Organized crime threatens the peace and security of a country through violence and violation of human rights. It thus jeopardizes the social and economic development of that country, as well as promotes corruption within a government creating a relationship between public servants who obtain profit by assisting criminal organizations. With such organizations, profits are obtained by any means necessary including the supply of legal goods in an illegally or supply of illegal goods like guns and drugs in an illegal way. The illegal angle is the most common since illegal goods are hard to obtain hence high profits. It promotes injustices such as terrorism, racketeering, and drug and human trafficking.
Organized crime relies on different symbiotic relationships to maximize their profits. Such include political relationships whereby there is a link between well-known political leaders and crime bosses who are approached to settle labor market disputes or to fund campaigns. In turn, they provide protection and open ways for illegal trade inside the government. People in public offices and those who distribute funds are in business with organized criminals and help in laundering money through the government and legitimate businesses (Abadinski, 2016). Underdevelopment is also fed by organized crime thus creating a symbiotic relationship whereby most victims of drug smuggling and human trafficking are poor. Lack of sustainable options from the government leads farmers to cultivate illicit crops which fetch a high price in the market.
Due to the association between the public officials and organized criminals, combating organized crime brings about legal limitations. For instance, the laws against racketeering under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) state that if a person is charged with the crime of obtaining property through racketeering, all of their property will be seized by the attorney general upon conviction (Ruyver, 2002). This, however, is a challenge because; criminal families have conjured their way into the system such that even public prosecutors and law enforcers are on their payroll. Consequently, most of these cases either get thrown out of the window or are crippled before they get to court. In combating organized crime, law enforcement uses minor offenders within the crime family to smoke out the leaders, commonly known as kingpins (Ruyver, 2002). These small offenders get short sentences in exchange for information against their leaders. Others are put in witness protection programs whereby they are given new identities. This method works at times, but in the real sense, prosecution releases offenders with the potential of escalating their crimes to unsuspecting citizens thus making them easy prey.
Instead of accepting a culture of violence and lawlessness, the society should promote tolerance and legality to combat organized crime. For effective action, unlimited commitment to cooperation with prosecution is required. This also involves the will of governments, policy and decision makers, as well as the civil society to conform instruments and practices of legislature towards cooperation against organized crime (Finklea, 2009). A government should be ready and willing to amend their legislation and encourage law enforcement agencies to work together regardless of the perpetrators. Organized crime cases tend to be complex and lengthy, which leads to prosecutions of only one-third of such cases. To improve on this, more resources and manpower should be directed towards solving these cases. Because of the resilience and strength of organized crime groups, action on legislative laws should not be limited. RICO, for instance, have been criticized for their dramatic failure in unveiling infiltration of businesses by organized crimes. Since most of these cases involve government agencies, they end up not being prosecuted.
Abadinsky, H. (2016). Organized crime.
Finklea, K. M., & LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE. (2009). Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress. Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center.
Ruyver, B. (2002). Strategies of the EU and the US in combating transnational organized crime.
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