Tranquillizing an animal as big as Nikkei was something of an art. Unfortunately Nikkei came around faster than Won had anticipated when she was removed from Grigory’s clutches. The animal might not have reacted so violently if Won hadn’t stepped on her tail that was hanging out through the bars of the cage. Nikkei absolutely hated having her tail messed with and re-enforced that sentiment by lunging at Won and batting him hard enough to have him standing on his head rather than his feet. Before Ton could stop him, Won went back at the animal to try and secure her from reaching through the bars again.
Won didn’t have his temper in check which led him too close to the cage. Nikkei’s paw shot out and then down so fast Won never even saw the movement. Even though both Won and Ton were trained martial arts experts, their job with the Chairman demanded it, they were simply no match for the white tiger’s reflexes. Won stood there for a moment in disbelief and turned to face Ton. Won had been raked down the left side of his face and over his shoulder to mid-torso with just enough depth in places to have blood squirting out. Ton screamed in horror as his twin brother slumped to the ground. Ton collected himself and pulled Won away from the cage and started wrapping the worst wounds with his own clothing. If the white tiger hadn’t been for the Chairman, the animal would not have made it back to China.
The Chairman believed that young interns were the best investment you could make in bringing on new associates. You could train them, mold them, work them hard, pay them modestly, and in many cases trust them if you could start them young enough. Won and Ton were born to a family who couldn’t really afford to send them to advanced schools. This had allowed the Chairman to convince the parents their boys would be looked after and given the education they deserved. They would never see their sons again. The boys were old enough to understand the transaction and young enough to be trained properly.
Won and Ton were twin brothers, and the Chairman saw that it might be advantageous to having two associates that looked identical. All that changed when Won was raked by an enraged Nikkei. Ton had offered to have a similar wound done to himself so he could match his twin brother. The Chairman turned down the generous offer from Ton but was flattered none the less. Ton and Won were identical in everything else.
When the organized coup d'état of Grigory had eliminated him from the Russian Mafia organization he had built, the Chairman began installing his own people, and instructions were issued through Won and Ton. In so doing the Chairman had the organization operate the way he wanted, but he was kept insulated from the operational issues. To anyone doing business with the Identity Laundering Service, Won and Ton were the customer-facing operations managers with a European flair.
The Chairman had anticipated correctly that his country needed such a group to provide false and laundered identities to his fellow countrymen as much as other nationalities throughout the world. It was imperative that such an organization needed to have a non-Chinese flavor to it, so if it was exposed no blame could be pinned on China. Of course the profits could not then be funneled directly back into China. The Chairman smiled that the result of this rationalization ironically benefitted his personal fortune.
The Identity Laundering Service business began as a part of Grigory’s old Dteam organization. The other business elements had remained with the Russian operators or had been simply disposed. The main business locations had started off in the big cities like New York City, Moscow, Paris, London and others in the United States and in Europe, Middle East, Africa areas. But the managers started seeing business opportunities in other large cities such as Sao Paulo and Mexico City in Latin America. In fact any city with a population over 5 million was targeted as high potential for interest in these services.
Won and Ton were pressured by the Chairman to expand revenues by taking on new markets. They began building branch offices in these new target markets. The process of identity theft, alteration, and laundering was well understood but staffing these locations with trusted employees was the problem. Hiring someone you hardly knew and entrusting them with your intellectual property for Identity Laundering was even more difficult in practice than it sounded.
The other related issue to Identity Laundering was the subject’s money. There were the fees of course, but then there was the need to also launder their money. Once a customer completed the Identity Laundering process, they wanted to enjoy their life with their resources readily available just cleaner. The Chairman could see the demand rising for this next logical piece in the service, but Grigory had not left behind any legacy infrastructure toward that elemental need of a customer. Today, customers were managing that aspect themselves. Some were even successful.
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