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Maiwand KhyberWeek 5 Forum
Maiwand Khyber(Jul 31, 2019 1:01 PM) - Read by: 1Reply to This Message Reply

Organized crime refers to the crime conducted by local, national, or international groupings. These groups are highly centralized enterprises and are run by criminals who are engaged in illegal conduct for profit intention. They have an organized hierarchy, non-ideological motives, and are governed by rules and codes (Jones and Bartlett Learning, n.d.).

Three major types of organized crime include gang criminality, racketeering, and syndicate crime. Gang criminals are usually engaged in local offense like robbery, vehicle theft, kidnapping, ransom, and murder. They are hardened criminals who are dangerous to society. Racketeering is an activity in which the criminal gang is involved in extorting money from legitimate as well as illegitimate businesses by the use of intimidation. It consists in selling adulterated commodities, deceiving people, selling spurious drugs, and so forth. Racketeers usually don’t take away all profits and share it with the owners of businesses. In return, they want fixed money from the owners of illegal activities and allow prostitution, liquor selling, and gambling to continue unabated. Syndicate crime refers to the furnishing of unlawful goods and services by organized criminal groups, often known as mafia. Illegal products include liquor and drugs, while illicit services involve trafficking of girls, gambling, and so forth. 

Several groups as The Cosa Nostra, The Russian mafia, The Mexican drug cartels, and The Asian Organized Crime Groups have been considered as criminal groups involved in the organized crime at national and transnational levels. International criminal groups operate under various structures with stable hierarchies and network. They try to influence government policies by using corrupt as well as legitimate methods (The United States Department of Justice, 2015).  

With changing industrial contours, organized crime has also shifted from traditional ways to tech-savvy crimes (example: cybercrime). It has exploited technological advancements and communication strategies to expand cross-border. This high-tech realm has made many crimes an international threat rather than a local danger. Today, these crimes are conducted by nimble and loosely structured groups that have a global reach. Refined telephone networks have fostered rapid communication, thereby revolutionizing the illicit commerce (Bjelopera & Finklea, 2012). 

While technology has facilitated the growth of organized crime, challenges posed by technological advancements in tracking and investigating organized crime need special mention. Investigation of cases has become difficult because of the sophisticated screening options as firewalls.  In a drug investigation case that was carried out jointly by the United States and Colombian authorities, it was found that the presence of the firewall made it intricate for authorities to reach them and break their system. Details of trafficking activities were fed each day into a computer located on a ship off the Mexico coast. It made almost impossible for investigating authorities to locate them (“Globalization and new technologies”, n.d.).

A study published in the CNBC asserted that new payment options such as mobile wallets have increased the cases of retail fraud. It has become difficult to ascertain the identity of online shoppers, and making a one-size-fits-all program to fight the scam is not fetching desired results. Retailers have reported that the time lag between the placement of the order and the confirmation of the transaction leaves the scope of error and fraudulent practices. Shoppers have taken advantage of lenient return policies of retailers to make fraudulent activities (Thomas, 2017). 

Introduction of plastic money, crypto-currency, and sophisticated communication networks have not only increased the challenges before enforcement authorities, but they have also made the network of criminals more refined and complicated. 

References:

Bjelopera, J. P., & Finklea, K. M. (2012, January 6). Organized crime: An evolving challenge for U.S. law enforcement. Congressional Research Service.

Globalization and new technologies: challenges to druf law enforcement in the twenty-first century. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2019, from https://www.incb.org/documents/Publications/AnnualReports/AR2001/AR_01_Chapter_I.pdf

Jones and Bartlett Learning. (n.d.). An introduction to organized crime. Jones and Bartlett.

The United States Department of Justice. (2015, June). International organized crime. The US Department of Justice.

Thomas, L. (2017, December 7). Retail fraud is on the rise as companies grapple for solutions. Retrieved July 29, 2019, from www.cnbc.com

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