Mandy Wiener | Babita Deokaran's murder brought us closer to a mafia state

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Last week's murder of whistleblower Babita Deokoran is the starkest illustrator of how state capture and government tender fraud is organised crime, writes the author. Picture: iStock/ Kritchanut
Last week's murder of whistleblower Babita Deokoran is the starkest illustrator of how state capture and government tender fraud is organised crime, writes the author. Picture: iStock/ Kritchanut

While we are not quite yet at full-blown mafia state, there are elements within the state and parts of government that are run indirectly by organised crime, writes Mandy Wiener.

Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko is said to have coined the phrase 'Mafia State' – a state system where the government is tied to organised crime to such a degree that government officials, the police, and the military become part of a criminal enterprise. 

In his book Mafia State, journalist Luke Harding argued that Vladimir Putin had created a state constituted by ex-KGB and FSB officers such as himself, 'bent on making money above all'. As it emerged in the United States cable leaks, American diplomats describe this as, "... the government of Russia effectively is the mafia". 

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