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Trends in Organized Crime
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.26
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 502  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-4830 - ISSN (Online) 1084-4791
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2349 journals]
  • Merely a transit country' Examining the role of Uganda in the
           transnational illegal ivory trade
    • Authors: Siv Rebekka Runhovde
      Pages: 215 - 234
      Abstract: Uganda is repeatedly implicated in the illegal ivory trade as a transit territory for ivory destined for Asia. Interviews with law enforcement officers reveal that the size of seizures and means of concealment and transportation are varied, showing diversity in the trade’s level of organization and sophistication. Arguably, considerable processing takes place within Uganda in terms of stockpiling, repacking and organization of exports but investigations rarely lead to prosecution and conviction of those responsible. Findings demonstrate the intricate role and responsibility of transit countries and illustrate how the transnational ivory trade operates locally.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-016-9299-7
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • Fragmentation and cooperation: the evolution of organized crime in Mexico
    • Authors: Laura H. Atuesta; Yocelyn Samantha Pérez-Dávila
      Pages: 235 - 261
      Abstract: Some researchers suggest that the observed boom in the levels of violence in Mexico since 2008 are a consequence of placing federal military forces in states with a significant organized crime presence. However, little has been said about the role of the changeable, competitive, and violent nature of criminal organizations on this increasing violence. Using the literature on inter- and intra-state conflicts as matter of analogy to explain organized crime developments in Mexico, fragmentation and cooperation seem to be determinant forces that alter the equilibrium within Mexican criminal groups, affecting their territorial control. By using a private dataset gathered by the Drug Policy Program at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE), we examine the evolution of criminal organizations in Mexico by focusing on their different alliances and fragmentations from December 2006 to December 2011. Our analysis suggests that violence is a consequence not only of the law enforcement actions, but also of the fragmentation and cooperation within and between private groups.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9301-z
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • Illegal gambling businesses & organized crime: an analysis of
           federal convictions
    • Authors: Jay S. Albanese
      Pages: 262 - 277
      Abstract: Illegal gambling operations have been alleged to support organized crime and victimize participants, rather than benefit them. This is said to occur through cheating in the games provided, defrauding the government of tax revenue, and funding other illicit and criminal activities. What has been missing is a systematic analysis of actual cases involving illegal gambling businesses to determine precisely who is involved, how these businesses operate, the nature of the threat posed, and the law enforcement response to it. The analysis reported here examines all federal convictions involving operation of illegal gambling businesses during a single year. There were more than 80 persons charged and convicted of participation in illegal gambling businesses, centered around 40 distinct enterprises. The results indicate that illegal gambling businesses in the United States are long-term operations consisting of four general types, and that enforcement of existing laws, particularly related to illegal online sports betting, are not working effectively.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9302-y
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • Social network analysis as a tool for criminal intelligence: understanding
           its potential from the perspectives of intelligence analysts
    • Authors: Morgan Burcher; Chad Whelan
      Pages: 278 - 294
      Abstract: Over the past two decades an increasing number of researchers have applied social network analysis (SNA) to various ‘dark’ networks. This research suggests that SNA is capable of revealing significant insights into the dynamics of dark networks, particularly the identification of critical nodes, which can then be targeted by law enforcement and security agencies for disruption. However, there has so far been very little research into whether and how law enforcement agencies can actually leverage SNA in an operational environment and in particular the challenges agencies face when attempting to apply various network analysis techniques to criminal networks. This paper goes some way towards addressing these issues by drawing on qualitative interviews with criminal intelligence analysts from two Australian state law enforcement agencies. The primary contribution of this paper is to call attention to the organisational characteristics of law enforcement agencies which, we argue, can influence the capacity of criminal intelligence analysts to successfully apply SNA as much as the often citied ‘characteristics of criminal networks’.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9313-8
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • When elites and outlaws do philanthropy: on the limits of private vices
           for public benefit
    • Authors: Tereza Kuldova
      Pages: 295 - 309
