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      經濟學人:有組織犯罪 和搶劫說再見

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      Organised crime

      有組織犯罪
      Farewell to the heist
      和搶劫說再見
      British gangsters are more professional and cosmopolitan than in the past
      英國黑幫比以往更專業化和國際化
      “YOU won't believe this, but they've just stolen a train.” That was the astonished message of the police officer who reported the “Great Train Robbery”, a heist that took place 50 years ago, on August 8th 1963. A gang of 15 men from across London's underworld stopped a train by turning the signal red, brutally coshed the driver and made off with £2.6m (then $7.3m) in cash from the mail cars. They decamped to a nearby farmhouse to play Monopoly with the stolen banknotes. Despite fleeing the country, almost all the culprits were eventually captured.
      報道“火車大劫案”的警官傳遞出令人震驚的消息:“你絕對不會相信,但他們剛剛搶劫了一輛火車!”這起劫案發生于50年前的1963年8月8日。十五名倫敦黑幫組成的犯罪團伙通過將信號燈變成紅色讓火車停下來,隨后暴打司機并帶著260萬英鎊(約合730萬美元)逃離郵車。他們撤到一個附近的農舍用偷來的鈔票玩大富翁。盡管逃離了英國,但幾乎所有的罪犯最終都被捕獲。

      For all its daring, in its cast of characters and casual violence the Great Train Robbery typified the organised crime that flourished in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. The “faces”, as the most notorious criminals were then known, hung out in smoky pubs on their self-designated patches. Groups such as the Richardsons, who were based in south London, and the Krays, in east London, mostly made their money extorting from local businesses and petty criminals. Reputation was everything: to get involved in the racket, criminals would have to beat up a few prominent people, or spend some time in prison.

      “火車大劫案”中案犯們的性格以及隨意暴力所表現出的膽大包天都具有二十世紀六七十年代在英國十分猖獗的有組織犯罪的典型特點。這些聲名狼藉的罪犯隨后被發現在他們自己標榜的領地泡吧。像倫敦南部的Richardsons以及東部的Krays一樣,這種團伙大部分都靠敲詐本土企業以及小規模犯罪謀利。在這行,名聲就是一切:為了入行,罪犯不得不毆打一些知名人士或者在監獄蹲上一段時間。
      That world ended in the 1970s and 1980s. Sentences got stiffer; Bertie Smalls, an armed robber turned “supergrass”, informed on dozens of London's criminals. The spectacular Brink's-Mat robbery of 1983, when six robbers stole £26m (then $38m) in cash, diamonds and gold from a warehouse at Heathrow airport, led to much infighting. Most disruptive was the rise of the drugs trade. Drugs were more profitable than extortion and robbery—but they also rewarded different skills. Instead of relying exclusively on hard men, criminal outfits also needed foreign connections to import the drugs, distribution networks to sell them and a way of laundering the cash.
      上述情形于二十世紀七八十年代銷聲匿跡。判決更加嚴厲;全副武裝的強盜伯蒂向警方告密,檢舉幾十個倫敦的罪犯。1983年的的Brink's-Mat劫案導致了許多的混戰,六名劫匪從希斯羅機場的倉庫里偷走價值260萬英鎊(約合380萬美元)的現金、鉆石和黃金。最具破壞性的還屬毒品交易的增長。毒品比敲詐和搶劫獲利更多,但同時他們也需要不同的技能。犯罪團伙需要國外貨源、分銷渠道以及洗錢途徑,而不僅僅是幾個硬漢。
      Since then, Britain's organised crime scene has diversified sharply. Whereas gangs were once extremely local—defined by their territory—crime is now much more globalised, says Charlie Edwards of the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank. One visible change is the arrival of criminals with foreign origins. Turkish gangsters import a lot of heroin. Eastern European smugglers import sex workers and export stolen cars; some Vietnamese immigrants run cannabis factories.
      從那時起,英國有組織犯罪的情況迅速變得多樣化。一個智囊團——英國皇家聯合服務研究院的查理·愛德華說,曾經的幫派都是按照他們的領地劃分,具有本土化特點,而現在的犯罪則更加全球化。一個可以察覺到的變化是大批具有外國血統的罪犯的到來。土耳其黑幫進口大量海洛因。東歐走私者進口性工作者并出口贓車;一些越南移民經營著大麻工廠。
      Yet when it comes to crime, Britain's trade balance is probably positive. Most gangsters are still white, British and have working-class roots, according to Dick Hobbs, a criminologist at the University of Essex. They are just better connected than their forebears—and have roamed much farther. The large number of British expatriates in places such as Amsterdam and southern Spain gives cover to British criminals. Mark Lilley, a bodybuilder and drug dealer from Merseyside was arrested in Spain last month after 13 years on the run.
      然而,當涉及到犯罪時,英國的貿易平衡可能是積極的。埃塞克斯大學的犯罪學家迪克·霍布斯表示,大部分黑幫至今還是由白人、英國人和有工人階級根源的人組成。他們比父輩聯系更加緊密,也逃得更遠。在阿姆斯特丹和西班牙南部地區的大批英國僑胞給英國罪犯提供了掩護。一名來自默西塞德愛好健美的毒販子經歷了13年的逃亡生涯后上個月在西班牙被捕。
      And today the fastest-growing scams are not connected to drugs. London has become a centre for global money-laundering, says Federico Varese, a specialist in mafias at Oxford University. Russian gangsters in particular route their cash through British banks. Home Office officials are concerned about electronic fraud and stockmarket manipulation by organised gangs, as well as corruption in government-procurement contracts.
      時至今日,增長最快的騙局和毒品沒有關系。牛津大學黑手黨問題專家費德里克·瓦雷澤說倫敦已經變成了國際洗錢中心。特別是俄羅斯的黑幫通過英國銀行洗錢。內政部官員擔心電子欺詐、股市被黑幫操縱以及政府采購合約的腐敗等情況。
      All of which suggests that, 50 years after the Great Train Robbery, Britain's traditional blue-collar, hands-on crime is a thing of the past. In its place is something less visible and harder to police. That is still damaging, but in some ways the change is an improvement. Britain's murder rate is as low as it has been in decades—and murders connected to organised crime are few and far between. Gangsters have moved on. The Great Train Robbery, for all its grisly aplomb, now looks like little more than rather old-fashioned thuggery.
      所有的一切都表明,在“火車大劫案”發生50年之后,英國傳統的具有“藍領”、“動手”標簽的犯罪已經成為歷史。取而代之的是一些更難發現和偵破的案件。那仍然具有破壞性,但從某種意義上來說也是一種進步。英國的謀殺率近幾十年來一直很低,與有組織犯罪相關的謀殺更是少之又少。黑幫已經向前邁出一大步。因可怕的暴力而出名的“火車大劫案”現在看起來只不過是過時的暴行而已。譯者:周洋 校對:黃佳欣

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