There has been increase in transnational organized crimes lately. Threat from this form of crimes has become an issue of concern for government, scholar and international policy makers. Organized crimes in form of drug trafficking, human trafficking and other organized crimes are no longer national issue. Crime activities in the recent past go beyond national border to even countries that were previously free from crime. Involvement of organized criminals in terrorism activities has been of great concern. Terrorism activities remain one of the greatest threats in the world. Transnational organized crimes in form of drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and other crimes have high cost to individual country and the world. One of the major challenges in fighting transnational organized crimes has been the narrow line between organized crimes and legitimate. Most organized crimes are carried out in the name of legitimate business. To succeed in fight against transnational organized crimes, there is need for increased collaboration between nations.
Concern for Transnational Organized Crimes
Threat from organized crimes that take place across national borders is a major concern for policy maker, politicians and scholars. Despite of perceived threat, there is no agreement on the actual nature of the problem or the measures that should be taken to overcome the challenges. Individual countries take varying measures to address organized crime within their borders. Although some of the measures taken have bore fruits, dynamic nature of organized crimes makes it difficult to do away with it. Individuals have differing opinions on what should be done to control transnational organized crimes. One of the measures that have been taken to control transnational organized crime has been the use of military and intelligence agencies. Some critic, however are critical of these measures claiming that they fail contain the problem. They advocate for greater collaboration between countries in addressing the problem. They argue that transnational crimes are mainly contained in particular regions and should be addressed by collaboration with local crime control. They also attribute increase in transnational crimes to social issues and thus advocate for social policy as a solution to these crimes. Some critics, however, acknowledge high mobility of organized of crimes. They call for measures that cut across borders. Dynamic nature of transnational organized crimes makes handling the crimes a challenge. Transnational organized criminals develop new approach to crime making it hard to stop them.
Nature of Transnational organized crimes
A broad collection list of organized criminal activities comprise trade in prohibited goods and services, such as making and trafficking of narcotics, weapons trafficking, human trafficking, dealing in organs, facilitating illegal immigration, hired murders, forgery, prostitution activities, and trade in nuclear materials2. Other transnational organized crimes activities include trading on stolen properties such as luxury cars, jewelries, animal parts or work of art. The activities may also involve assisting legitimate companies to engage in illegal activities such as overriding some laid down procedures. Transnational organized criminal may use legal network in order to supervise routes for illegal activities. Legitimate means may also be used as money laundering activities. For example, transnational organized criminals can use legal networks to strike deal with pretence of offering a service. Piracy activities, kidnapping and extortion are some of transnational organized crimes that are in the increase in the recent past. Although many new forms of transnational organized crimes are in the increase, drug trafficking remains the leading organized crime at international level. Organized crime groups that a fully dedicated to narcotic trade have been existing for a long time. Organized groups such as Italian Mafia, Chinese Triad and Japanese yakuza have been there for a long time. Drug trafficking in Latin America countries, Africa and other place have led to development of new organized groups.
Sophistication of transnational organized crimes is a setback to fight against international crimes. Criminal entrepreneurs are dynamic and are able to come up with new forms of crimes. Rapid development in information technology and emergence of better transport and communication has contributed to increase in global crime. Growth in global economy has also contributed to increase in transnational organized crimes. Deregulated global economy has made it difficult to monitor economic activities that may be involved in organized crimes. To address the problem, some critics advocate for increased investment in international law enforcement.
Dynamic nature of organized crime is a major challenge a threat to international security. Organized crimes in the world have been changing dynamically over time. Organized criminals are able to come up with new forms of crimes or change way in which crimes are conducted. Globalization and technological advancement have high contribution to transnational organized crimes. Wide spreads of organized crimes such as narcotic trade, small arm trade and human trafficking pose threat not only to countries where they are carried out but also to other countries. Transnational organized crimes have far-reaching effects and may threat of a particular regions and affect economy of certain region. Increase in transnational organized crimes and their dynamic nature is a major security threat in modern days. Security challenges resulting from transnational organized crime are less predictable, widely spread and more multidimensional. Security threats resulting from organized crimes are comparable or more that threat from cold war. Security threats today a re more sophisticated. Traditional security threats such and inters country wars are being replaced by new forms of threats from organized crimes. Many countries appreciate new forms of security threats. Security policies have slowly changed from being dominated by conventional threats such as wars to address modern non-military threats.
