Organized crime
Overview

Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational
Transnationality
Transnationality is a principle of carrying out an action across national borders, so as to have effects at a more general level. It is commonly referred to with reference to the actions of the European Union , in distinction to 'international' or 'supranational' Transnationality is a principle of...

, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminal
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

s for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 profit
Profit (economics)
In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total opportunity costs of a venture to an entrepreneur or investor, whilst economic profit In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total...

. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organization
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

s, are politically motivated (see Violent non-state actor (VNSA)). Gang
Gang
A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation. In early usage, the word gang referred to a group of workmen...

s may become "disciplined" enough to be considered "organized". An organized gang or criminal set can also be referred to as a mob.

Mafia is a term used to describe a number of criminal organizations around the world.
Quotations

"If you have a lot of what people want and can't get, then you can supply the demand and shovel in the dough." ~ Lucky Luciano|Lucky Luciano

Wherever there's opportunity, the mafia will be there. ~ Johnny Kelly

We cannot allow this country [Afghanistan] to be influenced by mafia and narcotics-related activities. It kills our economy. It destroys our reputation. So we are going to work against it. ~ Hamid Karzai

The official toxicity limit for humans is between one and one and half grams of cocaine depending on body weight. I was averaging five grams a day, maybe more. I snorted ten grams in ten minutes once. I guess I had a high tolerance. ~ George Jung|George Jung

Danbury wasn't a prison, it was a crime school. I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana, came out with a Doctorate of cocaine. ~ George Jung|George Jung

This is Grade A 100% pure Columbian cocaine, ladies and gentlemen. Disco shit. Pure as the driven snow. ~ George Jung|George Jung

I can't feel my face... I mean, I can touch it, but I can't feel it inside... ~ Mr. T [after sampling some of the cocaine]

Listen to me Anthony. I got your head in a fuckin' vise. I'll squash your head like a fuckin' grapefruit if you don't give me a name. ~ Nicky Santoro

A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night. ~ Nicky Santoro

In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all. Sam "Ace" Rothstein

Encyclopedia

Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational
Transnationality
Transnationality is a principle of carrying out an action across national borders, so as to have effects at a more general level. It is commonly referred to with reference to the actions of the European Union , in distinction to 'international' or 'supranational' Transnationality is a principle of...

, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminal
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

s for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 profit
Profit (economics)
In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total opportunity costs of a venture to an entrepreneur or investor, whilst economic profit In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total...

. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organization
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

s, are politically motivated (see Violent non-state actor (VNSA)). Gang
Gang
A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation. In early usage, the word gang referred to a group of workmen...

s may become "disciplined" enough to be considered "organized". An organized gang or criminal set can also be referred to as a mob.

Mafia is a term used to describe a number of criminal organizations around the world. The first organization to bear the label was the Sicilian Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 based in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, known to its members as Cosa Nostra. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, "the Mafia" generally refers to the Italian American Mafia
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

. Other high level organized crime groups such as the American prison gang the Mexican Mafia
Mexican Mafia
The Mexican Mafia , also known as La Eme , 13 is a Mexican American criminal organization, and is one of the oldest and most powerful prison gangs in the United States.-Foundation:...

 use the term "Mafia" to describe their group. Latin American drug cartels are often considered Hispanic or Latino Mafias. Other international organizations described as mafias include the Russian Mafia
Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

, the Irish Mob
Irish Mob
The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs of the 19th century — depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book The Gangs of New York — the Irish Mob has appeared in most...

, the Chinese Triads, the Japanese Yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

, the Neapolitan Camorra
Camorra
The Camorra is a Mafia-type criminal organization, or secret society, originating in the region of Campania and its capital Naples in Italy. It is one of the oldest and largest criminal organizations in Italy, dating to the 18th century.-Background:...

, Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, and the Apulian Sacra Corona Unita
Sacra corona unita
Sacra Corona Unita, or United Sacred Crown, is a Mafia-like criminal organization from Apulia region in Southern Italy, and is especially active in the areas of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto .-Background and activities:...

. There are also a number of localized mafia organizations around the world bearing no link to any specific ethnic background.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 the Organized Crime Control Act
Organized Crime Control Act
The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 , was an Act of Congress sponsored by Democratic Senator John L. McClellan and signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon....

 (1970) defines organized crime as "The unlawful activities of [...] a highly organized, disciplined association [...]". Criminal activity as a structured group is referred to as racketeering
Racket (crime)
A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes...

 and such crime is commonly referred to as the work of the Mob. In the UK, police estimate organised crime involves up to 38,000 people operating in 6,000 various groups. In addition, due to the escalating violence of Mexico's drug war
Mexican Drug War
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels who fight each other for regional control, and Mexican government forces who seek to combat drug trafficking. However, the government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was...

, the Mexican drug cartels are considered the 'greatest organized crime threat to the United States,' according to a report issued by the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

.

Pre-Nineteenth Century

Today, crime is sometimes thought of as an urban phenomenon, but for most of human history it was the rural interfaces that encountered the majority of crime. (Keep in mind, for most of human history, rural areas were the vast majority of inhabited places). For the most part within a village members kept crime at very low rates, however outsiders, such as Pirates, highwaymen and bandits attacked trade routes and roads, at times severely disrupting commerce, raising costs, insurance rates and prices to the consumer. According to criminologist Paul Lunde, "Piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 and banditry
Banditry
Banditry refers to the life and practice of bandits which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "one who is proscribed or outlawed; hence, a lawless desperate marauder, a brigand: usually applied to members of the organized gangs which infest the mountainous districts of Italy, Sicily, Spain,...

 were to the pre-industrial world what organized crime is to modern society." As Lunde states, "Barbarian conquerors, whether Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, Norsemen
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

, Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 or Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 are not normally thought of as organized crime groups, yet they share many features associated with thriving criminal organizations. They were for the most part non-ideological, predominantly ethnically based, used violence and intimidation, and adhered to their own codes of law." Terrorism is linked to OC, but has political aims rather than solely financial ones, so there is overlap but separation between terrorism and OC.

Twentieth Century

Cressey’s Cosa Nostra model studied Mafia families exclusively and this limits his broader findings. Structures are formal and rational with allocated tasks, limits on entrance, and influence the rules established for organisational maintenance and sustainability. In this context there is a difference between organised and professional crime; there is well-defined hierarchy of roles for leaders and members, underlying rules and specific goals that determine their behavior, and these are formed as a social system, one that was rationally designed to maximize profits and to provide forbidden goods. Albini saw organised criminal behaviour as consisting of networks of patrons and clients, rather than rational hierarchies or secret societies.

The networks are characterised by a loose system of power relations. Each participant is interested in furthering his own welfare. Criminal entrepreneurs are the patrons and they exchange information with their clients in order to obtain their support. Clients include members of gangs, local and national politicians, officials of the govt and people engaged in legitimate business. People in the network may not directly be part of the core criminal organization. Furthering the approach of both Cressey and Albini, Ianni and Ianni studied Italian-American crime syndicates in New York and other cities.

Kinship is seen as the basis of organised crime rather than the structures Cressey had identified; this includes fictive godparental and affinitive ties as well as those based on blood relations, and it is the impersonal actions, not the status or affiliations of their members, that define the group. Rules of conduct and behavioural aspects of power and networks and roles include the following:
  • family operates as a social unit, with social and business functions merged;
  • leadership positions down to middle management are kinship based;
  • the higher the position, the closer the kinship relationship;
  • group assigns leadership positions to a central group of family members, including fictive godparental relationship reinforcement;
  • the leadership group are assigned to legal or illegal enterprises, but not both; and,
  • transfer of money, from legal and illegal business, and back to illegal business is by individuals, not companies.

Strong family ties are derived from the traditions of southern Italy, where family rather than the church or state is the basis of social order and morality.

The “disorganized crime” and choice theses

One of the most important trends to emerge in criminological thinking about OC in recent years is the suggestion that it is not, in a formal sense, ‘organized’ at all. Evidence includes: lack of centralized control, absence of formal lines of communication, fragmented organizational structuree. It is distinctively disorganized. For example, Seattle’s crime network in the 1970s and 80s consisted of groups of businessmen, politicians and of law enforcement officers. They all had links to a national network via Meyer Lansky, who was powerful, but there was no evidence that Lansky or anyone else exercised centralized control over them.

While some crime involved well-known criminal hierarchies in the city, criminal activity was not subject to central management by these hierarchies nor by other controlling groups, nor were activities limited to a finite number of objectives. The networks of criminals involved with the crimes did not exhibit organizational cohesion. Too much emphasis had been placed on the Mafia as controlling OC. The Mafia were certainly powerful but they “were part of a heterogeneous underworld, a network characterized by complex webs of relationships." OC groups were violent and aimed at making money but because of the lack of structure and fragmentation of objectives, they were ‘disorganised’.

