Organized crime

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The mafia is not something that you can see or hear. There aren’t dead bodies on the streets, or shootings. In Mexico or in Italy, between corpses, blood and drug seizures it’s impossible to think that the Mafia doesn’t exist. In Italy and in Mexico Mafia is loud and it smells of blood. In London, as in Paris, it exists, but it’s quiet, it acts in the dark. And most of all it doesn’t have the pungent smell of blood, but the reassuring smell of money. It’s not true that money doesn’t smell, it does smell indeed, but you definitely can’t rely on your sense of smell to identify criminal money.
~ Robert Saviano, Dirty Money in London.

Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized infenterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for so-called "protection". Gangs may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. An organized gang or criminal set can also be referred to as a mob.

Other organisations like, States, the Army, Police, Governments and Corporations may sometimes use organised crime methods to conduct their business, but their powers derive from their status as formal social institutions. There is a tendency to distinguish organised crime from other forms of crimes, such as, white-collar crime, financial crimes, political crimes, war crimes, state crimes and treason. This distinction is not always apparent and the academic debate is ongoing. For example, in failed states that can no longer perform basic functions such as education, security, or governance, usually due to fractious violence or extreme poverty, organised crime, governance and war are often complimentary to each other. The term Parliamentary Mafiocracy is often attributed to democratic countries whose political, social and economic institutions are under the control of few families and business oligarchs.

In the United States, the Organized Crime Control Act (1970) defines organized crime as "The unlawful activities of [...] a highly organized, disciplined association [...]".Criminal activity as a structured group is referred to as racketeering and such crime is commonly referred to as the work of the Mob. In the UK, police estimate organized crime involves up to 38,000 people operating in 6,000 various groups. In addition, due to the escalating violence of Mexico's drug war, the Mexican drug cartels are considered the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States" according to a report issued by the United States Department of Justice

Organized crime groups often partake in a variety of illicit activities, including (but not limited to) arms trafficking, drug trafficking, human trafficking, forced prostitution, extortion, racketeering, and money laundering, among other things.

Drug cartels

Latin America

See also Manuel Noriega's narcokleptocracy

Asia

See also Manchukuo state drug trafficking

Organized crime in America

See also The Order, Rampart scandal and Key West PD corruption

American Mafia

Italian immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century formed various small-time gangs which gradually evolved into sophisticated crime syndicates which dominated organized crime in America for several decades. Although government crackdowns and a less-tightly knit Italian-American community have largely reduced their power, they remain an active force in the underworld.

Active crime families

Defunct mafia families

Canadian mafia families

Jewish mafia

African-American organized crime

Irish Mob

European crime syndicates

Italian organized crime

Balkan organized crime

Balkan organized crime gained prominence in the chaos following the communist era, notably the transition to capitalism and the wars in former Yugoslavia.

British Organised Crime "firms"

see also Irish Republican paramilitaries and Ulster loyalist groups

Post-Soviet organized crime

See also Russian oligarchs and drug trafficking in Central Asia

Although organized crime existed in the Soviet era, the gangs really gained in power and international reach during the transition to capitalism. The term Russian Mafia, 'mafiya' or mob is a blanket (and somewhat inaccurate) term for the various organized crime groups that emerged in this period from the 15 former republics of the USSR and unlike their Italian counterparts does not mean members are necessarily of Russian ethnicity or uphold any ancient criminal traditions, although this is the case for some members.

Asian organized crime groups

See also Room 39 and Kenji Doihara's criminal network

Yakuza organizations

The yakuza of Japan are similar to the Italian mafias in they originated centuries ago and follow a rigid set of traditions, but have several aspects that make them unique, such as their full-body tattoos and their fairly open place in Japanese society. Many yakuza groups are umbrella organizations, smaller gangs reporting to a larger crime syndicate.

Active yakuza groups

Defunct yakuza groups

Triads and other Chinese criminal organizations

See also Tongs and Tiandihui Tong Wars

[Help with translations!]

The Triads is a popular name for a number of Chinese criminal secret societies, which have existed in various forms over the centuries (see for example Tiandihui). However not all Chinese gangs fall into line with these traditional groups, as many non-traditional criminal organizations have formed, both in China and the Chinese diaspora.

Triads

Southeast Asian criminal organizations

South Asian criminal organizations

See also Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Haqqani Network

Middle Eastern organized crime

See also Free Syrian Army,[70] Shabeeha,[71] al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Mulatahemeen Brigade and Abu Nidal Organization

Other crime syndicates

African criminal organisations

See also the militia of Osman Ali Atto, Taxi wars in South Africa and blood diamonds

Cybercrime networks

See also List of hacker groups

As society enters the Information Age, certain individuals take advantage of easy flow of information over the Internet to commit online fraud or similar activities. Often the hackers will form a network to better facilitate their activities. On occasion the hackers will be a part of a criminal gang involved in more 'blue collar crime', but this is unusual.

Drug and smuggling rings

Smuggling is a behavior that has occurred ever since there were laws or a moral code that forbade access to a specific person or object. At the core of any smuggling organization is the economic relationship between supply and demand. From the organization's point of view, the issues are what the consumer wants, and how much the consumer is willing to pay the smuggler or smuggling organization to obtain it.

Prison gangs

Prisons are a natural meeting place for criminals, and for the purposes of protection from other inmates and business prisoners join gangs. These gangs often develop a large influence outside the prison walls through their networks. Most prison gangs do more than offer simple protection for their members. Most often, prison gangs are responsible for any drug, tobacco or alcohol handling inside correctional facilities. Furthermore, many prison gangs involve themselves in prostitution, assaults, kidnappings and murders. Prison gangs often seek to intimidate the other inmates, pressuring them to relinquish their food and other resources. In addition, prison gangs often exercise a large degree of influence over organized crime in the "free world", larger than their isolation in prison might lead one to expect.

American

Street gangs

Youth gangs have often served as a recruiting ground for more organized crime syndicates, where juvenile delinquents grow up to be full-fledged mobsters, as well as providing muscle and other low-key work. Increasingly, especially in the United States and other western countries, street gangs are becoming much more organized in their own right with a hierarchical structure and are fulfilling the role previously taken by traditional organized crime.

American

See also Criminal activity attributed to Juggalos

African-American

Asian American

Hispanic

Historical

Other

Historical

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