Organized Crime





Organized Crime


Organized crime refers to the category of local, national, or transnational groupings of highly centralized activities run by gangs or criminals with the intent of engaging in illegal endeavors fro profit and money making. In differential circumstances, criminal organizations in the world like terrorist groups thrive through political motivation. Other organizations force people into conducting business with them through extortion in order to offer protection. Different organizations may use organized crime methods into ensuring their business and power derives maximum control from social institutions like militaries, states, corporations, or police forces. The impact of organizational crime is not easily measured especially on a national and transnational level although it s significant. They monopolize and manipulate financial markets, legitimate industries like construction while deter progress in traditional institutions such as trade unions. The effects realized include losses of lives, infrastructure, developmental projects, and increase in lawlessness. Organized crime is a threat to human security and peace, violation of human rights and ultimately undermines economic, social, political, cultural, and civil development in societies all over the world.     



One of the key aspects in the operational basis of organized crime is the level of organizational dimension within the perpetrators of the endeavors. Patron-client networks are characterized by fluid interactions based in the production of smaller unit in overseeing the activities for the overall body (Haugen, Musser, and Chaney 14). The familiarity based on social and economic environments enables the stability and continuity of the organized crimes. The hierarchies in most cases are based on forming families in charge of the groups or organizations and transcend the social, family, and cultural traditions. There are also the fraternal or nepotistic systems attached to the values of the crimes undertaken for money and profit. In other instances, personalized activities are enhanced by organizational structures through family rivalries, recruitments, territorial disputes, and entrenched belief systems. Other measures of organization can be witnessed through bureaucratic operations within rigidity of internal structures.

            Another distinctive form of organizational basis in organized crime is the use of youths and street gangs. The underpinning development is realized through strategies for recruitment, social learning processes when experiences are laid down in corrective systems for the youth and the involvement of family or peer coercive actions. With the latter association of peers through self-formed status, unity is achieved through mutual interests with the leadership based on the internal organization. Haugen, Musser, and Chaney (14) argue that the members have specific purposes within the confines and deliver on the mandate depending on illegal activity undertaken as well as control of territorial interests. In most case, the targets are positioned within the zones of transition, which have shifting populations. Solidarity and cohesion becomes the strengthening factor in waging of the various illegal activities and exercising of control. The influence of age and background information on the members helps increase the stature of organizational levels from one territory to another.            

Typical Activities

The various groups associated with organized crime take part in delivery of illegal services as well as goods. Typical activities associated with the portfolio of organized crimes range from fraud and theft to robbing goods, hijacks, bankruptcy targeting, to mention but a few. Other forms of organized crime can be attributed to computer hacking, identity theft, robbery, espionage, embezzlement, and swindles. The main targets in the public domain are the corrupt public officials, law enforcement authorities, judicial representatives with minimal investigative and prosecution mandates on their whereabouts. In other instances, there is degree of security ensured in the proceeds of their activities due to availability of beforehand information and warning systems (Haugen, Musser, and Chaney 14). From one nation to another, the level of organized crime changes with the situation depicted and availabilities for target like terrorism, assassinations, bombings, copyright infringement, organ trafficking, human sale, slavery, money laundering, smuggling, and price fixing.

            Violence is the common part of crime associated with organized crime. It is a tool used to exercise criminogenic goals like authoritative, threatening, coercive, and rebellious and induction of terror roles. The main target of violence is the psychological factors in the local populations as well as transnational territories in fielding their muscle or ability for operational basis ((Haugen, Musser 19). The factors common in the attrition are conflict in cultures, aggression, rebellion against all forms of authority, dynamics of counter culture as well as access to illicit substances. Coercion is also practices into submission and free acceptance to the organized crime’s power. Violence is normalized within the operations in direct opposition to the society of mainstream individuals. Murders, assaults, terrorism, extortion, arson, coercions, protection rackets are all part of the violent nature of the proceeds.  

            Organized crime groups are adept at generation of large amounts of money through financial crimes. From the sources of the financial proceeds, of most importance is the transfer of acquired finances into legitimate enterprises and investments in order to secure their survival and continued activities. The illegal origins of the sources have to be hidden through corrupt means of converting the finances into legitimate finances. For example, money laundering is a negative source of impact toward the domestic trade, reputations of banking and effective governance. Therefore, organized crime groups desist from entry through such pints in order to avoid the effect of law into their jurisdiction. Rapid growth of money laundering is associated with preludes of activities within cash businesses, globalization of commerce and communication and a lack of effective measures of financial regulation in various economies of global perspectives (Haugen, Musser, and Chaney 14).

