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Transnational Crime Abstract



Manynations and states have experienced the negative impacts oftransnational crime on their political, social, and economic status.Transnational crime is a global problem and it involves illegalactivities, like drug trafficking and weapon trafficking (Baldwin,2006). There are many criminal groups that work secretly in mostnations. This paper first examines various transnational crimes andhistory and organization of criminal groups. It then discusses theimpacts that transnational crimes have in U.S policy as well as onthe entire global community. For instance, it examines how criminalgroups affect the politic status of a country. Next, the paperexamines how states and nations respond to this crime and also thechallenges that are encountered in the fight of criminal groups. Itthen, looks at various solutions and recommendations that necessaryin curbing transnational crimes. The paper conclude by revisiting theaforementioned issues as well as by offering viable solutions totransnational crimes


  1. Abstract

  2. Impact of transnational crime in U.S and on global community

  3. State response to transnational crimes and challenges encountered

  4. Recommendations/solutions to transnational crime

  5. Conclusion

  6. References

Transnationalcrimes refer to any form of criminal activities that have potentialor actual effect across national borders and all intra-State criminalactivities, which offend fundamental values of internationalcommunity. According to Pakes (2004), there are three categories oftransnational crimes that include provision of illicit goods,infiltration of government and business, and illicit services.Provision of illicit goods may include weapons trafficking and drugtrafficking illicit services include human trafficking andcommercial sex, while corruption and fraud are some of the examplesof infiltration of business and government. There are well-knowntransnational organized crime groups that include La Cosa Nostra, itexisted from the 1920s to the 1990s and indulged in drug trafficking,judicial corruption, and in health insurance fraud Russian Mafiathat operate in approximately sixty countries worldwide and indulgein tax evasion, arson, racketeering, and in drug trafficking andYakuza, which is a Japanese criminal group that is often involved instreet violence, human trafficking, and gambling (Friedrichs, 2007).Reichel (2008) posits that international cooperation plays a key rolein emorelating transnational crimes. International cooperation adoptsvarious mechanisms that include lawful removal, extradition, andmutual legal assistance. Extradition is an ancient mechanism and itdates back to at least 13thcentury (Reichel, 2008). In this mechanism, a sovereign can requestand obtains custody of a fugitive or a criminal located within thecontrol and jurisdiction of another sovereign country. A fugitivefaces extradition procedures that are dependent on the practice andlaw of the requested state or nation.

Impactof transnational crime in U.S and on global community

Fichtelberg(2008) argues that transnational crimes are a chief concern in theUnited States of America due the dramatic increase of politicalturmoil of the twenty first century and several advances intechnology. Transnational organized crime activities have rapidlyexpanded and increased due to increased trade, travel, and advancesin computer and telecommunications technologies (Pakes, 2004).Therefore, policing objectives in the U.S must go beyond nationalborders in order to find and target this type of crime. Manyinternational communities continue to experience the high level ofincreased transnational crimes criminal activities carried out inone country pose negative impacts on another nation or many othercountries. In most cases, contemporary translational crimes takeadvantage of exploding new technologies, trade liberalization, andglobalization to conduct malicious crimes (Baldwin, 2006). Mostcriminals target governments that are not strong enough to opposethem hence, they prosper on illegal activities that bring them hugeamounts of profits. They use violence, bribery, and terror to achievetheir goals while at the same time upsetting peace and stability ofmost nations in the word.

Baldwin(2006) findings indicate that transnational crimes manifestthemselves in various ways in different countries in fact, they havebeen perceived in a different manner over time and space. Theyneither have a constant degree of impact nor function uniformly onnon governmental entities, state agencies, or individuals globally(Block, 2006). Transnational crimes affect the sovereignty of acountry in a negative manner. Criminal organizations ignore thesovereignty of states as well as disrespect borders’ laws due totheir transnational and illegal nature. In addition, transnationalcriminals create indiscriminate routes that violate frontiers hence,creating a deficit and lack of control on the flow of services andgoods into a country. This, in turn, leads to critical issues, likedemocratic and public health instability, in the future. Theseillegal routes can further create way for the supply of organizedcrimes and subversive groups or lead to the introduction of food thatdoes not meet standard or required qualities into the country.Indeed, transnational criminals have a high likelihood of eluding ordoing away with the principle of territorial control thus, corrodingthe idea of national sovereignty (Hatchard, 2006).

