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Trends in Organized Crime
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.26
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 501  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-4830 - ISSN (Online) 1084-4791
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2352 journals]
  • Criminal organizing applying the theory of partial organization to four
           cases of organized crime
    • Authors: Amir Rostami; Hernan Mondani; Fredrik Liljeros; Christofer Edling
      Pages: 315 - 342
      Abstract: We explore how the idea of partial organization can provide insights in the study of organized crime. Studying criminal organizing with a theoretical framework used for other social organizing phenomena can help us see the interplay between different forms of criminal collaboration under a single analytical lens, and start a discussion on whether criminal organizing is intrinsically different from other types of social organizing. We analyze four cases of criminal collaboration in Sweden between 1990 and 2015: the Syriac mafia, the Hells Angels Mc Sweden, the street gang Werewolf Legion, and the Hallunda robbery. While the outlaw motorcycle gang, and to a certain extent the street gang, are complete organizations, the mafia is based around and heavily parasitic on other institutions. We have also shown that time-bounded projects are found in the criminal context, with these emerging from strong network relations. Our results show that most of the elements of criminal organizing are not formalized and that partial organization is at least as important and powerful as complete organization.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9315-6
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • Gangs in the DRC and El Salvador: towards a third generation of gang
           violence interventions'
    • Authors: Ellen Van Damme
      Pages: 343 - 369
      Abstract: The phenomenon of gangs in El Salvador and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has already been researched, but a comparative study of gangs and gang policies is lacking. In this paper we discuss several gang violence prevention initiatives regarding the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 in El Salvador, and the kuluna and bashege in Kinshasa, DRC. In order to analyze the different gang interventions, we implement the typology of first and second gang violence prevention initiatives (Rodgers et al. 2009), and propose the evolution towards a third generation of gang violence prevention interventions. While first generation initiatives are security and law-enforcement driven, and second generation initiatives socio-preventive driven, third generation initiatives are more politically driven. The latter indicates a shift towards a vision of dialogue and negotiations to deal with gang violence. However, the different generations are not predefined within time and third generation initiatives can also be followed up by first generation initiatives, which was for example the case in the gang truce in El Salvador. Also, comparative gang research includes challenges, especially when the gang phenomenon in one country is better researched and documented than in other countries. As such, we were unable to identify politically-driven initiatives in the DRC to compare with the ones in El Salvador. Further research is thus required. With this paper we not only aim to contribute to the literature on gang violence prevention and reduction initiatives, we also want to push researchers, practitioners and policymakers to look beyond the borders when setting up gang (violence) prevention and rehabilitation projects, and to learn from other regions where similar initiatives have been implemented to deal with comparable issues of gang violence.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9316-5
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • Human trafficking and criminal proceedings in Portugal: discourses of
           professionals in the justice system
    • Authors: Marlene Matos; Mariana Gonçalves; Ângela Maia
      Pages: 370 - 400
      Abstract: Since the adoption of the UN Trafficking Protocol in 2000, the predominant approach to combat human trafficking has been based on the criminalization of traffickers in conjunction with a concern for victims’ protection. However, few empirical studies considered the effectiveness of those measures, which makes it difficult to understand why criminal cases of human trafficking generally result in few convictions. In Portugal, recent legislative changes have made the legal framework on human trafficking more comprehensive, inclusive and convergent with European directives. The effects of the implementation of those legislative changes on investigation and prosecution are still overlooked. The present study analyses the discourses of justice system professionals that concern the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. It examines and identifies the factors that, in their perspective, block the recognition of the typifying elements of the crime of human trafficking and create obstacles to the prosecution and conviction of those crimes. Our findings suggest that legislative advances recognized by the participants need to be accompanied by other changes, some of a more systemic nature and others that are more specific. An efficient criminal procedure should include better legal phrasing of the means of evidence of human trafficking that is supported by objective instruments for this to be considered valid; the centralization of proof that the testimony of the victim has to overcome; specialized professional training of an ongoing nature; an efficient cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies at the national and international levels, with public prosecution services and magistrates; a greater clarification of the condition of the special vulnerability of victims and an informed perspective regarding the global nature of the phenomenon of human trafficking, one that is also sensitive towards the victim (e.g., in relation to the victims’ vulnerability, illegal status, and their difficulties in terms of social and cultural integration).
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9317-4
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • EULEX and the fight against organised crime in Kosovo: what’s the
    • Authors: Joschka J. Proksik
      Pages: 401 - 425
      Abstract: Staffed by international police officers, prosecutors and judges, EULEX was mandated to strengthen Kosovo’s domestic rule-of-law institutions and endowed with executive authority to ensure that high-level criminal cases, including organised crime, are properly investigated and prosecuted. Yet, after more than nine years of operation, EULEX has proven largely ineffective in using its executive authority to counter organised crime and its capacity-building efforts have not led to significant local improvements in this area. Insufficient framework conditions shaped by years of impunity for politico-criminal power structures prevent capacity-building efforts from taking effect as local rule-of-law institutions remain hesitant and timid to investigate and prosecute high-level criminals. It is argued that EULEX’s own conduct and weak executive performance has severely undermined the mission’s efforts to strengthen local law enforcement through capacity-building.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9321-8
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • 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)
  • Alexandra Hall and Georgios Antonopoulos: Fake meds online: the internet
           and the transnational market in illicit pharmaceuticals
    • Authors: Thomas Raymen
      PubDate: 2018-11-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9355-6
  • 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
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