            All forms of trafficking involving humans, goods, and services also form part of the typical activities associated with organized crime. Human trafficking is the second largest crime after the advent of drugs within hampered territories. Human trafficking involves contemporary transportation and exchange of people from vulnerable populations into distant destinations for purposes of financial gain. The targets are usually for sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, or organ acquisition. A different dimension in human smuggling is enhanced through facilitation of peoples across international borders in illegal circumstances and proceeds (Bjelopera and Finklea 3). The habit is on the increase from the past, as the sophistication in methods and trace ability is overwhelming the authorities despite the improved measures put in place. Advantage is seized when the victims are tricked through eyeing of economic opportunities, personal or family betterment and the need to escape from any form of violation, conflict, or prosecution on their home country.

            The development of cyber crime has been on the increase with the turn of the century based on technological advancement and needs. Organized crime organizations and groups have also targeted the typical activity associated with all forms of crime associated with informational technology. Identity theft is a form of fraud when an assumption of another person’s personality is breached in order to gain access to resources, information of financial benefits. Copyright infringement takes precedence with un-authorized works under the copyrights of exclusive rights in order to enable derivative works. Motivated hacking into rival domains amounts to espionage and sabotage. It is evidenced through commonly organized and perpetrated crime from relevant gangs. Other activities can be associated with virus attack, fraud and tax evasion dimensions as well as corporate crimes, labor racketeering, political corruption, swindling and illegal tendering processes.               

Historical Aspects

During the pre-nineteenth century periods, history points to the encounters of organized crime since time immemorial. The rural areas were specifically targeted due to the inhabited availability of places, territory, resources, or strategic location for operations. In majority of the villages, security, law, and order were maintained. Infiltration was experienced through the entry of highwaymen, bandits, pirates, who were all outsiders and they attacked roads, trade routes, and journey centers. The common disruptions were associated with commerce, insurance rates, raising costs, consumer prices and destabilizing the economies of different transits (Bjelopera and Finklea 4). The non-ideologies were used to perpetrate the crimes on people and various communities as the predominant setting was ethnically motivated. Intimation, violence, and adherence to provided codes of law were all psychological warfare tools used often to succeed in the operations. Perpetuation was compounded by the civilization models and available resources, tools of governance and level of information.

            In the twentieth century, structures and tasks with entrance levels of organized crime in the societies have been marked by the developmental basis of civilization, institutions, governance, and information technology. Much emphasis in the operations of these gangs and organizations is given to sustainability, maintenance, and organizational longevity of the structures without disruptions and eliminations. Majority of the networks are characterized by power relations that are loose inclusive of the individualistic preferences and targets. The merging of social units within the gangs and structures renders importance on functions of both business and social gain. Leadership is contested according to the formative stages, while successive mantles are given to the appropriate persons. Sophistication in the manner of operations and success of achieved financial gains ahs led to widespread increase of the organized crimes in different societies in the world.     


Different authorities and law enforcement agencies or authorities in the world look at different means of dealing with organized crime in the societies. Different tactics and strategies have yielded varied results despite the increased measures put in place by both support of governance structures as well as information and collaboration by the people. Bjelopera and Finklea (4) note that the frameworks used in dealing with the threat of organize crime and their functionalities have to factor in methods aimed at yielding maximum effects with limited resources. Pursuit of the targets should be aimed at the direct significance the operations bear on national and international enterprises of criminals while dismantling the networks. Flexibility should be of importance in pursuit according to the victims in probability while targets should be eliminated at all costs.    


Organized crime is a threat to human security and peace, violation of human rights and ultimately undermines economic, social, political, cultural, and civil development in societies all over the world. The organizational levels are dependent on objectives of the gangs as well as financial input levels across different nations and entities. Organized crimes have been instrumental in perpetuation of the most heinous levels of human suffering in history and the increased growths only serve as warning to the future generations. Appropriate measures should be instituted at not only eliminating them, but also discouraging their formations.

Works Cited:

Bjelopera, Jerome, and Kristin Finklea. Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement. Congressional Research Service 7, (2012): 1-43. Print.   

Haugen, David M, and Susan Musser. Criminal Justice. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Print.

Haugen, David M, Susan Musser, and Michael Chaney. Organized Crime. 2014. Print.

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