Similarly,transnational crimes can interfere with a country’s politicalculture hence, affecting the physical and social environments ofsocieties in a negative manner. Pickering &amp McCulloch (2007)acknowledge that new economic, political, and social demands haveemerged due to the success of transnational criminals in illegalbusiness, accumulated wealth, and their rapid business growth.Criminal leaders try to legitimize their wealth since they aspire tobecome part of the social elite that the feel they have been excludedat international level hence, erasing the origin of their fortunes.These leaders also divert some of their wealth or financial resourcesinto social investments, like indulging in public donations, whichhelp improve their reputation in the society (Pickering et al.,2007).

Incertain cases, transnational crimes can lead to a decisive effect onmost political institutions. This is because some criminal groupshave a high likelihood of exerting quite an appreciable influence onthe decision power of the judicial, executive, and legislative(Lupsha, 2009). Establishment of private armies help criminalorganizations enforces their alternative justice when they reach aconsiderable size. These private armies have a high possibility ofbeing used challenge the ability of state to impart justice as wellas the psychological stability of the citizens. As a result, thestate is forced to take certain actions that are overwhelmed by thepower of these criminal organizations, which are extremely hard toparalyze or break up. In addition, criminal organizations have a highlikelihood of corrupting the executive and legislative process in avariety of ways, like subverting the popular will through corrodingthe legitimacy of the democratic political system and illicit means(Greer, 2005). Indeed, criminal groups are only interested in moldingthe political institutions in order to favor their accumulated assetsand security. They adopt different forms in order to place thepolitical system at their own service. For instance, they try theirlevel best to corrupt the representatives elected by people at bothlegislative and executive level. The organized groups accomplish thisby offering the aforementioned level some substantial sums of money.They also threaten those representatives who are opposed to theircriminal activities during democratic elections. In addition,criminal groups sometimes manipulate the electoral process bypresenting their own candidates and backing them up with hugefinancial resources in exchange for such a candidate future help onceelected.

Accordingto Greer (2005), transnational crimes further damage political in anindirect manner. As criminal groups spread to different parts of theworld so does the level of their illegal activities and economicresources. Following this, official or non official sources rarelycollect or gather quality data hence, hampering the analysis ofvarious economic relationships that are necessary for the formulationand implementation of public policies. As a result, policies thatdrawn up have a high likelihood of being counterproductive andineffective and in some cases they pave way for greater problem. Inthe end, such policies may prove economic instability and upsetsthus, leading to the formation of new types of more informalregulation of economic relationships (Hatchard, 2006). Similarly,transnational crimes lead to several problems associated withdemocratic governability since it provokes inefficiency, distortions,and financial instability in the markets. This make both productionand distribution processes less impersonal thus, leading tostructural flaws in a country’s economy. These crimes againdiscourage individuals from participating in the markets asbusinesspersons. Moreover, some criminal groups indulge in drugtrafficking therefore, forcing the treasury to spend quite anappreciable amount of its finances in treatment of drug addictions(Pickering et al., 2007).

Godson&amp Olson (2003) argue that large-scale illegality of criminalgroups further lead to a less productive investment for the entireeconomic system. These groups make business investment in order tolaunder capital rather than for long term returns and growth. Theydirect their business investments to markets that rarely generateadded value and in most cases these markets depend on externalinvestment and resources. When companies whose sole aim is to laundercapital participate in the marketplaces they sell their goods andservices at low prices hence, pushing legal businesses out of themarket since they find it hard to compete in such unfaircircumstances. Again, criminal groups pose a threat to the financialsector since they create a platform for the emergence of unscrupulousfinancial institutions.

Stateresponse to transnational crimes and challenges encountered

Thereis no one uniform way through which the state respond totransnational crimes at international level. This is because thechallenges caused by these crimes are neither identical nor constant.However, activity of multinational agencies and national experienceshad had success in preventing loopholes in the legislation processthat allow criminal groups to act more freely. Despite this, fightagainst transnational crimes is not a simple and easy task due to theseveral problems and challenges that arise in curbing activities ofcriminal groups. Nevertheless, these criminals groups can be tackledwith some degree of success when right of intelligence, respect forlaw, and legislation are observed (Burros, 2005). Disparity asregards to the territory is one of the problems faced in an effort tocurb transnational crimes. State jurisdiction and security forces arecontrolled or confined within the national borders and in sometimesby judicial collaboration and national borders while transnationalcrimes take place at regional or global level. As a result, criminalgroups mark different opportunities in the market and identify placesthat secure them from any judicial action of other states.