Further studies showed neither bureaucracy nor kinship groups are the primary structure of organized crime, rather they were in partnerships or a series of joint business ventures. Despite these conclusions, all researchers observed a degree of managerial activities among the groups they studied. All observed networks and a degree of persistence, and there may be utility in focusing on the identification of orgainising roles of people and events rather than the group’s structure. There may be three main approaches to understand the organisations in terms of their roles as social systems:
  • organisations as rational systems: Highly formalized structures in terms of bureaucracy’s and hierarchy, with formal systems of rules regarding authority and highly specific goals;
  • organisations as natural systems: Participants may regard the organization as an end in itself, not merely a means to some other end. Promoting group values to maintain solidarity is high on the agenda. They do not rely on profit maximization. Their perversity and violence in respect of relationships is often remarkable, but they are characterized by their focus on the connections between their members, their associates and their victims; and,
  • organisations open systems: High levels of interdependence between themselves and the environment in which they operate. There is no one way in which they are organized or how they operate. They are adaptable and change to meet the demands of their changing environments and circumstances.

Organised crime groups may be a combination of all three.

International governance approach

International consensus on defining organized crime has become important since the 1970s due its increased prevalence and impact. e.g. UN in 1976 and EU 1998. OC is “…the large scale and complex criminal activity carried on by groups of persons, however loosely or tightly organized for the enrichment of those participating at the expense of the community and its members. It is frequently accomplished through ruthless disregard of any law, including offences against the person and frequently in connexion with political corruption.” (UN) “A criminal organization shall mean a lasting, structured association of two or more persons, acting in concert with a view to committing crimes or other offences which are punishable by deprivation of liberty or a detention order of a maximum of at least four years or a more serious penalty, whether such crimes or offences are an end in themselves or a means of obtaining material benefits and, if necessary, of improperly influencing the operation of public authorities.” (UE) Not all groups exhibit the same characteristics of structure. However, violence and corruption and the pursuit of multiple enterprises and continuity serve to form the essence of OC activity.

There are eleven characteristics from the European Commission and Europol pertinent to a working definition of organised crime. Six of those must be satisfied and the four in italics are mandatory. Summarised they are:
  • more than two people;
  • their own appointed tasks;
  • activity over a prolonged or indefinite period of time;
  • the use discipline or control;
  • perpetration of serious criminal offences;
  • operations on an international or transnational level;
  • the use violence or other intimidation;
  • the use of commercial or businesslike structures;
  • engagement in money laundering;
  • exertion of influence on politics, media, public administration, judicial authorities or the economy; and,
  • motivated by the pursuit of profit and/or power,

with the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is a United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime, adopted in 2000...

 (the Palermo Convention) having a similar definition:
  • organised criminal: structured group, three or more people, one or more serious crimes, in order to obtain financial or other material benefit;
  • serious crime: offence punishable by at least four years in prison; and,
  • structured group: Not randomly formed and doesn’t need formal structure,

Others stress the importance of power, profit and perpetuity, defining organised criminal behaviour as:
  • nonideological: i.e. profit driven;
  • hierarchical: few elites and many operatives;
  • limited or exclusive membership: maintain secrecy and loyalty of members;
  • perpetuating itself: Recruitment process and policy;
  • willing to use illegal violence and bribery;
  • specialised division of labour: to achieve organization goal;
  • monopolistic: Market control to maximize profits; and,
  • has explicit rules and regulations: Codes of honour.


Definitions need to bring together its legal and social elements. OC has widespread social, political and economic effects. It uses violence and corruption to achieve its ends: “OC when group primarily focused on illegal profits systematically commit crimes that adversely affect society and are capable of successfully shielding their activities, in particular by being willing to use physical violence or eliminate individuals by way of corruption.”

It is a mistake in using the term ‘OC’ as though it denotes a clear and well-defined phenomenon. The evidence regarding OC “shows a less well-organised, very diversified landscape of organizing criminals…the economic activities of these orgainsing criminals can be better described from the viewpoint of ‘crime enterprises’ than from a conceptually unclear frameworks such as “OC’.” Many of the definitions emphasise the ‘group nature’ of OC, the ‘organisation’ of its members, its use of violence or corruption to achieve its goals, and its extra-jurisdictional character….OC may appear in many forms at different times and in different places. Due to the variety of definitions, there is “evident danger” in asking “what is OC?” and expecting a simple answer.

The locus of power and organized crime

Some espouse that all organized crime operates at an international level, though there is currently no international court capable of trying offences resulting from such activities (the International Criminal Court’s remit extends only to dealing with people accused of offences against humanity, e.g. genocide). If a network operates primarily from one jurisdiction and carries out its illicit operations there and in some other jurisdictions it is ‘international,' though it may be appropriate to use the term ‘transnational’ only to label the activities of a major crime group that is centred in no one jurisdiction but operating in many. The understanding of organized crime has therefore progressed to combined internationalisation and an understanding of social conflict into one of power, control, efficiency risk and utility, all within the context of organisational theory. The accumulation of social, economic and political power have sustained themselves as a core concerns of all criminal organizations:
  • social: criminal groups seek to develop social control in relation to particular communities;
  • economic: seek to exert influence by means of corruption and by coercion of legitimate and illegitimate praxis; and,
  • political: criminal groups use corruption and violence to attain power and status.


Contemporary organized crime may be very different from traditional Mafia style, particularly in terms of the distribution and centralization of power, authority structures and the concept of 'control' over one's territory and organization. There is a tendency away from centralization of power and reliance upon family ties towards a fragmentation of structures and informality of relationships in crime groups. Organized crime most typically flourishes when a central government and civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 is disorganized, weak, absent or untrusted.

This may occur in a society facing periods of political, economic or social turmoil or transition, such as a change of government or a period of rapid economic development, particularly if the society lacks strong and established institutions and the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

. The dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 and the Revolutions of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

 in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 that saw the downfall of the Communist Bloc created a breeding ground for organized criminal organizations.

The newest growth sectors for organized crime are identity theft
Identity theft
Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

 and online extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

. These activities are troubling because they discourage consumers from using the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 for e-commerce. E-commerce was supposed to level the playing ground between small and large businesses, but the growth of online organized crime is leading to the opposite effect; large businesses are able to afford more bandwidth
Bandwidth (computing)
In computer networking and computer science, bandwidth, network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth is a measure of available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits/second or multiples of it .Note that in textbooks on wireless communications, modem data transmission,...

 (to resist denial-of-service attack
Denial-of-service attack
A denial-of-service attack or distributed denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users...

s) and superior security. Furthermore, organized crime using the Internet is much harder to trace down for the police (even though they increasingly deploy cybercop
Cybercop
The U.S. "Report to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection" stated, "Cybercops are law enforcement personnel whose beat is cyberspace." According to Microsoft's Justice and Public Safety Division Marketing Manager Ken Reeves, over 2,000 law enforcement organizations had...

s) since most police forces and law enforcement agencies operate within a local or national jurisdiction while the Internet makes it easier for criminal organizations to operate across such boundaries without detection.

In the past criminal organizations have naturally limited themselves by their need to expand, putting them in competition with each other. This competition, often leading to violence, uses valuable resources such as manpower (either killed or sent to prison), equipment and finances. In the United States, the Irish Mob
Irish Mob
The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs of the 19th century — depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book The Gangs of New York — the Irish Mob has appeared in most...

 boss of the Winter Hill Gang
Winter Hill Gang
The Winter Hill Gang is a structured confederation of Boston, Massachusetts-area organized crime figures, predominantly Irish-American with a small Italian-American faction. It derives its name from the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts north of Boston. Its members have...

 (in the 1980s) turned informant
Informant
An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

 for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI). He used this position to eliminate competition and consolidate power within the city of Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 which led to the imprisonment of several senior organized crime figures including Gennaro Angiulo
Gennaro Angiulo
Gennaro "Jerry" Angiulo was a New England mob boss who rose through the Mafia under Raymond L. S. Patriarca. He was convicted of racketeering in 1986 and was in jail until being released in 2007. One of the Angiulo Brothers, Angiulo was "probably the last very significant Mafia boss in Boston’s...

, underboss of the Patriarca crime family
Patriarca crime family
The Patriarca crime family, also known as the New England crime family and the Providence crime family, is an Italian-American organized crime syndicate based in New England, specifically Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts, and is part of the Italian-American Mafia or "La Cosa Nostra"...

. Infighting sometimes occurs within an organization, such as the Castellamarese war of 1930–31 and the Boston Irish Mob Wars of the 1960s and 1970s.