      Abstract: In the last decade, elitist philanthropy exploded in certain parts of the West and so did philanthropy of outlaw motorcycle clubs. The question is, under what conditions does philanthropy become an effective strategy of legitimization of one’s power in society' Neoliberalism did not only result in extreme inequality, weakening of the state, and emergence of increasingly disillusioned population, but also enabled philanthropy to become an effective strategy of legitimization of the informal power of both billionaires and criminal organizations alike. Philanthropy became instrumental both to image management in face of crises of reputation and to the insertion of these transnational non-state actors into governance. The destructive effects of neoliberalism allowed both groups to grow, and to reproduce and accelerate the very conditions in which they thrive, thus further weakening the state and fuelling inequality. The argument counters popular narratives about how private vices and greed can serve public benefit.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9323-6
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • Review of Communities and Crime: An Enduring American Challenge . By
           Pamela Wilcox, Francis T. Cullen, and Ben Feldmeyer
    • Authors: Justin Kotzé
      Pages: 310 - 313
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9336-9
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 3 (2018)
  • An introduction to the special issue on ‘Organised crime and illegal
           markets in the UK and Ireland’
    • Authors: Klaus von Lampe; Georgios A. Antonopoulos
      Pages: 99 - 103
      Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the articles and report excerpt submitted to the special issue of Trends in Organized Crime on ‘Organised crime and illegal markets in the UK and Ireland’. The aim of the special issue is to draw together empirical research findings and theoretical accounts on various manifestations of organised crime in the particular geographic context(s), the evolution of organised crime, the links between organised crime, the legal sphere and paramilitary groups, as well as an account of the demographic profile and attitudes of citizens in areas in which organised crime groups thrive.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9343-x
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Diamonds, gold and crime displacement: Hatton Garden, and the evolution of
           organised crime in the UK
    • Authors: Paul Lashmar; Dick Hobbs
      Pages: 104 - 125
      Abstract: The 2015 Hatton Garden Heist was described as the ‘largest burglary in English legal history’. However, the global attention that this spectacular crime attracted to ‘The Garden’ tended to concentrate upon the value of the stolen goods and the vintage of the burglars. What has been ignored is how the burglary shone a spotlight into Hatton Garden itself, as an area with a unique ‘upperworld’ commercial profile and skills cluster that we identify as an incubator and facilitator for organised crime. The Garden is the UK’s foremost jewellery production and retail centre and this paper seeks to explore how Hatton Garden’s businesses integrated with a fluid criminal population to transition, through hosting lucrative (and bureaucratically complex) VAT gold frauds from 1980 to the early 1990s, to become a major base for sophisticated acquisitive criminal activities. Based on extensive interviews over a thirty year period, evidence from a personal research archive and public records, this paper details a cultural community with a unique criminal profile due to the particularities of its geographical location, ethnic composition, trading culture, skills base and international connections. The processes and structures that facilitate criminal markets are largely under-researched (Antonopoulos et al. 2015: 11), and this paper considers how elements of Hatton Garden’s ‘upperworld’ businesses integrated with project criminals, displaced by policing strategies, to effect this transition.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9320-9
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Crime in Ireland north and south: Feuding gangs and profiteering
    • Authors: Niamh Hourigan; John F. Morrison; James Windle; Andrew Silke
      Pages: 126 - 146
      Abstract: This paper provides a systematic overview of the emergence of organized crime in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since the late 1960s. It draws on two major studies of organized crime in the South (Hourigan 2011) and paramilitary activity in the North (Morrison 2014) to explore how conflict within and between organized criminal and paramilitary groups, shapes the distinctive dynamic of organized crime on the island of Ireland. The paper opens with an overview of the development of the drugs trade in the Republic of Ireland. The distinctive cultural characteristics of Irish organized crime groups are considered and the role played by paramilitary groups in criminal networks, North and South, is reviewed. As part of this analysis, the dynamic of inter-gang feuds and the spectrum of conflicts between organized criminal and paramilitary groups are analyzed. The competitive and mutually beneficial links between these organizations, North and South are explored as well as the tendency of paramilitaries to engage in vigilantism against criminals (mostly drugs dealers) as a means of building political capital within local communities.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9312-9
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Situating gangs within Scotland’s illegal drugs market(s)
    • Authors: Robert McLean; James A. Densley; Ross Deuchar
      Pages: 147 - 171
