THE NATIONAL CRIME SYNDICATE
The National Crime Syndicate (NCS) was a term used by the media to describe a sort of ‘federation’ of multi-ethnic (Italian, Irish, Jewish…) criminal organisations.
One powerful proponent of the NCS was Meyer Lansky (1902-1983), a Jewish migrant from the Russian Empire. He set a gambling empire in the USA. He was recruited to take part in ‘Operation Underworld’, a USA’s operation during WWII that utilised members of organised crime to attack Axis spies. The USA’s government was also worried that the Italian fascists might use undercover operations for espionage with the help of the numerous New York Italian community.
Lansky became a powerful businessman in Cuba under the Batista regime. Batista allowed Lansky to have gambling and hotel businesses. On December 22, 1946 a major Mafia conference occurred in Havana with Lucky Luciano and Lansky himself being the most important delegates. The major crime families at the Conference discussed how to conduct business in Cuba. Lansky left Cuba after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.