Today criminal organizations are increasingly working together, realizing that it is better to work in cooperation rather than in competition with each other (once again, consolidating power). This has led to the rise of global criminal organizations such as Mara Salvatrucha
Mara Salvatrucha
Mara Salvatrucha is a transnational criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles and has spread to other parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. The majority of the gang is ethnically composed of Central Americans and active in urban and suburban areas...

 and the 18th Street gang
18th Street gang
18th Street gang is considered to be the largest transnational criminal gang in Los Angeles, California. It is estimated that there are thousands of members in Los Angeles County alone...

. The American Mafia
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

 in the U.S. have had links with organized crime groups in Italy such as the Camorra
Camorra
The Camorra is a Mafia-type criminal organization, or secret society, originating in the region of Campania and its capital Naples in Italy. It is one of the oldest and largest criminal organizations in Italy, dating to the 18th century.-Background:...

, the 'Ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita
Sacra corona unita
Sacra Corona Unita, or United Sacred Crown, is a Mafia-like criminal organization from Apulia region in Southern Italy, and is especially active in the areas of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto .-Background and activities:...

, and Sicilian Mafia. The Cosa Nostra has also been known to work with the Irish Mob
Irish Mob
The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs of the 19th century — depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book The Gangs of New York — the Irish Mob has appeared in most...

 (John Gotti
John Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

 of the Gambino family
Gambino crime family
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia . The group is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963...

 and James Coonan
James Coonan
James "Jimmy C" Coonan is an Irish-American mobster and racketeer from Manhattan, New York who is currently serving a 75-year prison term.-Biography:...

 of the Westies are known to have worked together, with the Westies operating as a contract hitman
Hit Squad
The Hit Squad was a 1990s hip hop collective of East coast hip hop artists formed by Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith better known as EPMD. The collective separated when EPMD broke up for the first time in 1993, later reforming as Def Squad.-Career:...

 for the Gambino family after they helped Coonan come to power), the Japanese Yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

 and the Russian Mafia
Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that organized crime groups held $322 billion in assets in 2005.

This rise in cooperation between criminal organizations has meant that law enforcement agencies are increasingly having to work together. The FBI operates an organized crime section from its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and is known to work with other national (e.g., Polizia di Stato
Polizia di Stato
The Polizia di Stato is one of the national police forces of Italy.It is the main police force for providing police duties and it is also responsible for patrolling motorways , railways , airports , customs as well as certain waterways, and assisting the local police...

, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

), federal (e.g., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

, United States Marshals Service
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

, and the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

), state (e.g., Massachusetts State Police
Massachusetts State Police
The Massachusetts State Police is an agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Executive Office of Public Safety and Security responsible for criminal law enforcement and traffic vehicle regulation across the state...

 Special Investigation Unit and the New York State Police
New York State Police
The New York State Police is the state police force of over 4,600 sworn Troopers for the state of New York. It was established on April 11, 1917 by the New York Legislature, in response to the 1913 murder of a construction foreman named Sam Howell in Westchester County, which at that time did not...

 Bureau of Criminal Investigation) and city (e.g., New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 Organized Crime Unit and the Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 Special Operations Division) law enforcement agencies.

Rational choice

Based on the now outdated notion that regardless of the reason for committing crime, the decision to do so is a rational choice made after weighing up the benefits versus consequences of the crime, this theory treats all individuals as rational operators, committing criminal acts after consideration of all associated risks (detection and punishment) compared with the rewards of crimes (personal, financial etc.). Little emphasis is placed on the offenders’ backgrounds or circumstances surrounding the crimes or offenders. The role of criminal organisations in lowering the perceptions of risk and increasing the likelihood of personal benefit is prioritised by this approach, with the organisations structure, purpose, and activity being indicative of the rational choices made by criminals and their organisers. It ignores that in addition to financial gains, people commit crimes for the need of acceptance, respect and trust by other members of the organisation.

Deterrence

This theory sees criminal behaviour as reflective of an individual, internal calculation by the criminal that the benefits associated with offending (whether financial or otherwise) outweigh the perceived risks. The perceived strength, importance or infallibility of the criminal organisation is directly proportional to the types of crime committed, their intensity and arguably the level of community response. The benefits of participating in organised crime (higher financial rewards, greater socioeconomic control and influence, protection of the family or significant others, perceived freedoms from 'oppressive' laws or norms) contribute greatly to the psychology behind highly organised group offending.

Social learning

Criminals learn through associations with one another. The success of organised crime groups if therefore dependent upon the strength of their communication and the enforcement of their value systems, the recruitment and training processes employed to sustain, build or fill gaps in criminal operations. An understanding of this theory sees close associations between criminals, imitation of superiors, and understanding of value systems, processes and authority as the main drivers behind organised crime. Interpersonal relationships define the motivations the individual developes, with the effect of family or peer criminal activity being a strong predictor of inter-generational offending. This theory also developed to include the strengths and weaknesses of reinforcement, which in the context of continuing criminal enterprises may be used to help understand propensities for certain crimes or victims, level of integration into the mainstream culture and likelihood of recidivism / success in rehabilitation.

Enterprise

Under this theory, organised crime exists because legitimate markets leave many customers and potential customers unsatisfied. High demand for a particular good or service (e.g. drugs, prostitution, arms, slaves), low levels of risk detection and high profits lead to a conducive environment for entrepreneurial criminal groups to enter the market and profit by supplying those goods and services. For success, there must be:
  • an identified market; and,
  • a certain rate of consumption (demand) to maintain profit and outweigh perceived risks.


Under these conditions competition is discouraged, ensuring criminal monopolies sustain profits. Legal substitution of goods or services may (by increasing competition) force the dynamic of organised criminal operations to adjust, as will deterrence measures (reducing demand), and the restriction of resources (controlling the ability to supply or produce to supply).

Differential association

Sutherland goes further to say that deviancy is contingent on conflicting groups within society, and that such groups struggle over the means to define what is criminal or deviant within society. Criminal organisations therefore gravitate around illegal avenues of production, profit-making, protectionism or social control and attempt (by increasing their operations or membership) to make these acceptable. This also explains the propensity of criminal organisations to develop protection racket
Protection racket
A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a criminal group or individual coerces a victim to pay money, supposedly for protection services against violence or property damage. Racketeers coerce reticent potential victims into buying "protection" by demonstrating what will happen if they...

s, to coerce through the use of violence, aggression and threatening behaviour (at times termed 'terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

'). Preoccupation with methods of accumulating profit highlight the lack of legitimate means to achieve economic or social advantage, as does the organisation of white-collar crime
White-collar crime
Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" . Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was...

 or political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 (though it is debatable whether these are based on wealth, power or both). The ability to effect social norms and practices through political and economic influence (and the enforcement or normalisation of criminogenic needs) may be defined by differential association theory.

Social disorganization

Social disorganisation theory is intended to be applied to neighbourhood level street crime, thus the context of gang activity, loosely formed criminal associations or networks, socioeconomic demographic impacts, legitimate access to public resources, employment or education, and mobility give it relevance to organised crime. Where the upper- and lower-classes live in close proximity this can result in feelings of anger, hostility, social injustice and frustration. Criminals experience poverty; and witness affluence they are deprived of and which is virtually impossible for them to attain through conventional means. The concept of neighbourhood is central to this theory, as it defines the social learning, locus of control, cultural influences and access to social opportunity experienced by criminals and the groups they form. Fear of or lack of trust in mainstream authority may also be a key contributor to social disorganisation; organised crime groups replicate such figures and thus ensure control over the counter-culture. This theory has tended to view violent or anti-social behaviour by gangs as reflective of their social disorganisation rather than as a product or tool of their organisation.

Anomie

Sociologist Robert K. Merton
Robert K. Merton
Robert King Merton was a distinguished American sociologist. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor...

 believed deviance depended on society’s definition of success, and the desires of individuals to achieve success through socially defined avenues. Criminality becomes attractive when expectations of being able to fulfil goals (therefore achieving success) by legitimate means cannot be fulfilled. Criminal organisations capitalise on states of normlessness by imposing criminogenic needs and illicit avenues to achieve them. This has been used as the basis for numerous meta-theories of organised crime through its integration of social learning, cultural deviance, and criminogenic motivations. If crime is seen as a function of anomie, organised behaviour produces stability, increases protection or security, and may be directly proportional to market forces as expressed by entrepreneurship- or risk-based approaches. It is the inadequate supply of legitimate opportunities that constrains the ability for the individual to pursue valued societal goals and reduces the likelihood that using legitimate opportunities will enable them to satisfy such goals (due to their position in society).

Cultural deviance

Criminals violate the law because they belong to a unique subculture - the counter-culture - their values and norms conflicting with those of the working-, middle- or upper-classes upon which criminal laws are based. This subculture shares an alternative lifestyle, language and culture, and is generally typified by being tough, taking care of their own affairs and rejecting government authority. Role models include drug dealers, thieves and pimps, as they have achieved success and wealth not otherwise available through socially-provided opportunities. It is through modeling organized crime as a counter-cultural avenue to success that such organizations are sustained.

