At one point or another we’ve all seen documentaries on prison gangs or on organized crime. There seem to be so many candidates fr the most intimidating criminal gang in each country. But which is truly the most dangerous? From a gang that has over 100,000 members world wide, to a Cartel made up of Mexico’s elite soldiers: this is a list of the 5 most dangerous gangs in the world.

5) Los Zetas:



Mexico, Tamaulipas is the home of Los Zetas.


The Los Zetas was formed by a group of elite soldiers from Mexico, who wanted to make money from the multi-billion dollar drug trade. They started off working for the Gulf Cartel, but then went on to start their own group known as Los Zetas. They went further than other cartels were willing to go, and mercilessly killed, and slaughtered thousands of innocent people, as well as other gang members. They’re now the most powerful cartel in Mexico. Their horrific tactics, which include beheading to terrorize their rivals and intimidate them, torture, and indiscriminate slaughter, show that they prefer to terrorize rather than bribe, to get their way.

4) Solntsevskaya Bratva:


It’s hard to find real pictures of the Russian Mafia, that you’re actually allowed to use, so here’s a man with a t.v for a head.


Worth over $8.5 Billion, this crime syndicate is split into 10 different brigades, which appear to act independently of each other. They make money independently, and then pool it together, and split it between themselves. Founded in the late 1980’s they are now the most powerful Mafia in Russia. They started off hiring unemployed men as foot soldiers. They then muscled in on the car import business, which eventually caused them to get into trouble with the rival Chechen Mafia. The Bratva made an alliance with other Russian gangs and drove out the Chechen gang.

3) Wah Ching:


I’ve heard when they operate you never see them, but they’re always Wah Ching you.


The Wah Ching is a Chinese American Triad Society. They have 3,000 members in Hong Kong, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles. They make their money through Drug trafficking, extortion, illegal gambling, loan sharking, fraud, and murder. The Wah Ching is mainly young men, who dress anywhere from casual to business attire, making it hard to distinguish them from ordinary citizens. Wah Ching gained fame after the well known Golden Dragon massacre. The massacre was committed by a rival gang called the Joe Boys. The Joe Boys killed five people in a the golden dragon restaurant in retaliation against a shoot out they had with the Wah Ching gang prior.

2) Mara Salvatrucha:


Mara Salvatrucha gang member with the gang’s name tattooed on his back.


Also known as the MS 13. Starting off as a street gang in LA, they are now one of the most powerful transnational Mafia’s in the world. They cover themselves in tattoos, and have even invented their own sign language. They also work with the Sinaloa Cartel, fighting against the Los Zeta. The Salvadoran gang are so feared they even run their own prison. 2500 members are incarcerated. Guards are too terrified to enter, so the army make sure they stay incarcerated from the outside. A Photographer called Adam Hinton was allowed inside the prison. “The vast majority of the inmates are from the Barrios or slums. In El Salvador this is a place without hope or opportunity and the gang is the only real option,” he added. “If the authorities catch you this is the place they literally dump you and forget about you – every inmate is made to feel just like that,” Said Hinton.

1) Yakuza:


Yakuza members tattoo their entire body. This picture was taken in 1870.


The Yakuza is one of biggest, and most dangerous gangs in the world. They’re staggering grip over Japanese politics has allowed them to become an official legal organization in Japan. To join the organization you have to take a written exam, if you disappoint your boss, you have to cut off your finger, and offer it to your boss as an apology. The Yakuza operate intelligently, and have many tricks, and scams to force you to hand over extortionate amounts of money. If you’re ever in Japan, and a stranger offers you free, or incredibly cheap drinks, turn them down. Many Yakuza will lure people into their clubs, drug your drink, and then charge you thousands for it. If you can’t pay, you may be killed.

In Japan Yakuza are not only feared, but also revered. They’re treated like celebrities, even featured in celebrity magazines, as if they were actors or singers. Yakuza are covered in full body tattoos (including genitalia). Done by hand, using bamboo, and steel needles. There are over 100,000 Yakuza in Japan. The biggest famly is the Yamaguchi-yumi with 55,000 members. With over half the total number of Yakuza in the world, more than twice as many members as the second biggest Yakuza family, the Yamaguchi-Yumi is a force to be reckoned with. Even with Police repression the family continues to grow at a rapid rate. There are many people who don’t know the name Yakuza but do know the name Yamaguchi-Yumi.

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