1.2 Drug trafficking, human trafficking, and organized illegal immigration are examples of organized crime, as are high-value fraud and other financial crimes, counterfeiting, organized acquisitive crime, and cyber crime. Terrorism is another common form of organized crime.
1.3 Criminal organizations may engage in any number of criminal activities to make money. Some examples include drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, prostitution, gambling, extortion, robbery, and illegal trade with countries where there is no legal market for their product. Many criminal organizations also invest in legitimate businesses to provide an additional source of revenue.
1.4 The phrase "the business of crime" describes the activity that many criminal organizations perform, such as drug trafficking or extortion. These activities can be done directly by the organization or through partners who they hire or coerce. For example, a drug cartel might have employees who work for them but also sell drugs to other cartels or independent dealers. They might also pay off police officers to protect their business or influence judges in their favor.
1.5 A criminal organization can consist of just one person or several people. Large organizations often use managers and supervisors to give orders and collect money from members.
This is the most important aspect of organized crime, and it consists of the distribution of unlawful products and services. Smuggling, bootlegging, gambling, prostitution, and currency fraud are examples of such crimes. Frontmen at all levels carry out the tasks entrusted to them. They find customers for their suppliers' products and take payments from those customers.
Crime syndicates are involved in many criminal activities, but they usually do not perform the actual work that leads to conviction. Their main role is to provide resources for those who want to get away with illegal acts.
Crime syndicates can be divided up by discipline. There are drug cartels, money launderers, and gunrunners, for example. The leaders of these groups often come from the same family members or friends and have worked together for years. They may even be hired guns for someone else!
Crime syndicates can also be divided up by location. There are international crime syndicates that operate worldwide, while local gangs focus on a specific area. For example, one gang might control drugs trafficking in an urban neighborhood, while another controls drug trafficking in its state. Crime syndicates are usually not recognized by law enforcement agencies so there is no way for regular citizens to report them.
Finally, crime syndicates can be divided up by type. There are mafia-type syndicates, which have strong ties to organized crime families.
These activities may include human trafficking, drug trafficking, illicit commodities and weapons trafficking, armed robbery, counterfeiting, and money laundering. The last two categories are common methods used by many different types of criminals to try to keep up with their high rates of profit.
Organized crime groups consist of three main classes of individuals: leaders, members, and associates. Leaders are usually referred to as "bosses" or "capos". They manage the daily operations of the group by making decisions on who will work for them at what level within the organization, how they will be paid, and whether there should be any promotions or new hires. They may also decide which crimes the group will commit and how they will be carried out. Leaders often have a previous criminal record themselves, having been convicted of various offenses such as assault, racketeering, or murder.
Members are the people who work for the boss at one of several different levels within the organization. They can include drivers, shooters, enforcers, collectors, and cleaners. Members are usually assigned to specific tasks within the gang, such as driving a particular type of car or selling drugs in certain areas. Some members may be allowed to take on additional responsibilities if they are good at them and if it helps the group achieve its goals.
Money laundering, terrorist activities, theft of art and cultural objects, theft of intellectual property, illicit arms trafficking, aircraft hijacking, sea piracy, insurance fraud, computer crime, environmental crime, trafficking in persons, trade in human body parts, and illicit narcotics were among the crimes listed.
The number of countries involved in transnational criminal activity has increased as well. In 1990, there were 30 countries involved in money laundering. By 2000, this had increased to 40 countries. This increase is due to globalization - businesses need safe ways to move money across borders to prevent abuse by criminals at any one country's banking system. Currently, 98% of all global trade moves through financial institutions, which means that they have a strong interest in preventing their customers from conducting transactions that could be considered illegal.
In addition to increasing numbers of countries being involved in transnational criminal activity, the scale of some offenses has also increased. For example, in 1989, police seized $5 million worth of cocaine on American soil. In 2001, this amount had increased tenfold, reaching $50 million. There was also an increase in the number of people involved in transnational criminal activity. In 1989, there were 1.6 million drug traffickers worldwide. By 2001, this number had increased five-fold to 8 million.
Transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are also becoming more complex.
In general, organized criminal networks are involved in a wide range of illicit operations that span many nations. The scale of some operations can be enormous-drug cartels control billions of dollars' worth of trade and routinely hire thousands of people.
All over the world, illegal gambling is a major source of income for gangs. In America, gambling accounts for about one percent of all GDP. Gangs often operate casinos to raise cash and help them move larger amounts of drugs and money across international borders.
The global arms trade is another lucrative business that gangs use to make money. They buy weapons from legitimate businesses but also steal them from military bases around the world. Guns can be resold on the black market or used in crimes.
Some gangs may choose to have individuals do their hacking or stealing for them, but most often, they will hire security companies or "hitmen" to perform these tasks. These companies usually work with other criminals who have been hired to provide the information needed to identify targets or carry out attacks.
Finally, some gangs may decide to go into legal businesses if there is enough profit to be made.