Accordingto Lupsha (2009), transnational crime takes advantage of the porosityof frontiers, which result from globalization. This is due to thefact that use of frontiers rarely has any impact on the functions ofvarious methods of imparting justice at the international level. Inconnection to this, it is of immense significance that the governmentimplements and carries out its policies in effective ways. Forexample, it can carry out these policies against transnational crimesin two scenarios that include relatively institutionalizedco-operation with other states and with the domestic environment.Social policy, judicial activity, legislation, and policing are thefourfold dimension of these policies. Social policy is rarely used tofight criminal groups since investment in this area may end upstrengthening these criminal groups. Legislative action againsttransnational crimes has a high likelihood of paving way for newresources and power to security forces. Judicial actions remainsubordinate to the decisions of the legislative body as well as tothe possibilities provided by the security forces’ actions. Incomparison with the large progress made by security forcesinternational co-operation in the judicial field continue to lag farmuch behind. In connection to this, the state is almost exclusivelyforced to resort on the security forces. As nations expand theirknowledge on transnational crimes they put extra effort in thereduction of any substantial difficulties, in regard to interstateaction against such crimes (Reichel, 2008). Practically, it is almostimpossible to predict the effectiveness of measures employed in thefight against criminal groups. Governments should not simplify theperformance of the security forces and the potential of the criminalgroups to one indicator, like the amount of confiscated drugs.Security forces may indulge in large scale operations in order tomeet the political demand for action without necessarily disruptingthe well organized criminal groups. This, in turn, may make it easierfor one group to entirely monopolize criminality. In fact, there is ahigh likelihood of widespread of corrosive effects of criminal groupsdue to the difficulties encountered in measuring performance ofsecurity forces. Block (2006) posits that a large number of thesociety can demand for action based on imperfect knowledge whendistorted information about the phenomenon of criminal groups reachesthe public.In most cases, the authorities resort to varyingoptions that limit civil liberties, when they are faced with such asituation, in order to fight against such organized criminals.

Therearise several problems in the fight against transnational crimes thatmay be directly related to security organizations’ bureaucraticdynamics or sometimes related to the different configuration ofsecurity agencies and criminal groups. Criminal groups enjoy greaterfreedom and greater difficulties to their control than securityforces due to two chief organizational differences between the twogroups. To start with criminal groups are organized or structured innetworks whereas police forces are organized on hierarchicalbureaucratic base that is strong. Networks, as an organizationalmodel, is the most effective and efficient structure in the era ofglobalization criminal groups have adopted this model at a fasterrate than the security forces (Brocklesby, 2012).

Inmost cases, proactive policies are rarely used and they are extremelyunderdeveloped in most nations and countries. Following this, anyactions that security forces always lag behind the action of criminalgroups. Most security agencies get overwhelmed by the task ofcollecting as well as analyzing information while organized criminalgroups venture into new markets and activities. Additionally,security forces sometimes suffer from budgetary and financialconstraints, which rarely affect the perpetrators of transnationalcrimes. Other conflicts may be directly related to the organizationof security agencies. There is a complex division of work since manygroups, ranging from intelligence agencies to traditional securityforces, are involved in the fight against criminal groups. Therefore,optimum development of security activities is hindered (Brocklesby,2012).