Organized Crime and Security
Global security environment has been changing over time. Security threat keep changing over time as new security threats emerge. In the early years of 20th century, war was the major security threat. World War I and World War II lead to mistrust between countries. Threat of war consecutive was the main addressed issued in security policies. After Second World War, Cold war resulting from tension between United States of America and Russia was the main concern for national and international security. These traditional security threats are no longer areas of major concern. Other contemporary security threats such organized crime, terrorism; environmental degradation and human movement have been dominating security concerns in the modern days. Evolution of security threats has led to revision of security policies. Security policies have replaced conventional security threats with modern threats. For example, in Europe new security threats such as terrorism, organized crime and failed states are named as the major security threats other than traditional threats. Organized crimes feature a security threat in most countries. Although growth in global economy is associated with global poverty reduction, it has been associated with increase in organized crimes. Increase in international trade and international travel have created opportunity for passage of narcotic, illicit money and illegal immigrants.
Organized crimes are primarily motivated by money. Many organized crime syndicates at getting money through illegal means. Organized crimes activities such as human trafficking and narcotic trade involve a lot of money that organized criminal can do any thing to gain or protect. To obtain money organized c rimed syndicates get involved in all sort of crimes including human trafficking, prostitution, fraud , gabling or even contract murders. To them criminal activities are viewed as economic activities. Magnitude of organized crimes has been estimated to be vey high. It is estimated that the magnitude of these crimes goes beyond 1.5 trillion US dollar per year, which is above GDP’s of most developed countries. Social and economic cost of organized crimes is estimated to be above forty billion pounds per year. Organized crimes are taken as enterprises with some gangs dealing with particular crimes. For example Colombian gang have been known to specialize in Cocaine, Nigerian gangs with heroin while Taiwanese gangs have been associated with human trafficking.
Narcotic trafficking is the most widespread and pernicious among other transnational organized crimes. Significance of narcotic trafficking is not only because of the amount of money that is involved but also of other crimes that go together with narcotic trade and human health effect from narcotics. Although carried out illegally, narcotic trade is named as the third economic activity because of amount of money involved. Despite of various efforts to stop drug trafficking, drug trafficking is on the increase in almost every place in the world.
Transnational organized crimes pose real threat to nations. Organized crimes can influence political environment in a country. For example, organized crime can lead to removal of a democratic government and installation of a favourable government to them. This can lead to mistrust of governments and may also lead to instability. For example, organized crimes in Russia have lowered people’s trust on government. Organized crimes also lead to destruction of people’s lives. For example narcotic activities contribute to loss of more than 15,000 lives annually. Other organized crimes such as money laundering can lead to fall of a country’s banking system or even threat a country’s economy.
Effect of organized crimes to governance of a country is apparent. Organized crimes affect a country’s domestic politics and subsequently affecting the way the government if run. Influence of organized crimes also affects laws in a country. Growth of black market for various goods is highly associated with transnational organized crimes. Growth of black market is a major security threat for today and in the future. Black market draws major part of a country’s economy from the control of authorities. Money obtained from black market is used to sponsor other criminal activities. For example, individuals involved in black market can use resources obtained to commit such crimes as murder to cover up their activities. Illegal trade in international black market usually leads to conflicts from the individuals involved. Such disagreements sometimes grow and may lead to murders. Growth and increasing competitiveness in black market is a threat in international security. Technological advancements such as internet technology have changed the working of black market. Internet technology has opened up other opportunities for criminal activities. Organized criminal groups may operate money laundering activities through the web and be able to organize their activities. Although secretive, international black market advertises their product over the internet and can access buyers from any part of the world. Black markets have very high destabilizing effect on governments. The magnitude of security threat posed b y black market is evident by how they destabilize government especially during transitions.
Security threat of transnational organized crimes is evidenced by the challenges that they give law enforcers and judiciary system. Direct confrontations between narcotic dealers and law enforcers are common in Columbia and Mexico. Narcotic wars in such places lead to loss of lives every year. Through threat, intimidations and other means, organized crimes have great influence on judiciary systems. Through corruption, organized crimes have indirect influence on security. Through bribery and other corrupt dealing, organized crimes compromise integrity in state institution. For example, organized crime use corruption to influence transition of governments and may bar a legitimate government from taking authority.
