Organised Crimes Organized Crime and Term Paper

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This creates an environment for criminal organizations where they "... can operate in parallel to existing business and government institutions"

Shaw uses the Soviet Union as a good example of this phenomenon. "...the collapse of communist rule allowed the emergence of literally thousands of criminal organisations involving current and former members of the establishment " (Shaw). As Shaw and others points out, a situation where there are functional links between government and organized crime has parallels in many other regions and countries, particularly in the developing countries of Africa and Asia.

In essence, the changing international stage and the disappearance of boundaries and barriers between counties and nations provide the opportunity for criminal organizations to grow. Furthermore, it also provides for the possibility of greater interaction between criminal organizations and governments that may be dependent on these organizations for certain political and social needs.

Government and organized crime

An example of the way that organized crime interfaces and is supported by government has already been referred to in the example of the Soviet Union; where new governmental structures are seen to incorporate elements of organized crime. However, an example that is more verifiable can be found in many African countries.

There are studies that suggest that there is an intersection between organized crime and government in South Africa. With the demise of the system of Apartheid in the country, "..., border controls were weakened, thus creating new potential areas of operation for organised crime" (Shaw). This fact coincided with the transnational and multinational organized crime that was expanding across the globe at the time. As a result crime organizations saw their opportunity in the breakdown of order and "... bought into local operations and expanded them, or contracted subsidiary organizations to conduct their work for them" (Shaw).

Studies also show the way that organized crime has improved its ability to use the available situation of the state to government to their advantage. Therefore, in countries like Russia and Columbia ".... is often difficult to tell where the state ends and organised crime begins. Good state contacts enable operations to run more smoothly, while forewarning crime bosses of any impending government crack-down" (Shaw). It is also significant to note that the control of organized crime in Russia has been hampered by aspects such as the bribery of police and government officials as well as, "The lack of effective communication with law enforcement agencies in other countries" (Carter).

Countries in West Africa are also open to the intrusion by organized crime syndicates due to the extent of governmental corruption. This situation is exacerbated by numerous civil wars and a general state of criminal anarchy in many of the countries in the region. For examples, African dictators such as Sani Abacha of Nigeria have created an environment of lawlessness and anarchy that favor organized crime and provides access to official channels for the perpetuation of crime. (Carter)

5. Conclusion

The reality of international organized crime is acknowledged by numerous experts and pundits. The nature of organized crime has changed and become more sophisticated over recent years to become more pervasive and extensive. There is a general consensus among law enforcement agencies and organizations that international crime is a real and pervasive threat to order and security. "The threat from drug trafficking and economic crimes (such as theft of intellectual property, industrial espionage, black marketeering, product counterfeiting, and computer-related crime) is increasingly recognized as a matter of national security in the United States and elsewhere" (Carter). This situation is further exacerbated by the advances in technology that has resulted in the reduction of legal and other barriers between countries. Governments in various countries are also implicated in the actions and activities to organized crime. This is turn is related to the changing situation of governments in the world and particularly to the breakdown of governmental structures in the developing world - although this does not exclude interaction between government and crime in more developed countries.

The literature on his subject also points out that it is not only 'failed states', governments that have collapsed or obviously corrupt governments that are targets for infiltration by organized crime. As many pundits stress, international criminal organization also flourish in sound and effective governmental structures, as these also provides a lucrative meads of continuing and advancing their business. Shaw notes that, "The existence of a relatively strong but penetrated state allows organised crime the luxury of using state institutions for profit, remaining relatively free from prosecution while continuing to operate in a comparatively stable environment" (Shaw).

In the final analysis, there modern technological environment and volatile social and political conditions in many parts of the world provide a lucrative environment for organized crime in use social institutions to the advantage. This situation is exacerbated by the involvement of many governments in crime in various ways, which makes the combating and detection of crime much more difficult.


Attorney general targeting international organized crime. Retrieved April 23, 2008, at,1,3582903.story


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Global Watch. Retrieved April 23, 2008, at Governmentand organized crime: A history of co-existence (2008). Retrieved April 23, 2008, at

Italian Organized Crime -- Overview. Retrieved April 23, 2008, at

Kelly, R. Chin K, and Schatzberg R, (Eds) (1994) Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Organized Crime. Retrieved April 26, 2008, at

Organised Crime in West Africa - African Security Review Vol 14 No 4, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2008, at

Shaw M. (1996) the Development of Organized Crime in South Africa. Retrieved April 23, 2008, at

Organized crime and government[continue]

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