      Abstract: The Scottish government’s (2008) publication ‘The road to recovery: A new approach to tackling Scotland’s drug problem’ elaborates and outlines the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) desire to make Scotland ‘drug free’ by 2019. To achieve this objective, the Scottish Government’s (2015) ‘Serious Organised Crime Strategy’ (SSOCS) entails dismantling networks of drug supply. Yet missing from this strategic planning is a) recognition of how, if at all, different types of gangs are involved in drug supply, and b) how drug supply processes actually work. Therefore, this article seeks to extend McLean’s (J Deviant Behav, 2017) Scottish gang model, which specifies a typology of gangs in Scotland, in an effort to locate precise levels of gang involvement in the drugs market. This is achieved by drawing upon Pearson and Hobbs’ (2001) hierarchical model of the UK’s illegal drug(s) market. In-depth interviews with 35 offenders involved in criminal networks and five practitioners, indicate that recreational Youth Street Gangs are really only involved in ‘social supply’. Youth Criminal Gangs are primarily involved in commercially motivated dealing at the low- to mid-levels, including bulk-buying between the retail-to-wholesale markets. And enterprising Serious Organised Crime Gangs operate from the middle-to-apex market level. Conclusions which situate this gang typology within the illegal drug market(s) are used to put forward recommendations aimed at dismantling of drug supply networks.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9328-1
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Alexandra Hall and Georgios Antonopoulos: Fake meds online: the internet
           and the transnational market in illicit pharmaceuticals
    • PubDate: 2018-11-15
  • Brazilian criminal organizations as transnational violent non-state
           actors: a case study of the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC)
    • Authors: Marcos Alan S. V. Ferreira
      Abstract: This article aims to analyze the evolution of Brazilian criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC—First Command of the Capital), especially its transformation from a group advocating human rights to a transnational violent non-state actor. Created in the late 1990s by inmates at Taubate Prison, PCC is currently a key trigger of violence in South America. Since a massive attack performed in 2006 against security forces, the group continues to be highly operative, also coordinating drugs and arms smuggling in Brazil and abroad. A combination of sources supported this analysis of PCC’s evolution, mainly Brazilian official judicial minutes, NGOs reports, and news released from reputable sources. The article shows that PCC has gained strength in the 2010s, expanding illicit business operations in cooperation with other criminal groups. The results suggest that PCC’s expansion has changed significantly since their beginnings, into an actor that poses a challenge for the building of peaceful society in all of South America.
      PubDate: 2018-11-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9354-7
  • New trends in cross-border organised crime: Bulgaria and Norway in the
           context of the migrant crisis
    • PubDate: 2018-10-29
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9353-8
  • A mixed methods social network analysis of a cross-border drug network:
           the Fernando Sanchez organization (FSO)
    • Authors: Nathan P. Jones; W. Layne Dittmann; Jun Wu; Tyler Reese
      Abstract: This study is a mixed methods case study of the Fernando Sanchez Organization (FSO) better known as the Tijuana Cartel in the 2008–2010 period, aimed at better understanding internal structures and the roles of individuals in crossborder polydrug networks under pressures from rivals and state leadership targeting. In addition to historical archival data to build a qualitative case study, it uses arrest warrant data (an emergency wiretap application and a Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO indictment) from the FSO drug network investigation in order to visualize the structure of the cross border network and to explore research questions regarding the relationship between actor centrality/network topography metrics and variables of interest including organizational role, age, gender, number of prior arrests, location of criminal activity, and location of residence using social network analysis (SNA). Findings included: narcotics distributors, drug couriers, and enforcers for the network all had higher centrality in the network, age was only slightly negatively correlated with eigenvector centrality, gender had no bearing on centrality, the number of prior arrests also had no bearing on degree or betweenness centrality, but did positively correlate with eigenvector centrality. Findings also demonstrated faction subgroup analysis had considerable overlap with both law-enforcement-reported-address and location of criminal activity (coded as actor attributes). This finding suggests it may be possible to predict the location of criminal activity and residence through faction analysis in other binational trafficking networks.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9352-9
  • Business cartels and organised crime: exclusive and inclusive systems of
    • Authors: J. D. Jaspers
      Abstract: In this article, two case studies of large-scale bid rigging in the construction industry in Canada and the Netherlands are analysed to explore why business cartels sometimes do and sometimes do not involve organised crime. By combining concepts from both organised crime and organisational crime, an integrated understanding of the organisation of serious crimes for gain is applied. Across time and space, businesses in the construction industry are known to fix prices, use collusive tendering and divide market shares in illegal cartel agreements. In order to stabilise cartels, participants need to ward off new competitors and prevent cheating within the cartel. The question why we see a system of collusion involving organised crime and violence in Canada as opposed to the Netherlands is answered through analysing two comparable cases. This article finds two systems of bid rigging emerge under different cultural conditions: inclusive and exclusive collusion. The exclusive system makes use of the violent reputation provided by criminal groups and distinguishes from the inclusive system that uses sophisticated administration of mutual claims in shadow bookkeeping.