Alien conspiracy/queer ladder of mobility

The alien conspiracy theory and queer ladder of mobility theories state that ethnicity and 'outsider' status (immigrants, or those not within the dominant ethno-centric groups) and their influences are thought to dictate the prevalence of organise crime in society. The alien theory posits that the contemporary structures of organised crime gained prominence during the 1860s in Sicily and that elements of the Sicilian population are responsible for the foundation of most European and North American organised crime, made up of Italian-dominated crime families. Bell's theory of the 'queer ladder of mobility' hypothesised that 'ethnic succession
Ethnic succession theory
Ethnic succession theory is a theory in sociology stating that ethnic and racial groups entering a new area may settle in older neighborhoods or urban areas until achieving economic parity with certain economic classes...

' (the attainment of power and control by one more marginalised ethnic group over other less marginalised groups) occurs by promoting the perpetration of criminal activities within a disenfranchised or oppressed demographic. Whilst early organised crime was dominated by the Sicilian Mafia they have been relatively substituted by the Irish Mob
Irish Mob
The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs of the 19th century — depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book The Gangs of New York — the Irish Mob has appeared in most...

 (early 1900s), the Aryan Brotherhood
Aryan Brotherhood
The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as The Brand, the AB, or the One-Two, is a white supremacist prison gang and organized crime syndicate in the United States with about 20,000 members in and out of prison...

 (1960s onwards), Colombian Medellin cartel
Medellín Cartel
The Medellín Cartel was an organized network of "drug suppliers and smugglers" originating in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The drug cartel operated in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Central America, the United States, as well as Canada and Europe throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was founded and...

 and Cali cartel
Cali Cartel
The Cali Cartel was a drug cartel based in southern Colombia, around the city of Cali and the Valle del Cauca Department. The Cali Cartel was founded by the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers, Gilberto and Miguel, as well as associate José Santacruz Londoño...

 (mid 1970s - 1990s), and more recently the Mexican Tijuana Cartel
Tijuana Cartel
The Tijuana Cartel is a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. The cartel has been described as "one of the biggest and most violent criminal groups in Mexico"...

 (late 1980s onwards), the Russian Mafia
Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

 (1988 onwards), Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 (1988 onwards) and the Taliban (1994 onwards). Many argue this misinterprets and overstates the role of ethnicity in organised crime. A contradiction of this theory is that syndicates had developed long before large-scale Sicilian immigration in 1860s, with these immigrants merely joining a widespread phenomena of crime and corruption.

Causal

The demand for illegal goods and services nurtures the emergence of ever more centralized and powerful criminal syndicates, who may ultimately succeed in undermining public morals, neutralizing law enforcement through corruption and infiltrating the legal economy unless appropriate countermeasures are taken. This theoretical proposition can be depicted in a model comprising four elements: government, society, illegal markets and organized crime. While interrelations are acknowledged in both directions between the model elements, in the last instance the purpose is to explain variations in the power and reach of organized crime in the sense of an ultimately unified organizational entity.

Patron-client networks

Patron-client networks are defined by the fluid criminal interactions they produce. Organised crime groups operate as smaller units within the overall network, and as such tend towards valuing significant others, familiarity of social and economic environments, or tradition. These networks are usually composed of:
  • Hierarchies based on 'naturally' forming family, social and cultural traditions;
  • 'Tight-knit' locus of activity/labour;
  • Fraternal or nepotistic value systems;
  • Personalised activity; including family rivalries, territorial disputes, recruitment and training of family members, etc.;
  • Entrenched belief systems, reliance of tradition (including religion, family values, cultural expectations, class politics, gender roles, etc.); and,
  • Communication and rule enforcement mechanisms dependent on organisational structure, social etiquette, history of criminal involvement, and collective decision-making.


Perhaps the best known patron-client networks are the Sicilian and Italian American Cosa Nostra
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

, most commonly known as the Sicilian Mafia. The Neopolitan Camorra
Camorra
The Camorra is a Mafia-type criminal organization, or secret society, originating in the region of Campania and its capital Naples in Italy. It is one of the oldest and largest criminal organizations in Italy, dating to the 18th century.-Background:...

, the Calabrian and Italian Canadian 'Ndrangheta, and the Apulian Sacra Corona Unita
Sacra corona unita
Sacra Corona Unita, or United Sacred Crown, is a Mafia-like criminal organization from Apulia region in Southern Italy, and is especially active in the areas of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto .-Background and activities:...

 are similar Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 organized crime groups. Other organized enterprises include the Russian mafia
Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

, Irish mob
Irish Mob
The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs of the 19th century — depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book The Gangs of New York — the Irish Mob has appeared in most...

, Chinese Triads, and the Japanese Yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

.

Bureaucratic/corporate operations

Bureaucratic/corporate organised crime groups are defined by the general rigidity of their internal structures. Focusing more on how the operations works, succeeds, sustains itself or avoids retribution, they are generally typified by:
  • A complex authority structure;
  • An extensive division of labour between classes within the organisation;
  • Meritocratic (as opposed to cultural or social attributes);
  • Responsibilities carried out in an impersonal manner;
  • Extensive written rules/regulations (as opposed to cultural praxis dictating action); and,
  • 'Top-down' communication and rule enforcement mechanisms.


However, this model of operation has some flaws:
  • The 'top-down' communication strategy is susceptible to interception, more so further down the hierarchy being communicated to;
  • Maintaining written records jeopardises the security of the organisation and relies on increased security measures;
  • Infiltration at lower levels in the hierarchy can jeopardise the entire organisation (a 'house of cards' effect); and,
  • Death, injury, incarceration or internal power struggles dramatically heighten the insecurity of operations.


Whilst bureaucratic operations emphasis business processes and strongly authoritarian hierarchies, these are based on enforcing power relationships rather than an overlying aim of protectionism, sustainability or growth.

Youth and street gangs

A distinctive gang culture underpins many, but not all, organised groups; this may develop through recruiting strategies, social learning processes in the corrective system experienced by youth, family or peer involvement in crime, and the coercive actions of criminal authority figures. The term “street gang” is commonly used interchangeably with “youth gang,” referring to neighborhood or street-based youth groups that meet “gang” criteria. Miller (1992) defines a street gang as “a self-formed association of peers, united by mutual interests, with identifiable leadership and internal organization, who act collectively or as individuals to achieve specific purposes, including the conduct of illegal activity and control of a particular territory, facility, or enterprise."

‘Zones of transition’ refer to deteriorating neighbourhoods with shifting populations - conflict between groups, fighting, 'turf wars,' and theft promotes solidarity and cohesion. Cohen (1955): working class teenagers joined gangs due to frustration of inability to achieve status and goals of the middle class; Cloward and Ohlin (1960): blocked opportunity, but unequal distribution of opportunities lead to creating different types of gangs (that is, some focused on robbery and property theft, some on fighting and conflict and some were retreatists focusing on drug taking); Spergel (1966) was one of the first criminologists to focus on ‘evidence-based practice’ rather than intuition into gang life and culture. Klein (1971) like Spergel studied the effects on members of social workers’ interventions. More interventions actually lead to greater gang participation and solidarity and bonds between members. Downes and Rock (1988) on Parker’s analysis: strain theory applies, labelling theory (from experience with police and courts), control theory (involvement in trouble from early childhood and the eventual decision that the costs outweigh the benefits) and conflict theories. No ethnic group is more disposed to gang involvement than another, rather it is the status of being marginalised, alienated or rejected that makes some groups more vulnerable to gang formation, and this would also be accounted for in the effect of social exclusion, especially in terms of recruitment and retention. These may also be defined by age (typically youth) or peer group influences, and the permanence or consistency of their criminal activity. These groups also form their own symbolic identity or public representation which are recognisable by the community at large (include colours, symbols, patches, flags and tattoos).

Research has focused on whether the gangs have formal structures, clear hierarchies and leadership in comparison with adult groups, and whether they are rational in pursuit of their goals, though positions on structures, hierarchies and defined roles are conflicting. Some studied street gangs involved in drug dealing - finding that their structure and behaviour had a degree of organisational rationality. Members saw themselves as organised criminals; gangs were formal-rational organisations, Strong organisational structures, well defined roles and rules that guided members’ behaviour. Also a specified and regular means of income (i.e. drugs). Padilla (1992) agreed with the two above. However some have found these to be loose rather than well-defined and lacking persistent focus, there was relatively low cohesion , few shared goals and little organisational structure. Shared norms, value and loyalties were low, structures "chaotic", little role differentiation or clear distribution of labour. Similarly, the use of violence does not conform to the principles behind protection rackets, political intimidation and drug trafficking activities employed by those adult groups. In many cases gang members graduate from youth gangs to highly developed OC groups, with some already in contact with such syndicates and through this we see a greater propensity for imitation. Gangs and traditional criminal organisations cannot be universally linked (Decker, 1998), however there there are clear benefits to both the adult and youth organisation through their association. In terms of structure, no single crime group is archetypal, though in most cases there are well-defined patterns of vertical integration (where criminal groups attempt to control the supply and demand), as is the case in arms, sex and drug trafficking.

