Viewing cable 05VILNIUS947
Title: ORGANIZED CRIME IN LITHUANIA (C-CN5-00417)

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS9472005-09-09 12:59:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000947 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND INR/I 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2015 
TAGS: PINR SOCI LH
SUBJECT: ORGANIZED CRIME IN LITHUANIA (C-CN5-00417) 
 
REF: STATE 146246 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Alexander Titolo for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
(U) In response to reftel questions regarding organized crime 
in Lithuania, post provides the following responses: 
 
¶A. (U) ARE THERE ORGANIZED CRIME GROUPS PRESENT IN THE HOST 
COUNTRY THAT ORIGINATED IN THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES:  RUSSIA, 
UKRAINE, ITALY, THE BALKANS (ALBANIA, SERBIA, BOSNIA), JAPAN, 
GREATER CHINA (CHINA, HONG KONG, MACAU, OR TAIWAN), OR WEST 
AFRICA? WHAT IS THE EXTENT OR NATURE OF THEIR PRESENCE? 
 
(C) ANSWER:  Lithuanian National Police (LNP) authorities 
told us that Russian and Ukrainian organized crime (OC) 
elements are present in Lithuania.  These groups seek and 
receive consent to operate from indigenous (ethnic 
Lithuanian) OC groups.  Lithuanian OC leaders limit the scope 
and scale of the activities of the outside groups.  The lines 
between domestic and outside organizations sometimes blur, 
chiefly because approximately six percent of the population 
of Lithuania is ethnically Russian. 
 
¶B.  (U) WHAT TYPES OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY ARE THESE GROUPS 
ENGAGED IN? WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CRIMINAL 
ACTIVITY? 
 
(C) ANSWER: LNP lists, in order of importance and prevalence, 
the following typical OC criminal activities: auto theft, 
drug trafficking, human trafficking, contraband smuggling 
(i.e. cigarettes and alcohol), and white collar crimes (i.e. 
tax fraud and money laundering).  These activities add 
uncertainty to the business climate and occasionally taint 
political actors, but criminal activity and its impact on the 
economy and the nation in general is less than what it was 
during the 1990's. 
 
(C) High-profile Lithuanian OC leaders and their family 
members have repeatedly sought visas for travel to the United 
States, though their motives for travel remain unclear. 
 
¶C.  (U) WHAT FRONT COMPANIES DO THE GROUPS USE?  WHAT 
RELATIONSHIP, IF ANY, IS THERE BETWEEN THE CRIMINAL GROUPS 
LISTED ABOVE AND CRIME GROUPS INDIGENOUS TO THE HOST COUNTRY? 
ARE THERE INDICATIONS THAT THE GROUPS LISTED ABOVE COOPERATE 
WITH EACH OTHER OR OTHER INTERNATIONAL CRIMINALS? 
 
(C) ANSWER: LNP told us that outside OC groups utilize a 
variety of front companies, including import/export 
businesses and financial institutions. 
 
(C) Lithuanian and foreign OC leaders usually hold meetings 
outside of Lithuania. Lithuanian OC groups collaborate with 
OC interests in other countries, particularly Ukraine and the 
Czech Republic.  LNP said that Lithuanian OC elements focus 
almost exclusively on human smuggling in their cooperation 
with Czech criminal groups. 
 
¶D.  (U) ARE THERE INDICATIONS OF LINKS OR CONNECTIONS 
BETWEEN THESE GROUPS AND TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE HOST 
COUNTRY? 
 
(C) ANSWER: The LNP has not observed any links or connections 
between OC groups and any terrorist organizations. 
 
¶E.  (U) IS THERE EVIDENCE OF CORRUPT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN 
THESE GROUPS AND HOST COUNTRY BUSINESSMEN OR GOVERNMENT 
OFFICIALS? WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THESE RELATIONSHIPS? IF 
POSSIBLE, PLEASE PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF THESE CRIME GROUPS 
COERCING BUSINESS OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. 
 
(C) ANSWER: An LNP official told us that many Lithuanian 
political leaders have personal connections with OC members 
stemming from childhood friendships.  The perception of 
significant linkages between OC and political leaders was 
common in the years after Lithuania regained its independence 
in 1991.  Most political observers believe that these 
linkages have significantly diminished in recent years. 
Accusations of ties to OC continue to carry much weight in 
the political arena, however, as the 2004 impeachment of 
former President Rolandas Paksas on charges stemming from his 
ties to alleged Russian criminal figures demonstrated. 
MULL