Sometime in early 1991, after making a fortune by stealing from Jewish emigrants and laundering money with Robert Maxwell and the KGB, Mogilevich marries Hungarian woman Katalin Papp, allowing him to legally move to Hungary. There, he carries out his international operation through his associates and starts investing in and purchasing Hungarian enterprises.
One of Mogilevich’s investments is nightclubs, known as the “Black and White Clubs,” which he purchases with the help of associate Monya Elson. The Black and White Club in Budapest becomes the base of his operations, and his clubs become the largest prostitution hot spots in the world.
Mogilevich then begins to purchase Hungary’s arms industry.
The legitimate companies he bought include: Magnex 2000, a giant magnet manufacturer; Digep General Machine Works, an artillery shell, mortar, and fire equipment manufacturer; and Army Co-op, a mortar and anti-aircraft gun factory. Army Co-op was established in 1991 by two Hungarian nationals, both in the local arms industry, who were looking for a partner. Mogilevich has bought 95 per cent of Army Co-op through another Channel Island holding company, Arigon, Ltd., and also deals extensively with the Ukraine, selling oil products to the Ukrainian railway administration.The Village Voice
By 1993, he enters another criminal enterprise. He reaches an agreement with Moscow’s Solntsevskaya crime organization to partner in a jewelry business in both Moscow and Budapest. The business is a front for jewelry, antiques, and art Solntsevskaya members steal from art collectors, churches, and museums in Russia.
But that’s not all.
Mogilevich’s operation, again in collusion with the Solntsevskaya mob, also purchased a large jewelry factory in Budapest. Russian antiques, such as Faberge eggs, are sent to Budapest for “restoration.” Mogilevich’s men ship the genuine Faberge eggs to an unwitting Sotheby’s auction house in London for sale, then send fake Faberge eggs as well as other “restored” objects back to Moscow.The Village Voice
Also by 1993, Vyacheslav Ivankov — one of Mogilevich’s partners — earns the title “Godfather of the Russian mob in America.” Authorities find him living in Trump Tower.
Photo: Alchetron via The Mob Museum