Entrepreneurial

The entrepreneurial model looks at either the individual criminal, or a smaller group of organised criminals, that capitalise off the more fluid 'group-association' of contemporary organised crime. This model conforms to social learning theory or differential association in that there are clear associations and interaction between criminals where knowledge may be shared, or values enforced, however it is argued that rational choice is not represented in this. The choice to commit a certain act, or associate with other organised crime groups, may be seen as much more of an entrepreneurial decision - contributing to the continuation of a criminal enterprise, by maximising those aspects that protect or support their own individual gain. In this context, the role of risk is also easily understandable, however it is debatable whether the underlying motivation should be seen as true entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship as a product of some social disadvantage.

The criminal organisation, much in the same way as assessing pleasure or pain, weighs up factors like legal, social and economic risk to determine potential profit and loss from certain criminal activities. This decision-making process is constructed from the entrepreneurial nature of its members, their motivations and the environments they work within. Opportunism is also a key factor – the organised criminal or criminal group is likely to fluidly change the criminal associates they have, the types of crime they perpetrates, and how they functions in the public (recruitment, reputation, etc.) in order to ensure efficiency, capitalisation or protection of their interests.

Multimodel approach

Culture and ethnicity provide an environment where trust and communication between criminals can be efficient and secure. This may ultimately lead to a competitive advantage for some groups, however it is inaccurate to adopt this as the only determinant of classification in organised crime. This categorisation includes the Sicilian Mafia, Jamaican posses, Colombian drug trafficking groups, Nigerian organised crime groups, Japanese Yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

 (or Boryokudan), Korean criminal groups and ethnic Chinese criminal groups. Under this perspective, organised crime is not a modern phenomenon - the construction of 17th and 18th century crime gangs fulfil all the present day criteria of criminal organisations (in clear opposition to the Alien Conspiracy Theory). These roamed the rural borderlands of central Europe embarking on many of the same illegal activities associated with today’s crime organisations, with the exception of money laundering.
When the French revolution created strong nation states, the criminal gangs moved to other poorly controlled regions like the Balkans and Southern Italy, where the seeds were sown for the Sicilian Mafia - the lynchpin of organised crime in the New World.
Model type Environment Group Processes Impacts
National Historical or cultural basis Family or hierarchy Secrecy/bonds. Links to insurgents Local corruption/influence. Fearful community.
Transnational Politically and economical unstable Vertical integration Legitimate cover Stable supply of illicit goods. High level corruption.
Transnational/transactional Any Flexible. Small size. Violent. Opportunistic. Risk taking Unstable supply of range of illicit goods. Exploits local young offenders.
Entrepreneurial/transactional Developed/high technology regions Individuals or pairs. Operating through legitimate enterprise Provision of illicit services, e.g. money laundering, fraud, criminal networks.

Typical activities

Organized crime often victimize businesses through the use of extortion or theft and fraud activities like hijacking cargo trucks, robbing goods, committing bankruptcy fraud (also known as "bust-out"), insurance fraud or stock fraud (inside trading). Organized crime groups also victimize individuals by car theft (either for dismantling at "chop shops" or for export), art theft
Art theft
Art theft is usually for the purpose of resale or for ransom . Stolen art is sometimes used by criminals to secure loans.. One must realize that only a small percentage of stolen art is recovered. Estimates range from 5 to 10%. This means that little is known about the scope and characteristics of...

, bank robbery, burglary, jewelry theft, computer hacking
Hacker (computer security)
In computer security and everyday language, a hacker is someone who breaks into computers and computer networks. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, including profit, protest, or because of the challenge...

, credit card fraud, economic espionage
Economic Espionage Act of 1996
The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 was a 6 title Act of Congress dealing with a wide range of issues, including not only industrial espionage , but the insanity defense, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, requirements for presentence investigation reports, and the United...

, embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

, identity theft
Identity theft
Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

, and securities fraud
Securities fraud
Securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud, is a practice that induces investors to make purchase or sale decisions on the basis of false information, frequently resulting in losses, in violation of the securities laws....

 ("pump and dump
Pump and dump
"Pump and dump" is a form of microcap stock fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price....

" scam). Some organized crime groups defraud national, state, or local governments by bid-rigging public projects, counterfeiting money, smuggling or manufacturing untaxed alcohol (bootlegging) or cigarettes (buttlegging), and providing immigrant workers to avoid taxes.

Organized crime groups seek out corrupt public officials in executive, law enforcement, and judicial roles so that their activities can avoid, or at least receive early warnings about, investigation and prosecution.

Organized crime groups also provide a range of illegal services and goods, such as loansharking of money at very high interest rates, assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

, blackmailing, bombings, bookmaking and illegal gambling, confidence trick
Confidence trick
A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

s, copyright infringement
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

, counterfeiting of intellectual property, kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

, prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, oil smuggling, organ trafficking, contract killing
Contract killing
Contract killing is a form of murder, in which one party hires another party to kill a target individual or group of people. It involves an illegal agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to kill the target in exchange for consideration, monetary, or otherwise. The hiring party may...

, identity document forgery
Identity document forgery
Identity document forgery is the process by which identity documents issued by governing bodies are copied and/or modified by persons not authorized to create such documents or engage in such modifications, for the purpose of deceiving those who would view the documents about the identity or status...

, illegal dumping of toxic waste, illegal trading of nuclear materials, military equipment smuggling, nuclear weapons smuggling, passport fraud
Passport fraud
Possible violations of the following statutes are investigated by the United States Diplomatic Security Service:*18 USC 1541 Issuance Without Authority*18 USC 1542 False Statement in Application and Use of Passport...

, providing illegal immigration and cheap labor, people smuggling, trading in endangered species, and trafficking in human beings. Organized crime groups also do a range of business and labour racketeering activities, such as skimming
Skimming (fraud)
A form of white-collar crime, skimming is a slang termhttp://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skim that refers to taking cash "off the top" of the daily receipts of a business and officially reporting a lower total.- Examples :* A skimming crime may be simple tax evasion: the owner of a business...

 casinos, insider trading, setting up monopolies in industries such as garbage collecting, construction and cement pouring, bid rigging, getting "no-show" and "no-work" jobs, money laundering, political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 and bullying.

Assault

The commission of violent crime may form part of a criminal organisations 'tools' used to achieve criminogenic goals (for example, its threatening, authoritative, coercive, terror-inducing, or rebellious role), due to psychosocial factors (cultural conflict, aggression, rebellion against authority, access to illicit substances, counter-cultural dynamic), or may, in and of itself, be crime rationally chosen by individual criminals and the groups they form. Assault
Assault
In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

s are used for coercive measures, to "rough up" debtors, competition or recruits, in the commission of robberies
Robbery
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

 and in connection to other property offences, as an expression of counter-cultural authority; and as a principle violence is normalised within criminal organisations (in direct opposition to mainstream society) and the locations they control. Whilst the intensity of violence is dependent on the types of crime the organisation is involved in (as well as their organisational structure or cultural tradition) aggressive acts range on a spectrum from low-grade physical assaults to murder. Bodily harm and grievous bodily harm, within the context of organised crime, must be understood as indicators of intense social and cultural conflict, motivations contrary to the security of the public, and other psychosocial factors.

Murder

Murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

 has evolved from the honour and vengeance killings of the Yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

 or Sicilian mafia which placed large physical and symbolic importance on the act of murder, its purposes and consequences, to a much less discriminate form of expressing power, enforcing criminal authority, achieving retribution or eliminating competition. The role of the hitman
Hitman
A hitman is a person hired to kill another person.- Hitmen in organized crime :Hitmen are largely linked to the world of organized crime. Hitmen are hired people who kill people for money. Notable examples include Murder, Inc., Mafia hitmen and Richard Kuklinski.- Other cases involving hitmen...

 has been generally consistent throughout the history of organised crime, whether that be due to the efficiency or expediency of hiring a professional assassin or the need to distance oneself from the commission of murderous acts (making it harder to prove liability). This may include the assassination of notable figures (public, private or criminal), once again dependent on authority, retribution or competition. Revenge killings, armed robberies, violent disputes over controlled territories and offences against members of the public must also be considered when looking at the dynamic between different criminal organisations and their (at times) conflicting needs.

Ideological crime

In addition to what is considered traditional organized crime involving direct crimes of fraud swindles, scams, racketeering and other Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization...

