Organized Crime


Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals who intend to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for money and profit.

Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context, or is easily converted to such a form.

Transnational organized crime is organized crime coordinated across national borders, involving groups or networks of individuals working in more than one country to plan and execute illegal business ventures.

Profit or normal profit is a component of costs and not a component of business profit at all.

Killers Inc. by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project


Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, are politically motivated.

Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use or threatened use of violence in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.



Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for so-called "protection".

A protection racket is a scheme whereby a group provides protection to businesses or other groups through violence outside the sanction of the law.


Gangs may become disciplined enough to be considered organized.

A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals or close friends or family with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or illegal behavior.


A criminal organization or gang can also be referred to as a mafia, mob, or crime syndicate; the network, subculture and community of criminals may be referred to as the underworld.


Other organizations—including states, militaries, police forces, and corporations—may sometimes use organized-crime methods to conduct their activities, but their powers derive from their status as formal social institutions.

Institutionalisation refers to the process of embedding some conception within an organization, social system, or society as a whole.

A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law.

In social science and politics, power is the ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people.


There is a tendency to distinguish organized crime from other forms of crime, such as white-collar crime, financial crimes, political crimes, war crime, state crimes, and treason.

In criminology, a political crime or political offence is an offence involving overt acts or omissions, which prejudice the interests of the state, its government, or the political system.

Financial crimes are crimes against property, involving the unlawful conversion of the ownership of property to one's own personal use and benefit.

A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the law of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility.


This distinction is not always apparent and academics continue to debate the matter.


For example, in failed states that can no longer perform basic functions such as education, security, or governance, organised crime, governance and war sometimes complement each other.

A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly.


The term "Parliamentary Mafiocracy" has been used to describe democratic countries whose political, social and economic institutions come under the control of a few families and business oligarchs.

The term "business oligarch" is almost a synonym of the term "business magnate", borrowed by the English-speaking and western media from post-Soviet parlance to describe the huge, quickly acquired wealth of some businessmen of the Post-Soviet states during the privatization in Russia and in other post-Soviet states in the 1990s.


In the United States, the Organized Crime Control Act defines organized crime as "[t]he unlawful activities of [...]

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, was an Act of Congress sponsored by Democratic Senator John L. McClellan and signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.


a highly organized, disciplined association [...]


Criminal activity as a structured process is referred to as racketeering.

A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist.


In the UK, police estimate that organized crime involves up to 38,000 people operating in 6,000 various groups.


Due to the escalating violence of Mexico's drug war, a report issued by the United States Department of Justice characterizes the Mexican drug cartels as the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States".

The United States Department of Justice, also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.

The Mexican Drug War is the Mexican theater of the Global War on Drugs, an ongoing low-intensity asymmetric war between the Mexican Government and various drug trafficking syndicates.

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