in voluntary or forced prostitution abroad. Traditionally the main destinations have been Turkey, Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Israel. The channel to Greece passes through Tbilisi and is controlled by Georgian criminals. In recent years increasing numbers have gone to China, Southeast Asia, and Japan, where a white woman is considered "exotic" and can earn her boss up to $100,000 profit a year.

NOTES

(1) The author does not deal with male prostitution.

(2) See RAS No. 13 item 3.

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