 (RICO) predicate acts motivated for the accumulation of monetary gain, there is also non-traditional organized crime which is engaged in for political or ideological gain or acceptance. Such crime groups are often labeled terrorist organizations

There is no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatant
Non-combatant
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...

s (civilians), and are committed by non-government agencies. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 violence and war, especially crimes against humanity (See The Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

). The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection racket
Protection racket
A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a criminal group or individual coerces a victim to pay money, supposedly for protection services against violence or property damage. Racketeers coerce reticent potential victims into buying "protection" by demonstrating what will happen if they...

s or to enforce a code of silence
Code of silence
A code of silence is a condition in effect when a person opts to withhold what is believed to be vital or important information voluntarily or involuntarily....

 is usually not labeled terrorism though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group.

Notable groups include Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, Animal Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front
The Animal Liberation Front is an international, underground leaderless resistance that engages in illegal direct action in pursuit of animal liberation...

, Army of God, Black Liberation Army
Black Liberation Army
The Black Liberation Army was an underground, black nationalist-Marxist militant organization that operated in the United States from 1970 to 1981...

, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord was a radical Christian Identity organization formed in 1971 in the small community of Elijah in southern Missouri, United States.- Leadership :...

, Earth Liberation Front
Earth Liberation Front
The Earth Liberation Front , also known as "Elves" or "The Elves", is the collective name for autonomous individuals or covert cells who, according to the ELF Press Office, use "economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the environment".The ELF was founded...

, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, Hezbollah, Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

, Kurdistan Workers' Party
Kurdistan Workers' Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

, Lashkar e Toiba, May 19th Communist Organization, The Order
The Order (group)
The Order, also known as the Brüder Schweigen or Silent Brotherhood, was an organization active in the United States between 1983 and 1984...

, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

, Symbionese Liberation Army
Symbionese Liberation Army
The Symbionese Liberation Army was an American self-styled left-wing urban militant group active between 1973 and 1975 that considered itself a revolutionary vanguard army...

, Taliban, United Freedom Front
United Freedom Front
The United Freedom Front was a small American Marxist organization active in the 1970s and 1980s. It was originally called the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, and its members became known as the Ohio 7 when they were brought to trial...

  and Weather Underground.

Other

  • Arms trafficking
  • Arson
    Arson
    Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

  • Coercion
    Coercion
    Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

  • Extortion
    Extortion
    Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

  • Protection racket
    Protection racket
    A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a criminal group or individual coerces a victim to pay money, supposedly for protection services against violence or property damage. Racketeers coerce reticent potential victims into buying "protection" by demonstrating what will happen if they...

  • Sexual assault
    Sexual assault
    Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent. Although sexual assaults most frequently are by a man on a woman, it may involve any combination of two or more men, women and children....


Financial crime

OC groups generate large amounts of money by activities such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and financial crime. This is of little use to them unless they can disguise it and convert it into funds that are available for investment into legitimate enterprise. The methods they use for converting its ‘dirty’ money into ‘clean’ assets encourages corruption. OC groups need to hide the money’s illegal origin. It allows for the expansion of OC groups, as the ‘laundry’ or ‘wash cycle’ operates to cover the money trail and convert proceeds of crime into usable assets. ML is bad for international and domestic trade, banking reputations and for effective governments and rule of law. Estimated figures of money laundering were between $200 – $600 billion per year throughout the 1990s (US Congress Office 1995; Robinson 1996). In 2002 this was estimated between $500 billion to $1 trillion per year (UN 2002). This would make organised crime the third largest business in world after foreign exchange and oil (Robinson 1996). The rapid growth of money laundering is due to:
  • the scale of OC precluding it from being a cash business - groups have little option but to convert its proceeds into legitimate funds and do so by investment, by developing legitimate businesses and purchasing property;
  • globalisation of communications and commerce - technology has made rapid transfer of funds across international borders much easier, with groups continuously changing techniques to avoid investigation; and,
  • a lack of effective financial regulation in parts of the global economy.


Money Laundering is a three-stage process:
  • Placement: (also called immersion) groups ‘smurf’ small amounts at a time to avoid suspicion; physical disposal of money by moving crime funds into the legitimate financial system; may involve bank complicity, mixing licit and illicit funds, cash purchases and smuggling currency to safe havens.
  • Layering: disguises the trail to foil pursuit. Also called ‘heavy soaping’. It involves creating false paper trails, converting cash into assets by cash purchases.
  • Integration: (also called ‘spin dry): Making it into clean taxable income by real-estate transactions, sham loans, foreign bank complicy and false import and export transactions.


Means of money laundering:
  • Money transmitters, black money markets purchasing goods, gambling, increasing the complexity of the money trail.
  • Underground banking (flying money), involves clandestine ‘bankers’ around the world.
  • It often involves otherwise legitimate banks and professionals.


The policy aim in this area is to make the financial markets transparent, and minimise the circulation of criminal money and its cost upon legitimate markets.

Remittance services

In addition to ordinary banking, however, money and other forms of value can be transferred through the use of so-called 'remittance services' which have operated for hundreds of years in non-Western societies. Originating in southeast Asia and India, users of these systems transfer funds through the use of agents who enter into agreements with each other to receive money from people in one country (such as overseas workers) and to pay money to specified relatives or friends in other countries without having to rely on conventional banking arrangements. Funds can be moved quickly, cheaply and securely between locations that often don't have established banking networks or modern forms of electronic funds transfers available. Because such systems operate outside conventional banking systems, they are known as 'alternative remittance', 'underground' or 'parallel banking' systems. They are invariably legitimate and legal in many countries, although concerns have arisen in recent years that they could be used to circumvent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls that now operate across the global financial services sector. Particular risks arise from the irregular forms of record-keeping which are often employed and the possibility that the laws of those countries in which they operate may not be fully complied with. 'Alternative remittance' is only one of a number of terms used to describe the practice of transferring value, including money, from one country to another. It is generally used where value is sent through 'informal' channels, as distinct from conventional banks. Terms used in other jurisdictions include hundi, hawala, poe kuan, informal funds transfer, underground banking, parallel banking, informal funds transfer and money/value transfer. The remittance system pre-dates modern banking and arose in various locations including China, southeast Asia and the Middle East where there was a need to move value without taking the risk of physically moving money itself. At its most basic, a remittance service involves a sender, a beneficiary and two intermediaries. The sender wishes to send a remittance to the beneficiary, often in the country of origin where the sender previously resided.

Counterfeiting

In 2007, the OECD reported the scope of counterfeit products to include food, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, electrical components, tobacco and even household cleaning products in addition to the usual films, music, literature, games and other electrical appliances, software and fashion. A number of qualitative changes in the trade of counterfeit products:
  • a large increase in fake goods which are dangerous to health and safety;
  • most products repossessed by authorities are now household items rather than luxury goods;
  • a growing number of technological products; and,
  • production is now operated on an industrial scale.

Tax evasion

The economic effects of organised crime have been approached from a number of both theoretical and empirical positions, however the nature of such activity allows for misrepresentation. The level of taxation taken by a nation-state, rates of unemployment, mean household incomes and level of satisfaction with government and other economic factors all contribute to the likelihood of criminals to participate in tax evasion, As most organised crime is perpetrated in the liminal state between legitimate and illegitimate markets, these economic factors must adjusted to ensure the optimal amount of taxation without promoting the practice of tax evasion. As with any other crime, technological advancements have made the commission of tax evasion easier, faster and more globalised. The ability for organised criminals to operate fraudulent financial accounts, utilise illicit offshore bank
Offshore bank
An offshore bank is a bank located outside the country of residence of the depositor, typically in a low tax jurisdiction that provides financial and legal advantages. These advantages typically include:...

 accounts, access tax haven
Tax haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate....

s or tax shelter
Tax shelter
Tax shelters are any method of reducing taxable income resulting in a reduction of the payments to tax collecting entities, including state and federal governments...

s, and operating goods smuggling synidactes to evade importation taxes help ensure financial sustainability, security from law enforcement, general anonymity and the continuation of their operations.

Internet fraud

Identity theft is a form of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 or cheating of another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. Victims of identity theft (those whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if held accountable for the perpetrator's actions, as can organizations and individuals who are defrauded by the identity thief, and to that extent are also victims. Internet fraud refers to the actual use of Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme. In the context of organised crime, both may serve as means through which other criminal activity may be successfully perpetrated or as the primary goal themselves. Email fraud, advance-fee fraud, romance scam
Romance scam
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud...

s, employment scams
Employment scams
Employment scams, also known as job scams, are a form of advance fee fraud scamming where certain unscrupulous persons posing as recruiters or employers offer attractive employment opportunities which require the job seeker to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work visas, travel...

, and other phishing
Phishing
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT...

 scams are the most common and most widely used forms of identity theft, though with the advent of social networking fake websites, accounts and other fraudulent or deceitful activity has become commonplace.