Transnational organized crimes and legitimate business
The line between transnational organized trade and legitimate business is very narrow. Organized criminals carry out their activities with pretence of legitimate business. Most of them run legitimate business activities along with illegitimate trade. They use legitimate business to gain entrance to various countries where they have their activities. For example, organized may obtain licence to operate legitimate business but instead use it to engage in black market. Most of illegal prostitution activities are licensed as companies offering hospitality services.
Corruption has great influence on transnational organized crimes. Organized crime groups use resources obtained from their illegal activities to influence law enforcing authorities. Through corruption, organized crime groups may be able to run illegal activities. They can use cover up their illegitimate activities. They can be able to obtain all the necessary papers that are required in international trade and carry out their activities as it they were legitimate.
Organized criminals are able to come up with new forms of crimes or change way in which crimes are conducted. Globalization and technological advancement have high contribution to transnational organized crimes. Wide spreads of organized crimes such as narcotic trade, small arm trade and human trafficking pose threat not only to countries where they are carried out but also to other countries. Strong connection between organized crimes and legitimate business makes fighting them a major challenge. Internet technology and other new forms of communication have opened up international borders and allowed crimes to be carried out across borders.
Solution to Transnational Organized Crime
Transnational organized crimes are a major threat to international security. These crimes compromise security not only on the countries where they take place but also in other countries. Transnational organized crimes are very will connected through the world. Modern communication mean s have enabled the groups to organize their activities better. Strong networking between transnational organized crime members has made controlling them to a major challenge. Transnational Organized crimes are some of the major challenge to globalization and multilateral relations. Organized crime is in fact among the major security threat for the future. Collaboration between concerned countries is the way forward toward addressing transnational organized crimes. Since the nature of these crimes change with time security policies have to be adjusted with time in order to address new emergence of crimes. Organized crimes rely heavily of crime network. Addressing the threats posed by these should start by analyzing the networks. Fight against transnational organized crimes can benefit highly of network analysis. This would enable the operations of these groups to be revealed and appropriate actions be taken.
Political commitment is necessary in addressing transnational organized crimes. Governments across the world should recognize the effects of organized crimes and be committed to appropriate actions to bring correction. Government around the world should recognize the transnational nature of organized crime and be willing to take appropriate action. Since organized crimes are no longer a national but an international issue, various governments should be willing to collaborate in policy and preventive measures. There is increased need for collaboration in information sharing and legal measures. International treaties and agreements between various countries as well as inter departmental collaboration are necessary in addressing the problem. Approach to the problem should change from national to multinationals. Because of dynamic nature of transnational organized crime and its trend to cut across activities, there is need fro multi disciplinary approach. Raising public awareness on transnational organized crimes and the effects of these crimes can have positive effect on fight against transnational organized crime. Public awareness can help to reduce demand for illegal products. Public awareness can also help to reduce corruption that is the major driver to transnational organized crimes. Transnational organized crime has a trend of destabilizing government in order to create appropriate environment for the crimes. Public awareness can help in enabling members of the public to recognize cost of organize crimes and remain royal to legitimate governments.
Increase in Transnational organized crimes is a major security concern in the recent days. Threat from this form of crimes has become an issue of concern for government, scholar and international policy makers. Organized crimes in form of drug trafficking, human trafficking and other organized crimes are no longer national issue. Crime activities in the recent past go beyond national border to even countries that were previously free from crime. Involvement of organized criminals in terrorism activities has been of great concern. Terrorism activities remain one of the greatest threats in the world. Transnational organized crimes in form of drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and other crimes have high cost to individual country and the world. One of the major challenges in fighting transnational organized crimes has been the narrow line between organized crimes and legitimate. Most organized crimes are carried out in the name of legitimate business. To succeed in fight against transnational organized crimes, there is need for increased collaboration between nations. Collaboration across nations is the best way to handle transnational organized crimes. Political commitment is necessary in addressing transnational organized crimes.
Governments across the world should recognize the effects of organized crimes and be committed to appropriate actions to bring correction. Government around the world should recognize the transnational nature of organized crime and be willing to take appropriate action. Since organized crimes are no longer a national but an international issue, various governments should be willing to collaborate in policy and preventive measures.
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