<Yellow-Starred Amethyne Motet in E Flat Minor>, Staff Writer
“A sinister syndicate of crime and corruption, whose deeply-buried tentacles cast a grim shadow across the Associated Worlds.”
– Mach Journalist-I’qar, Vonikar Times
My Voniensan colleague’s taste for assorted alliteration and colorful metaphors aside, it must be admitted that certain of his allegations are true, as are those made more quietly by various other news providers within the Worlds themselves.
From my perspective, of course, as an Imperial citizen-shareholder and resident, the Eldinimieuthunimis is merely a perfectly legitimate trading house. Their public office tower in Mer Covales is visible from my desk as I write this. Their openly published corporate accounts and other records are unimpeachable. (Although the list of outworlders holding 38% of their public nonvoting stock under the shield of Seranth’s labyrinthine banking privacy laws would doubtless make fascinating reading, given the sources of much of the foreign criticism of the organization.) And no executive or employee of the core organization has ever been indicted, much less convicted, on any issue relating to their corporate operations.
Some of this discrepancy is a matter of location, of course. The Eldinimieuthunimis locates very few of its operations inside the Empire; as their affable estrev-i-ráyestrev (“overboss”) Calin Sargas-ith-Sarathos Methunimis is happy to explain, there’s very little point in trying to run a syndicate inside the Empire, whose notoriously libertist politics and freewheeling attitude make it reluctant to make most of the traditional money-makers for this type of operation illegal; and thus, makes them unprofitable when the competition is made up of more standard commercial organizations.
Outside the Empire, however, the Eldinimieuthunimis operates very successfully through a number of arms-length sub-syndicates in the fields of smuggling, gray marketeering, arms dealing, information brokerage, and trading in locally illegal technology, immortagens, and hedonic pharmaceuticals, with occasional sidelines in black clinics, gambling, negotiable affection, and snakeheading to freesoil worlds.
The notable thing, of course, about this list of operations – as certain of my colleagues have pointed out – would be the virtual impossibility of convicting someone of any of them in front of a Curial court, given the Charter’s restrictions. And indeed, the politics and attitude of the Imperial mainstream are such that it is most unlikely that the governments whom they do offend – by treading on their ability to restrict their citizens’ access to weapons, biotechnology (especially immortagens), information and hedonics, or to inject tariffs into private contracts – will find much sympathy in the Court of Public Opinion, either. The rare occasions on which an attempt has been made to extradite an identified thunimidár (“faded person”; lowest-level employee of the core business, overseeing a particular outworld operation) would appear to bear this out.
Of course one does occasionally see some of their agents from the sub-syndicates hauled up in front of a Curial court and either extradited, or subjected to severe censure; usually in cases where they have been involved in something the Eldinimieuthunimis would consider going too far, such as selling arms to terrorist or violent criminal groups, resorting to sophont trafficking, taking up more traditional organized crime activities such as extortion, or some other such. It would be the purest paranoia to suggest that the Eldinimieuthunimis has a tacit arrangement with the Watch Constabulary to burn its rogue operations in exchange for providing something for the diplomats to point at by way of action against the Sinister Imperial Mafia.
The same sort of paranoia that might lead this journalist to suggest that the operations of the Eldinimieuthunimis are broadly tolerated by a plurality of Accord governments in order to reduce the market share of much less scrupulous crime syndicates, in fact.
– published in a recent edition of the Accord Infoclast