Organized Crime in the Millennium Term Paper

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In extreme cases whole legitimate economic sectors are dislocated by commerce based on illegal activities, subverting loyalties from the nation-state and habituating individuals to operating outside the legal framework;

3) Degrade environmental systems through evasion of environmental safeguards and regulations;

4) Destabilize strategically important nations and hinder the progress of so-called economies in transition and developing economies and otherwise interfere with a nation's foreign policy goals and the international system; and 5) Burden societies with the enormous social and economic costs of illegal drugs." (Porteus, 1996)

The work of Bruce G. Ohr entitled: "Effective Methods to Combat Transnational Organized Crime in Criminal Justice Processes" states five reasons that globalization has brought about serious, yet unintended consequences related to transnational crime which are those as follows:

1) Increasing ease of international communications;

2) Growth of international commerce;

3) the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union;

4) the international traffic in illegal commodities, chiefly narcotics and would be immigrants to wealthy nations, shows no signs of abating." (Ohr, nd)

Ohr relates that enterprises have existed in Asian countries for centuries yet, there is little evidence that these groups have been successful in setting up extensive networks in the United States. These Asian Criminal Enterprises nevertheless present a significant problem of crime in the U>S. In the commission of what is termed "traditional organized crimes" such as those of extortion, murder, kidnapping, illegal gambling, prostitution, and loan-sharking." (Ohr, nd) Other criminal activities these groups have engaged in include alien smuggling, drug trafficking, financial fraud, theft of automobiles and computer chips, counterfeiting and money laundering." (Ohr, nd)

The work entitled: "Counterfeiting & Organized Crime Report" reviews the impact of the counterfeiting phenomenon and states: "The first victims of counterfeiting are businesses, which not only lose sales revenue, market share and investments but also suffer from the devaluation of their brand image and their investments in research and development. Counterfeiting also harms consumers, who put their health and safety at risk by purchasing poor quality products at excessive prices. This particularly applies to the counterfeiting of medicines, toys and spare parts for vehicles and aircraft." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) the final cost is that of jobs since 100,000 jobs are lost each year in the EU due to counterfeiting and Chinese authorities estimate a $3 Billion loss annually in tax revenues due to counterfeiting. This work goes on to relate that: "Counterfeiting, a constantly developing phenomenon, is an extremely worrying problem. Representing 5 to 7% of world trade, it is a significant threat to the global and European economies. Representing 5 to 7% of world trade, it is a significant threat to the global and European economies. Moreover, this form of illicit trade has reached unprecedented levels, with alarming figures: 70 million products seized by customs authorities in the European Union in 2000 and nearly 100 million in 2001 after falling somewhat in 2002 with 85 million products." (Union des Fabricants, 2004)

Experience reveals that: "counterfeiters are very quick to learn how to use technological advances. Equipped with sophisticated machines for making their goods, from textiles to spare parts for industry, " (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Detecting counterfeiters is impeded due to the counterfeiters constantly changing route used to transport their products and the counterfeiters "use every form of transport available: by air, land and sea, and readily use the fastest means." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Shell companies are used by counterfeiters for cover in their shady business operations and involves: "extensive logistics and a complex, structured, flexible and reactive organization from the manufacturing phase to sales..." In a method that misuses "...the advances, methods and channels of lawful economy..." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) to advance the underground revenue gains. The study states: "counterfeiting represents an easy, profitable investment for the tremendous amounts of money that can be earned cheaply from various forms of trafficking (as "unlawful" money is obviously cheaper than "honest" money)." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Put quite simply, counterfeiting "is extremely profitable." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) in the example stated in this study one case of counterfeiting involved 15,000 pairs of counterfeit sunglasses worth approximately €1,262,650, which French customs seized. The problem is that the penalties for being caught are extremely low in comparison and according to Alain Defer, Detective Superintendent, Head of the French anti-counterfeiting unit: "the profits are similar to drugs trafficking, about €10 per euro invested." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Stated as the risks involved that one might be prosecuted is that they are "virtually non-existent." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) the study relates that: "The high profitability of counterfeit trafficking encourages criminals to use this activity as a way of laundering money. Both the EU Council and Commission have referred to this development: first in the Action Plan to Combat Organized Crime adopted by the Council on 28th April 1997, then in the European Commission's green paper on "Combating counterfeiting and piracy in the single market" and, finally, in the report on responses to the green paper." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Counterfeiting is termed to be "...a very attractive activity for criminal networks because it generates maximum profits with a minimum risk of imprisonment." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) Belgian is stated to have become a "hub for counterfeit products imported from Asia" according to reports at a meeting held in Strasbourg during May 2000 in a report from Belgian magistrates. (Union des Fabricants, 2004) the European Union has taken steps against the practice of counterfeiting and in 2003, the European Parliament is stated to have: "...adopted a written declaration on piracy and counterfeiting in the extended European Union. Concerned by the alarming level of counterfeiting and use of the profits to finance drugs trafficking and terrorism, the Parliament asked the Council and Commission to ensure harmonized severe penalties, facilitate closer cross-border cooperation between the competent authorities and enhance the role of Europol. Thus, on 21st July 2003, the Council of Ministers adopted a customs regulation to combat counterfeiting and piracy intended to replace Regulation No. 3295/94. Applicable from 1st July 2004, Regulation No. 1383/2003 covers all intellectual property rights, including new plant varieties, designations of origin and geographical designations" (Union des Fabricants, 2004) in a proposed Directive No. 2003/46 which relates to intellectual property rights, the proposal is for design of reinforced European harmonization in this field." (Union des Fabricants, 2004) the United Nations Convention against organized transnational crime was established September 29, 2003. Another agency is the World Intellectual Property Organization, which conducts: "...vital work in the enforcement of intellectual property rights. American businesses are represented by the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition.

The work entitled: "The Use of Models in the Study of Organization Crime" presented at the 2003 conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) at Marburg Germany September 19, 2003 by Dr. Klaus von Lampe discusses the "use or models in the study of organized crime" and "touches the more fundamental question of how the social sciences should go about exploring such a highly complex and elusive issue as organized crime." (van Lampe, 2003) van Lampe (2003) states that the notion of "models of organized crime has in the past been most closely linked to a three-fold classification proposed by Jay Albanese (1989:92-102; 1994) who distinguishes a 'hierarchical model', a 'patron-client model' and an 'enterprise model' of organized crime." (2003) it is related that the work of Bornia Halstead in the work published in the journal of Transnational Organized Crime (1998) distinguishes "different models not only by the underlying conception of the nature of organized crime but also by specific social conditions that are assumed to be responsible for the emergency of one of the other manifestation of organized crime." (von Lampe, 2003) Two broad categories are distinguished by Halstead and specifically those of: (1) group-focused models; and (2) economic models. Halstead states that these enterprises may be "perceived as organizations influenced by internal and external stakeholders..." And draws upon the "multiple-constituency approach in organization theory." (von Lampe, 2003) Halstead is noted as having stated: "Applying this model to organized crime, a particular illicit enterprise might be analyzed by identifying the various factions or stakeholders with an interest in the enterprise, examining the nature of the interest and assessing how the range of interests interact and what the power relationships between the interests might be. For example, in the market for an illegal commodity such as cannabis, these interests would include cannabis users, cannabis wholesalers, cannabis retailers, law enforcement policy makers, law enforcers, health policy makers, corrupt public officials, and other less obvious groups, such as the media. The interaction between these constituencies and the relative power relationships between them will determine the nature of the illicit enterprise. The multiple…[continue]

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