      PubDate: 2018-09-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9350-y
  • Working for free illegal employment practices, ‘off the books’ work
           and the continuum of legality within the service economy
    • Authors: Anthony Lloyd
      Abstract: Much of the literature on illegal labour focuses on the exploitation of illegal migrants and, by extension, the trafficking and smuggling networks that transport them to destination countries. Using evidence from two projects that investigated working conditions in the formal service economy, the paper presents evidence of ‘off the books’ work, illegal employment practices such as denial of benefits and the minimum wage, as well as work trials where labour is exploited for free. By considering political economic imperatives, this paper argues that employees in both the formal and informal economy are dispossessed of rights, pay, benefits and security in order for employers to profit by surplus value and the circulation of capital. The real ‘organised crime’ of illegal labour is neoliberal political economy and its decimation of employment protection.
      PubDate: 2018-09-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9351-x
  • Corruption among mayors: evidence from Italian court of cassation
    • Authors: Annamaria Nese; Roberta Troisi
      Abstract: This study focuses on Italian corruption among mayors, since they are key players in the Italian institutions. Political decentralization has brought local government closer to the citizens while allowing a more direct expression of democracy on the part of mayors. In this study, we analyse the probability of mayors committing crime with i) external actors, i.e., entrepreneurs, professionals or other politicians, ii) mafia-type organizations or iii) actors within the municipality, such as council members, cabinet members and council employees. As the main data source, the study relies on the judgments of the Italian Court of Cassation. The results show that i) mayors represent an important gateway for external groups for awarding public contracts and misappropriating public funds, and ii) mayors linked to mafia-type groups are usually merely the executors of the criminal activity, whereas the mafiosi are the planners.
      PubDate: 2018-08-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9349-4
  • Performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) producers and suppliers: a
           retrospective content analysis of PIED-provider cases in Australia from
    • Authors: Katinka van de Ven; Matthew Dunn; Kyle Mulrooney
      Abstract: Traditionally policymakers have paid little attention to the consumption of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) in Australia. Yet, in recent times PIEDs have come to occupy an increasing amount of discursive space and, indeed, regulatory action. This newfound interest may be attributed to several broader developments, not least the perception of the involvement of organized crime in distributing PIEDs to the professional sports world and other sectors of this illicit market. This paper seeks to explore the empirical reality of the claim that the production and supply of PIEDs in Australia is the prerogative of organized crime groups. A retrospective content analysis of Australian PIED provider cases was conducted between 2010 and 2016. To widen our search, both media articles describing court cases, obtained from the Factiva database, and public online court records, using the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) database, were searched. Search terms included “steroid*”, “doping” and “testosterone” in combination with the terms “traffic*”, “production”, “supply*” and “import*”. In total, 477 PIED provider cases were identified yet most cases were duplicates, irrelevant or lacked sufficient detail, resulting in a final dataset of 144 cases. A coding schedule was developed based on existing PIED supply literature. Our data shows that most PIED provider cases took place in Queensland (41.7%), followed by New South Wales (25%) and Victoria (13.2%). Regarding the type of providers, the largest group consisted of people active in the gym industry (22%), followed by the healthcare sector (17%), the ‘other’ category (12%) and the security sphere (8%). Of the 144 steroid-provider cases, only 12% of the cases indicated the potential involvement of organized crime groups, with half of those being linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs. In contrast to the claims of authorities, our data suggests that organized crime groups currently play a proportionally small role in the illicit production and supply of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs in Australia. Indeed, various actors are involved of which only a small fraction are part of or involved with organized crime groups. Many suppliers are particularly active in the gym industry and healthcare sector. The relative presence of such suppliers has important policy implications, not least with regard to the role of criminal law in addressing the provision of PIEDs.
      PubDate: 2018-07-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9348-5
  • Correction to: Survey research with gang and non-gang members in prison:
           operational lessons from the LoneStar project
    • Authors: Meghan M. Mitchell; Kallee McCullough; Jun Wu; David C. Pyrooz; Scott H. Decker
      Abstract: The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake.
      PubDate: 2018-06-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9347-6
  • Policing bikers: confrontation or dialogue'
    • Authors: Paul Larsson
      Abstract: This article deals with the policing of biker groups in Norway. It describes the two idealtypical approaches of dialogue and confrontation. It tries to explain why the police use certain methods. It finds that policing is rarely based on knowledge of what works or the causes of a problem. Instead the approaches chosen seem to reflect certain styles of policing described in cultural studies of the police.
      PubDate: 2018-06-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9346-7
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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