Organized Crime as One of the Main Reflections of Terrorism in the Modern World

Organized Crime as One of the Main Reflections of Terrorism in the Modern World

Irakli Kervalishvili
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5311-7.ch015
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At the end of the 20th century, security concern went beyond interstate cooperation and disarmament issues. With the development of the globalization process, organized crime became a bigger topic. According to several estimates, since the 1980s, the number of criminal acts, having been carried out within organized crime, has increased by 5% annually. Members of organized criminal groups gain huge income. By estimates, which were presented in 1999, the total amount of so-called dirty money in the world was from 500 to 1500 billion dollars per year, which was equal to 5% of the world GDP during this period. In 2009 it was estimated to generate $870 billion – an amount equal to 1.5% of global GDP for this period. As of 2016, transnational crime was a $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion annual “business.”
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It is recognized that organized crime is one of the most complex and dangerous types of criminal activity that affects the economic, political, legal and moral spheres of society. It poses one of the main threats to the modern international society, which is facilitated by the development of transport and information communications, the simplified movement of capital, the transparency of state borders, the growth of labor migration and other processes related to globalization. Organized crime in the modern world is becoming more and more transnational in nature, in particular, the spheres of activity of various criminal organizations go beyond the borders of any one state. In the last quarter of the last century, the global economy created favorable conditions for the further development of organized crime. The unprecedented ease of international trade, financing, communications, and movement, along with economic development and an increase in the quality of life, have provided ample opportunities for criminals to conduct illegal businesses. Simply put, illegal goods can be produced on one continent and distributed through another to a third. One of the main tasks of all international organizations related to this field is to fight organized crime, because taking into account the global scale of this type of crime, the measures taken by individual countries are insufficient and ineffective. The United Nations is actively involved in measures against organized crime. In terms of international cooperation, the International Criminal Police Organization - INTERPOL plays a special role (Chitadze, 2016). It has a large data base and is the main body for information retrieval, processing and analysis of processes related to organized crime. Interpol conducts global monitoring of organized crime and coordinates international investigations. In relation to this type of crime, Interpol's function is to lead cooperation between member countries, to ensure the exchange of information about organized crime and related corruption between all national and international agencies operating in this field. As for the second, important police organization - Europol, the main purpose of its creation is the fight against organized crime (Chitadze, 2016). Despite the magnitude of the struggle, the phenomenon of organized crime is understudied. Information on transnational criminal markets and trends is rather scarce. With rare exceptions, the majority of research on the subject focuses on one specific country or geographic unit and does not reflect the global picture. Considering all these circumstances, the phenomenon of organized crime is a subject of constant discussion in both scientific and law enforcement fields. At the same time, discussion is taking place both on the institution in general, and on its individual form or directions of activity. Considering these circumstances, it is particularly important to study the concept, origin and development of organized crime, the existing experience of combating it based on legislative and practical methods.

One of the fields of activity of organized crime is caused by the fact that several goods are not taxed. The illegal transfer of these goods from one country to another brings considerable revenue to the members of the groups of organized crime. Other areas of organized crime are connected with illegal arms supplies, illegal activity in the conflict zones, including recruitment of mercenaries, etc. Processes of privatization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have also drawn attention.

This problem already holds a specific place because of the scales but has received an additional boost in connection with globalization and the openness of borders generated by it. Considerable streams of drugs go via post-soviet space from Asia, the USA faces the same problem from Colombia and some other countries in Latin America. In general drug trafficking within the second decade of the XXI Century, by different estimates, has increased tens of times, giving more than 500% of profit (Chitadze, 2016).

Fighting against drug distribution has become one of the global problems of the contemporary period. At the same time, their main production is arranged in countries with badly developed economies and a set of internal conflicts, with the military and quasi-military regime. The chief suppliers of opium poppy on the market today are Afghanistan and Burma today. By the estimates given by J. Goldstein, the production of opium from 1998 to 1999 has increased in Afghanistan twice and has made three-quarters of the world's production. More and more synthetic drugs which don't demand vegetable raw materials are widely adopted (Goldstein, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Japanese “Yakuza”: Also known as gokudo are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police and media, by request of the police, call them boryokudan (violent organization) while the yakuza call themselves ninkyo dantai (chivalrous organizations). The English equivalent for the term yakuza is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization. The yakuza are known for their strict codes of conduct, their organized fiefdom nature and several unconventional ritual practices such as yubitsume or amputation of the left little finger. Members are often portrayed as males, wearing “sharp suits” with heavily tattooed bodies and slicked hair. This group is still regarded as being among “the most sophisticated and wealthiest criminal organizations”.

Transnational Organized Crime (TOC): Organized crime coordinated across national borders, involving groups or markets of individuals working in more than one country to plan and execute illegal business ventures. In order to achieve their goals, these criminal groups use systematic violence and corruption. Common transnational organized crimes include conveying drugs, conveying arms, trafficking for sex, toxic waste disposal, materials theft and poaching.

Italian Mafia: Hierarchically structured society of criminals of primarily Italian or Sicilian birth or extraction. The term applies to the traditional criminal organization in Sicily and also to a criminal organization in the United States.

Chinese “Triads”: A Chinese transnational organized crime syndicate based in Greater China and has outposts in various countries with significant overseas Chinese diaspora populations. The Hong Kong triad is distinct from mainland Chinese criminal organizations. In ancient China, the triad was one of three major secret societies. It established branches in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese communities overseas. Known as “mainland Chinese criminal organizations”, they are of two major types: “dark forces” (loosely organized groups) and “Black Societies” (more-mature criminal organizations). Two features which distinguish a black society from ordinary “dark forces” or low level criminal gangs are the extent to which the organisation is able to control local markets and the degree of police protection able to be obtained. The Hong Kong triad refers to traditional criminal organizations operating in (or originating from) Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and south-east Asian countries and regions, while organized-crime groups in mainland China are known as “mainland Chinese criminal groups”.

Colombian Drug Cartels: The illegal drug trade in Colombia has, since the 1970s, centered successively on four major drug trafficking cartels: Medellín, Cali, Norte del Valle, and North Coast, as well as several bandas criminales, or BACRIMs. The trade eventually created a new social class and influenced several aspects of Colombian culture and politics.

Organized Crime: A category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. While organized crime is generally thought of as a form of illegal business, some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, rebel forces, and separatists, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for “protection.”

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