For sale: United States government Mafia file found in a cab

A US government file that was found in New York on the back seat of a cab, has gone up for sale in an auction. The file contains hangouts, mugshots and criminal associates of more than eight hundred Mafia members during the early 1960s and 1950s.

Some members had their own entries such as Meyer Lansky, Salvatore “Lucky Luciano” Lucania and Carlo “Don Carlo” Gambino – who are all known as notorious mafia figures.

One of the only 50 copies of the files that was printed in the early 1950s was stamped “United States Treasury Department Bureau of Narcotics” and “Mafia”. It was found nearly 20 years ago and is now being offered for sale in a New York auction house.

Director of Bonhams New York fine books & manuscripts, Christina Geiger, explained that the passenger discovered the file inside a little black bag on a snowy night, on the backseat of one of the thousands of taxis in New York covered by taxi insurance in the early 1990s.

The owner, who did not wish to be identified, kept the files to himself until contacting HarperCollins in 2006, explained Geiger. A year later, HarperCollins published a facsimile of the book.

Geiger said that, “Anyone who is interested in movies such as The Sopranos and The Godfather will find the files fascinating. It really gives the essence of organised crime in the middle of the century”.

Lucky Luciano’s entry in the Mafia file, is described as “one of the top ranking Mafia both in the US and in Italy. He regularly receives his share of profits through Mafic couriers and he participates in directing of American rackets”.

The entry in the file for Lansky says he “controls gambling in partnership with leading Mafiosi and finances large-scale narcotic smuggling and other illicit ventures” who is “one of the top non-Italian associates of the Mafia”.

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