Organised Crime in an Increasingly Globalised World

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Introduction Globalization, apart from the impact it has in our everyday life, has also significantly contributed to the facilitation and the expansion of crime and more particularly the activities of transnational criminal groups. Organised crime is not a new problem for the authorities internationally, but patterns in the incidence, prevalence and concentration of organized crime are interpreted in terms of social trends that generate increased opportunities. For example, technological innovations in communication and intelligence sharing amongst criminal fraternities, together with political developments, such as the abolition of border controls, have created better conditions and more opportunities for committing criminal activities, such as electronic commerce and evasion of customs and exercise duties, whilst negating, or enabling the circumvention of, capable guardians[1].

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The present essay will focus on the abovementioned phenomenon, examining whether there are indeed new opportunities for transnational criminals in the era of globalization and, if yes, what can be done for tackling with this issue. Organised crime and globalisation Organized crime has become a reality as a result of a combination of different factors and the cooperation of a wide range of actors. It also covers a wide range of groups and activities, from drug cartels in North America and criminal groups in Central Africa to piracy, cyber-crime and money-laundering in rogue jurisdictions and uncontrolled economic sectors.[2] Transnational crime depends on and is based on the operation of specific networks and proximal circumstances involved in the commissioning of particular crime. It is of key importance to develop the right environment and boarder social context, such as market for production, exchange and consumption of illicit goods and services, the supply network of motivated offenders, presence of suitable targets and absence of effective enforcement or prevention mechanisms.[3] It is true that ‘globalization has progressed faster than our collective ability to regulate it’ and this is why more unregulated areas have been created as well as more opportunities for organized crime have grown.[4] New Opportunities First of all, nowadays it is remarkable how fast and how cheaply people and goods move around the world. A new form of smuggling involves tourists. Tourists can be effective couriers, helping the promotion of new routes, opening of new markets or sustaining existing ones. The European Union (EU) is an attractive option for transnational criminal activities due to the open borders and the relaxed border controls for EU nationals. For instance, Spain is the major destination for trafficking from South America to Europe, while Caribbean islands, such as Jamaica and St Martin, are main staging posts for drugs on their way to Europe. St Martin is owned jointly by France and Holland, so there are no customs posts between the two parts of the island and no customs posts between the island and its European counterparts.[5] At the same time,

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