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive right
Exclusive right
In Anglo-Saxon law, an exclusive right is a de facto, non-tangible prerogative existing in law to perform an action or acquire a benefit and to permit or deny others the right to perform the same action or to acquire the same benefit. A "prerogative" is in effect an exclusive right...

s, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative work
Derivative work
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

s. Whilst almost universally considered under civil procedure
Civil procedure
Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits...

, the impact and intent of organised criminal operations in this area of crime has been the subject of much debate. Article 61 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members...

 (TRIPs) requires that signatory countries establish criminal procedures and penalties in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale. More recently copyright holders have demanded that states provide criminal sanctions for all types of copyright infringement. Organised criminal groups capitalise on consumer complicity, advancements in security and anonymity technology, emerging markets and new methods of product transmission, and the consistent nature of these provides a stable financial basis for other areas of organised crime.

Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare refers to politically motivated hacking
Computer crime
Computer crime, or cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Netcrime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health...

 to conduct sabotage
Cyber spying
Cyber spying or Cyber espionage is the act or practice of obtaining secrets without the permission of the holder of the information , from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments and enemies for personal, economic, political or military advantage using illegal exploitation methods on...

 and espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

. It is a form of information warfare
Information warfare
The term Information Warfare is primarily an American concept involving the use and management of information technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent...

 sometimes seen as analogous to conventional warfare
Conventional warfare
Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted byusing conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that primarily target the opposing army...

 although this analogy is controversial for both its accuracy and its political motivation. It has been defined as activities by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks with the intention of causing civil damage or disruption. Moreover it acts as the "fifth domain of warfare," and William J. Lynn, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, states that "as a doctrinal matter, the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 has formally recognized cyberspace as a new domain in warfare . . . [which] has become just as critical to military operations as land, sea, air, and space." Cyber espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 is the practice of obtaining confidential, sensitive, proprietary or classified information from individuals, competitors, groups, or governments using illegal exploitation methods on internet, networks, software and/or computers. There is also a clear military, political, or economic motivation. Unsecured information may be intercepted and modified, making espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 possible internationally. The recently established Cyber Command is currently debating whether such activities as commercial espionage or theft of intellectual property are criminal activities or actual "breaches of national security." Furtermore, military activities that use computers and satellites for coordination are at risk of equipment disruption. Orders and communications can be intercepted or replaced. Power, water, fuel, communications, and transportation infrastructure all may be vulnerable to sabotage
Sabotage
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...

. According to Clarke, the civilian realm is also at risk, noting that the security breaches have already gone beyond stolen credit card numbers, and that potential targets can also include the electric power grid, trains, or the stock market.

Computer viruses

The term "computer virus" may be used as an overarching phrase to include all types of true viruses, malware
Malware
Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming that is designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, or gain unauthorized access to system resources, or that otherwise exhibits abusive behavior...

, including computer worm
Computer worm
A computer worm is a self-replicating malware computer program, which uses a computer network to send copies of itself to other nodes and it may do so without any user intervention. This is due to security shortcomings on the target computer. Unlike a computer virus, it does not need to attach...

s, Trojan horse
Trojan horse (computing)
A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but steals information or harms the system. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.-Malware:A destructive program that masquerades as a benign...

s, most rootkit
Rootkit
A rootkit is software that enables continued privileged access to a computer while actively hiding its presence from administrators by subverting standard operating system functionality or other applications...

s, spyware
Spyware
Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers, and which collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's...

, dishonest adware
Adware
Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer. These advertisements can be in the form of a pop-up. They may also be in the user interface of the software or on a screen presented to the user during...

 and other malicious and unwanted software (though all are technically unique), and proves to be quite financially lucrative for criminal organisations, offering greater opportunities for fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 and extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 whilst increasing security, secrecy and anonymity. Worms may be utilised by organised crime groups to exploit security vulnerabilities
Vulnerability (computing)
In computer security, a vulnerability is a weakness which allows an attacker to reduce a system's information assurance.Vulnerability is the intersection of three elements: a system susceptibility or flaw, attacker access to the flaw, and attacker capability to exploit the flaw...

 (duplicating itself automatically across other computers a given network), while a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless but hides malicious functions (such as retrieval of stored confidential data, corruption of information, or interception of transmissions). Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may harm a computer system's data or performance. Applying the Internet model of organised crime, the proliferation of computer viruses and other malicious software promotes a sense of detachment between the perpetrator (whether that be the criminal organisation or another individual) and the victim; this may help to explain vast increases in cyber-crime such as these for the purpose of ideological crime or terrorism. In mid July 2010, security experts discovered a malicious software program that had infiltrated factory computers and had spread to plants around the world. It is considered "the first attack on critical industrial infrastructure that sits at the foundation of modern economies," notes the New York Times.

Political corruption

Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 power for other purposes, such as repression
Political repression
Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

 of political opponents and general police brutality
Police brutality
Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially also in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer....

, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

, extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

, cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

, nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

, patronage
Patronage
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors...

, graft, and embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

, and human trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

, it is not restricted to these activities. The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy
Kleptocracy
Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest...

, literally meaning "rule by thieves".

Corporate crime

Corporate crime refers to crimes committed either by a corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 (i.e., a business entity having a separate legal personality from the natural person
Natural person
Variously, in jurisprudence, a natural person is a human being, as opposed to an artificial, legal or juristic person, i.e., an organization that the law treats for some purposes as if it were a person distinct from its members or owner...

s that manage its activities), or by individuals that may be identified with a corporation or other business entity (see vicarious liability
Vicarious liability (criminal)
The legal principle of vicarious liability applies to hold one person liable for the actions of another when engaged in some form of joint or collective activity.-History:...

 and corporate liability
Corporate liability
In criminal law, corporate liability determines the extent to which a corporation as a legal person can be liable for the acts and omissions of the natural persons it employs...

). Note that some forms of corporate corruption may not actually be criminal if they are not specifically illegal under a given system of laws. For example, some jurisdictions allow insider trading
Insider trading
Insider trading is the trading of a corporation's stock or other securities by individuals with potential access to non-public information about the company...

.

Drug trafficking

Heroin: Source countries / production: three major regions known as the golden triangle (Burma, Laos, Thailand), golden crescent (Afghanistan) and Central and South America. There are suggestions that due to the continuing decline in opium production in South East Asia, traffickers may begin to look to Afghanistan as a source of heroin."

Sex trafficking

Human trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

 for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a major cause of contemporary sexual slavery and is primarily for prostituting women
Woman
A woman , pl: women is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent...

 and child
Child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

ren into sex industries
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

. Sexual slavery encompasses most, if not all, forms of forced prostitution. The terms "forced prostitution
Forced prostitution
Forced prostitution, also known as involuntary prostitution, is the act of performing sexual activity in exchange for money on a non-voluntary basis. There are a wide range of entry routes into prostitution, ranging from "voluntary and deliberate" entry, "semi-voluntary" based on pressure of...

" or "enforced prostitution" appear in international and humanitarian conventions but have been insufficiently understood and inconsistently applied. "Forced prostitution" generally refers to conditions of control over a person who is coerced by another to engage in sexual activity. Official numbers of individuals in sexual slavery worldwide vary. In 2001 International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

 estimated 400,000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 estimated 700,000 and UNICEF estimated 1.75 million. The most common destinations for victims of human trafficking are Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and the US, according to a report by UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

.

Illegal Immigration and People smuggling ('Migrant Trafficking')

See Snakehead (gang)
Snakehead (gang)
Snakeheads are Chinese gangs that smuggle people to other countries. They are found in the Fujian region of China and smuggle their customers into wealthier Western countries such as those in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and some nearby wealthier countries such as Taiwan and...

, Coyotaje
Coyotaje
Coyotaje is a colloquial Mexican-Spanish term referring to the practice of people smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border. Smuggling should not be misinterpreted to mean human trafficking. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement define smuggling as the "Importation of people into the United...



People smuggling is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents". The term is understood as and often used interchangeably with migrant smuggling, which is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is a United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime, adopted in 2000...

 as "...the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national". This practice has increased over the past few decades and today now accounts for a significant portion of illegal immigration in countries around the world. People smuggling generally takes place with the consent of the person or persons being smuggled, and common reasons for individuals seeking to be smuggled include employment and economic opportunity, personal and/or familial betterment, and escape from persecution or conflict.

Contemporary slavery and unfree labour ('Labour Racketeering')

The number of slaves today remains as high as 12 million to 27 million, though this is probably the smallest proportion of the world's population in history. Most are debt slaves
Debt bondage
Debt bondage is when a person pledges him or herself against a loan. In debt bondage, the services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined...

, largely in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, who are under debt bondage
Debt bondage
Debt bondage is when a person pledges him or herself against a loan. In debt bondage, the services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined...

 incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations. It is the fastest growing criminal industry and is predicted to eventually outgrow drug trafficking
Illegal drug trade
The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...

