Research Findings on Transnational Organized Crime

NIJ's research in transnational crime seeks to measure the extent of crime, provide suggestions for allocating law enforcement, assess how illegal networks operate, and anticipate the movement of crime groups in the future. Findings from several prominent studies are described below.

  • Efforts to target Asian transnational organized crime in the United States should focus on human smuggling; drug production; and trafficking in women, children, and drugs, according to an NIJ-funded study. Researchers additionally identified topics for future research and potential partnerships. [1]
  • Russian organized crime groups who are actively involved in worldwide money laundering and illegal business activity can threaten the security and economic activity of the United States and other Western countries. [2]
  • An NIJ-funded study suggested that law enforcement officers working with transnational crime need training that increases their awareness of the reality of the situations they will face, encourages collaboration and information sharing, provides language learning opportunities, and emphasizes a more global approach to law enforcement [3].
  • A report examining organized crime in Mexico suggested that crime groups have increased their involvement in drug trafficking and human smuggling. Increased border security in the United States has forced these groups to resort to sophisticated counter-detection measures . [4]
  • Research examined the ties between organized crime and terrorism, examining what conditions make transnational crime groups turn to terrorism and vice versa. Researchers created a method for analysts to use when examining this interaction [5].
  • An NIJ-funded report found that many small criminal groups are involved in intellectual property theft as a means of profitmaking, including counterfeit and pirated products. Such illicit activity could attract terrorist groups; however, no known terrorism groups engaged in such activities. [6]

Notes

[1]> Finckenauer, J. and K. Chin. “Asian Transnational Organized Crime and Its Impact of the United States: Developing a Transnational Crime Research Agenda.” Final report for the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2004, NCJ 213310.

[2]> Finckenauer, J. and Y. Voronin. “The Threat of Russian Organized Crime.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2001, NCJ 187085.

[3]> Caliber Associates. “State and Local Law Enforcement Response to Transnational Crime.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2005, NCJ 209521.

[4]> Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. “Organized Crime and Terrorist Activity in Mexico, 1999–2002 (pdf, 50 pages).” Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2003.

[5] Shelley, L.I., J.T. Picarelli, A. Irby, D.M. Hart, P.A. Craig-Hart, P. Williams, S. Simon, N. Abdullaev, B. Stanislawski, and L. Covill. “Methods and Motives: Exploring Links Between Transnational Organized Crime and International Terrorism.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2005, NCJ 211207.

[6]> Kent State University. “Intellectual Property Theft, Organized Crime, and Terrorism.” International Journal of Comparative Criminology, 4 (2004).

Date Created: November 15, 2007