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|Territory||Russia, USA, Europe, and all other post-Soviet states.|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, Arms trafficking, Assassination, Assault, Auto theft, Bank fraud, Blackmailing, Bribery, Car bombing, Contract killing, Extortion, Fraud, Human trafficking, Infiltration of Politics, Illegal gambling, Insurance fraud, Kidnapping, Money laundering, Murder, Police corruption, Political corruption, Racketeering, Tax evasion, Theft, Witness intimidation, Witness tampering.|
The Azerbaijani mafia is a general term for organized criminal gangs, mostly based in Moscow and other major Russian cities like Saint Petersburg, that consist of ethnic Azeris. Outside of Russia they are active in most former Soviet states such as Ukraine, Baltic States such as Estonia and Latvia as well as in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The Azerbaijani mafia is one of the oldest crime groups in Russia. Outside of a large ethnic Azerbaijani community in Dagestan, Russian cities have always been known destinations for Azerbaijani immigrants. Following the formation of important and powerful organized crime groups among Russians, Chechens, Armenians and Georgians in Moscow, Azerbaijani criminal gangs quickly developed in the early 1980s. In the 1990s the Azerbaijani groups quickly began their rise to power following the conflicts between the Russian and the Chechen groups. Large-scale immigration of Azerbaijanis to Moscow followed. As well as refugees, ex-guerilla fighters and warlords illegally immigrated to the major Russian cities. Since the position of the Chechen mafia groups was at the time greatly weakened, the newly formed Azerbaijani criminal groups were able to take over a large chunk of the heroin trade. At the time a lot of the trafficking funded military and guerilla operations in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. After the war ended, younger generation of impoverished Azerbaijanis living in Moscow and other Russian cities learned their trade, which quickly led to the further formation of Azeri criminal outfits in the former Soviet Union.
While the most important activity of Azerbaijani gangs was drug trafficking (mostly heroin), they've quickly expanded their operations to other areas of organized crime such as arms trafficking, fraud, money laundering, car theft, extortion, illegal gambling, counterfeiting, prostitution and contract killing. Azerbaijani crime groups have been known to invest in real estate by means of money laundering.