. Labour racketeering has developed since the 1930s, effecting national and international construction, mining, energy production and transportation sectors immensely. Activity has focused on the importation of cheap or unfree labour
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

, involvement with union and public officials (political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

), and counterfeiting.

Legislative frameworks and policing measures

International
  • Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
    Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
    The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is a United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime, adopted in 2000...

     (the 'Palermo Convention') - the international treaty against organized crime; includes the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children
    Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children
    The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children is a protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime...

     and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air

United States
  • Federal Anti-Racketeering Act (the 'Hobbs Act')
    Hobbs Act
    The Hobbs Act, named after Congressman Sam Hobbs and codified at , is a U.S. federal law that prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Section 1951 also proscribes conspiracy to commit robbery or extortion without reference to the conspiracy...

     1946
  • Federal Wire Act
    Federal Wire Act
    The Interstate Wire Act of 1961, often called the Federal Wire Act, is a United States federal law prohibiting the operation of certain types of betting businesses in the United States. It begins with the text:...

     1961
  • Bank Secrecy Act
    Bank Secrecy Act
    The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires financial institutions in the United States to assist U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent money laundering...

     1970
  • Organized Crime Control Act
    Organized Crime Control Act
    The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 , was an Act of Congress sponsored by Democratic Senator John L. McClellan and signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon....

     1970
  • Title 21 of the United States Code
    Title 21 of the United States Code
    Title 21 of the United States Code governs Food and Drugs in the United States Code.-Title 21 — Food and Drugs:Title 21 has 26 chapters: — Adulterated or Misbranded Foods or Drugs — [Teas] — Filled Milk...

     1970
  • Continuing Criminal Enterprise
    Continuing Criminal Enterprise
    The Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute is a United States federal law that targets large-scale drug traffickers who are responsible for long-term and elaborate drug conspiracies...

     (contemporary)
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (the 'RICO Act')
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
    The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization...

     1970
  • Money Laundering Control Act
    Money Laundering Control Act
    The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 is a United States Act of Congress that made money laundering a Federal crime. It was passed in 1986. It consists of two sections, and . It for the first time in the United States criminalized money laundering...

     1986
  • United States Patriot Act 2001
  • Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009
    Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009
    The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, or FERA, , is a public law in the United States enacted in 2009. The law enhanced criminal enforcement of federal fraud laws, especially regarding financial institutions, mortgage fraud, and securities fraud or commodities fraud.-Legislative history:U.S...


United Kingdom
  • Serious Organised Crime and Police Act
    Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
    The Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aimed primarily at creating the Serious Organised Crime Agency, it also significantly extended and simplified the powers of arrest of a constable and introduced restrictions on protests in the...

     2005

Canada
  • Criminal Code of Canada
    Criminal Code of Canada
    The Criminal Code or Code criminel is a law that codifies most criminal offences and procedures in Canada. Its official long title is "An Act respecting the criminal law"...

     1985

India
  • Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act
    Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act
    Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act is law enacted by Maharashtra state in India in 1999 to combat organised crime and terrorism. The preamble to MCOC says that "the existing legal framework, ie the penal and procedural laws and the adjudicatory system, are found to be rather inadequate to...


Italy
  • Article 41-bis prison regime
    Article 41-bis prison regime
    In Italian law, Article 41-bis of the Prison Administration Act is a provision that allows the Minister of Justice or the Minister of the Interior to suspend certain prison regulations...


By nation

  • Organised crime in Australia
    Organised crime in Australia
    Organised crime in Australia refers to the activities of various groups of crime families and/or organised crime syndicates.Organised crime is a phenomenon that has emerged in different cultures and countries around the world; it is ubiquitous, internationalised and not exclusive to certain...

  • Organized crime in China
  • Organised crime in Hong Kong
  • Organized crime in Italy
  • Organized crime in Japan
  • Organized crime in Korea
  • Organised crime in Pakistan
    Organised crime in Pakistan
    Organized crime in Pakistan is known throughout the world as one of the most threatening.The most important group in pakistan is known by the name of MQM.a strong mafia and a armed wing of a ethinic poltical party,the canadian govenment declared this party as a terrorist group...

  • Organised crime in India

See also

  • Black market
  • Crime family
    Crime family
    A crime family is a term used to describe a unit of an organized crime syndicate, often operating within a specific geographic territory. The term is used almost exclusively to refer to units of the Mafia, both in Sicily and in the United States, although it is occasionally used to refer to other...

  • Criminal tattoos
  • Drug Cartel
    Drug cartel
    Drug cartels are criminal organizations developed with the primary purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking...

  • Gang
    Gang
    A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation. In early usage, the word gang referred to a group of workmen...

  • Gun moll
    Gun moll
    Gun moll is a term that refers to the female companion of a male professional criminal. In some contexts, gun moll more specifically suggests that the woman handles a firearm....

  • Joint criminal enterprise
    Joint Criminal Enterprise
    Joint criminal enterprise ' is a legal doctrine used by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to prosecute political and military leaders for mass war crimes, including genocide, committed during the Yugoslav wars 1991-1999....

  • Informant
    Informant
    An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

  • Outlaw motorcycle gangs
  • Piracy
    Piracy
    Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

  • Prison gang
    Prison gang
    Prison gang is a term used to denote any type of gang activity in prisons and correctional facilities. Prison officials and others in law enforcement use the term security threat group or STG...

  • Terrorism
    Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

  • Terrorist financing
    Terrorist Financing
    Terrorist financing came into limelight after the events of terrorism on 9/11. The US passed the USA PATRIOT Act to, among other reasons, attempt thwarting the financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering making sure these were given some sort of adequate focus by US financial institutions...

  • Timeline of organized crime
    Timeline of organized crime
    This is a timeline of the history of organized crime.Note: Sources included are Carl Sifakis's The Mafia Encyclopedia, Herbert Asbury's The Gangs of New York and others. Online references also include Thomas P...

  • Tocsearch
    Tocsearch
    The TOC search is a dynamic data base which offers comprehensive information on global terrorist network and help researchers, analysts, students and others working to prevent terrorism...

     (dynamic database)
  • Transnational organized crime


Activities:
  • Arms trafficking
  • Art theft
    Art theft
    Art theft is usually for the purpose of resale or for ransom . Stolen art is sometimes used by criminals to secure loans.. One must realize that only a small percentage of stolen art is recovered. Estimates range from 5 to 10%. This means that little is known about the scope and characteristics of...

  • Assassination
    Assassination
    To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

  • Bank fraud
    Bank fraud
    Bank fraud is the use of fraudulent means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently representing to be a bank or financial institution. In many instances, bank fraud is a criminal offense...

  • Chop shop
    Chop shop
    In motor vehicle theft, a chop shop is a location or business which disassembles stolen automobiles for the purpose of selling them as parts. It may also be used to refer to a location or business that is involved with the selling of stolen or fraudulent goods in general, an example of the latter...

  • Cigarette smuggling
    Cigarette smuggling
    Cigarette smuggling is the illicit transportation of cigarettes from an administrative division with low taxation to a division with high taxation for sale and consumption...

  • Computer crime
    Computer crime
    Computer crime, or cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Netcrime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health...

  • Contract killing
    Contract killing
    Contract killing is a form of murder, in which one party hires another party to kill a target individual or group of people. It involves an illegal agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to kill the target in exchange for consideration, monetary, or otherwise. The hiring party may...

  • Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

  • Counterfeiting
  • Drug trafficking
  • Extortion
    Extortion
    Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

  • Human trafficking
    Human trafficking
    Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

  • Identity theft
    Identity theft
    Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

  • Illegal gambling
  • Illegal immigration
    Illegal immigration
    Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

  • Money laundering
    Money laundering
    Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

  • People smuggling
    People smuggling
    People smuggling is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents"...

  • Prostitution
    Prostitution
    Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

  • Organized retail crime
    Organized retail crime
    Organized retail crime refers to professional shoplifting, cargo theft, retail crime rings and other organized crime occurring in retail environments. One person acting alone is not considered an example of organized retail crime. The FBI has estimated that the losses attributed to organized...

  • Racket
    Racket (crime)
    A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes...

  • Rum running
  • White-collar crime
    White-collar crime
    Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" . Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was...



Lists:

US specific:
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
    Drug Enforcement Administration
    The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

     (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     (FBI)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • IRS Criminal Investigation Division
    IRS Criminal Investigation Division
    Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation investigates potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner intended to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law...

  • United States Marshals Service
    United States Marshals Service
    The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

  • United States Secret Service
    United States Secret Service
    The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...



News:
  • Organized crime and corruption reporting project
    Organized crime and corruption reporting project
    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project founded in 2006 is a consortium of investigative centers operating in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. OCCRP is the only full-time investigative reporting organization that specializes in organized crime and corruption. It publishes its...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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