Recommendations/solutionsto transnational crime

Eachcriminal group has its own uniqueness and weak points hence,intensive intelligence work should be carried in order to identifyany arising and established criminal groups. Makkai (2011) argue thatgovernments should build up security forces that are completelycommitted to the rule of law and democratic principles of law inorder to prevent criminal groups from intimidating and corrupting thejustice and police machinery. In addition, states should cooperate inorder to achieve effective control over transnational crimes.Cooperation amongst states occurs at three levels namely micro, meso,and macro. At the macro level, governments make commitments tocollaborate in the multilateral structures and police work, mesolevel incorporate more or less formal agreements, which are endorsedby the governments, between security forces from different nation.International co-operation faces several problems and challenges(Makkai, 2011). For instance, it faces the challenge of police andlegal practices in different states. Each nation or state has adefinition of what constitutes transnational crimes as well as thesentence for each kind of crime. This is because sociological,historical, and economic factors vary from one nation or state toanother. Therefore, any cooperation incorporates a minimum level oflegal harmonization that in most cases cannot be accomplished.Similarly, internal politics hinder any efforts or attempts to makelegislations at the national level compatible and more similar.Another challenge is the notable diversity in regulations onprotecting the information that the intelligence gather. Theinformation has high likelihood of affecting the image of a statesince it is extremely sensitive in regards to the traditional view ofsovereignty (Wonders, 2007). As a result, a state may refuse to sharesuch information since it may consider it is protecting its owninterest. Intelligence work is based on suspicions even though it isan effective method of police investigation hence, sharing of thegathered information with other forces may create or give theappearance of reality to many the citizens. This would be an extremeviolation of civil rights since it would extend a generalizedsuspicion that rarely help police to work in an effective manner intheir fight against transnational crimes and organized criminalgroups. Moreover, security forces face negative personal experiencesreporting of cases of corruption, national stereotypes, andmalpractices from other countries’ police forces. Corruptactivities among police forces in most countries also hinder theircooperation against organized criminal groups. Indeed, the scantprogress of international police cooperation in the past few yearscan be attributed to the internal and external problematic factors inthe police department. In connection to this, governments and nationsshould lay down clear and sustained strategies and be committed indealing with long term problems. Effort to curb criminal groups willprobably take place effectively in most regional areas that have ahigh likelihood of permitting legal harmonization. Moreover,governments should embrace diversified approaches in their effort tofight against criminal groups. These approaches may include but notlimited to armed forces’ commitment to repress any criminalactivities to new programs that are solely focused on the reductionof harm in the society (Greer, 2005).

Nationsshould use multijurisdictional task forces that incorporate variousinvestigative resources in order to strengthen efforts to reducetransnational crimes. Possible links between crimes with atransnational component and local crimes can easily be achieved iflaw enforcement agencies collaborate or work together. For instance,Operation Trifecta, local law enforcement agencies, and DrugEnforcement Administration led to effective arrest of 240 individualswho were charged with transnational drug trafficking in the year 2003(Lupsha, 2009).

Intelligencesharing and improved communications helps both local and stateenforcement agencies learn ways through which sophisticatedcommunications, like e-mail and satellite phones, play a key role infacilitating transnational crime. In connection to this, theseagencies must be aware of the appropriate steps to take when theencounter computer, cell phones, and other electronic devices thatmay or have been involved in illicit communications. In addition,they must improve their willingness and ability to share informationof high intelligence across jurisdictional boundaries since criminalscan quickly communicate across international boundaries.

Heightenedawareness is vital when a typical patterns or characteristics arepresent both local and state agencies should consider thepossibility of transnational crimes since these crimes often play outin reality on local streets. Large amounts of cash, offenders withoverseas contacts, false documents, and the involvement of foreignnationals are some of the characteristics that should alert police ofa possible transnational crime (Makkai, 2011).


Transnationalcrimes play a key role in strengthening the generalized deteriorationand reorganization of various governments’ authorities. Over thepast years, there have been many challenges posed by criminal groups.These challenges portray signs of substantial danger to the social,political, and economic status of states and nations. Progress madein the transportation and communication sectors as well as the newpatterns of international trade has favored the organization ofcriminal groups in many states. Undeniably, transnational crimes havebecome global and no state is immune from them. Long termconsequences of criminal groups are extremely devastatingespecially, in countries that are weak and severely affected. Thesecrimes violate the fundamental principles and disrespect thesovereignty of states and nations. Criminal groups easily underminedemocracy and threaten the stability of many nations due to globalmobility, their ability to acquire weapons, and due to the widespreadaccess to technology. In some instances, some criminal groups go tothe extent of establishing a symbiotic relationship with the statethis helps them conserve their privileges as well as keep theircharacteristics of the regime intact. It is extremely hard to breakthe aforementioned relationship since it would lead to some financialconstraints on such states. Likewise, criminal organizations caneasily access information that has a high likelihood of being used toexpand and improve their businesses as well as ensure their securitysince they have enormous financial resources. In fact, they use theirenormous financial resources to get military material, communicationtechnologies and sensitive information. Widespread fear, violence,oppression, and intimidation may arise from the impunity of crimesthat organized criminals commit. As a result, normative frames andcommunity bonds, which lay a platform for the establishment ofeconomic and political systems, are disrupted in an enormous way. Inaddition, criminal groups affect trust in the judiciary andlegislative bodies, the general confidence in the functioning of themarkets, civil society’s autonomous development, and the legitimacyof governments in a negative manner. It is the duty of thegovernments and nations to implement the right and appropriatestrategies in order to curb further widespread of this deadly act.For instance, they should collaborate with other agencies in order toidentify the location of various criminal groups and bring an end totheir criminal acts.


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