Organized crime the enlargement of the EU and the public

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					AARMS                                                                               SECURITY
Vol. 4, No. 2 (2005) 347–365

             Organized crime, the enlargement of the EU,
                           and the public
                                      FRIEDRICH W. KORKISCH

                           Center of Foreign and Security Policy, Vienna, Austria

A short discussion of the term of “Organized Crime”is given and it is shown that this
new term cover a very wide class of the crime. Investigating the origin and the history
of organized crime, the existing types of the organized crime are analyzed. The
possibilities of crime fighting are discussed.

                                    What is Organized Crime?

“Organized Crime” (OC) is a term which appeared in crime-fighting literature and in
mass media in the late 1980s. However, the officially used term is Transnational
Organized Crime (TOC), which replaced the former terms “global crime” and “global
underworld”. But Organized Crime became standard terminology. OC/TOC is,
accordingly to the UN-definition,
    “… a criminal activity which is planned in one state, and is carried out in other
states; it is affecting such other states in a number of ways, so in their social, political,
economic and juridical situation; it always has not only an impact on the internal
security but also on the public welfare. Such crime involves many people of many states
whose coordinated activities are structured in a way to maximise profit.”
    There exist a number of OC-definitions, but basically they are all based on the
international context. OC includes activities like
    – bribery, and corrupting politicians, policemen, judges, custom officers, harbor
        and airport personnel;
    – threats, kidnapping, prostitution, blackmailing;
    – large scale organized illegal immigration, and illicit trafficking of human beings;
    – illegal business operations, trade of drugs, weapons, beverages, cigarettes,
        diamonds, rare metals;
    – credit card fraud, tax evasion, money laundering,
    – peddling-bands, organized shop-lifting;
    – killing of competitors, also of policemen, lawyers, judges (other victims are
        innocent persons on the crime scene);

Received: June 29, 2005

Address for correspondence:
Director, Center of Foreign and Security Policy
Gyrowetzgasse 1, A–1140 Vienna, Austria
F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

    – distribution of counterfeit money (Euro, Dollar, Yen, Swiss Francs, British
        Pound), forging of stocks, property rights;
    – illegal intelligence operations affecting businesses, business secrets, and key-data;
    – forging of documents like passports, visas, birth certificates, bills of lading etc.;
    – illegal product manufacturing and trade mark forgery;
    – illegal trade and large scale thefts of merchandise, shipment and selling of stolen
    – car theft, truck theft;
    – E-commerce-crime, computer crime;
    – assaults on banks, postal offices, armoured cars;
    – establishing of front-companies for illegal and legal business.
    Compared to old-style crime, modern OC is large-scale, affects not only a small
group of people but everyone; everyone can become a victim, and everyone has to pay
for damages and for crime-fighting.
    Why is OC so effective, why is it so difficult to crack OC-structures? On the side of
the police it is manpower, language-problems, the local situation of investigations
which does not overlook the whole transnational operation, the time needed to find
victims, the fear of witnesses, laws who limit investigations to a individual criminal act
(and not to the whole criminal operation), the overworked courts, the frequent mix of
crime activities and criminals with a refugee or asylum status, crowded jails, and the
small chance to deport a man or a women caught in a petty-crime act (no matter how
many such acts can be proved).
    OC is not simply a deal between illegal supply and demand: OC creates its own
markets, it takes advantage of the weakness of international and national security
structures. OC seeks easy access to victims and their property; it is moving stolen goods
from one country to another. It can affect high ranking or poor people, people in a city
street, school children on their way home, a person waiting at a streetcar-station; it
affects corporate management or a political party. It can mix legal with illegal business.
    Large or small criminal coups usually are the result of specific information or
knowledge of a specific situation (an empty house, an unlocked car, shop lifting). The
operatives take advantage of such a described situation but the same coup rarely can be
repeated. If something goes wrong, the coup fails. On the other hand, small crime is
often much more effective, less risky, and can be repeated on an individual level many
times, it overwhelms police and courts. OC takes advantage of many individuals who
share such low risk acts. Such criminals simply look permanently for chances and
opportunities to steal or to make money, following sometimes specific instructions, or
have an anonymous buyer for their stolen goods. But the OC-center normally does not

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participate in the criminal act. Planning and action is separated, usually located in
different countries.
    The OC-centers organizes the transnational system, creates demand by offering
supply and services, looks for low-cost supply (preferably in other countries), and
provides what was promised. It collects services, goods, cash, buys into organizations,
and therefore is a perfect mediator between demand, crime and supply. OC works so
well, and is so effective because it can always deliver! It collects the money and keeps
most of the profit. The criminal act is done by the gang or individual in place (or will be
sent to the place). If necessary, local supervision will maintain control over the
activities of the “front”, it will handle administrative steps, the transfer of goods,
transportation, documents etc.
    OC is effective, because there are numerous people offering their services and
expertise. A strict division of the various levels of activities reduces the risks. If the
“front” has to take losses – it will not affect the center. Losses will anyway be low,
because the “front” is split into many small individual groups who work totally
separated, so arrest will not hurt the overall system. (If such groups get to large, the
chances to fail will go up, so groups are kept as small as possible.) This does not mean
that OC will abstain from the “big” coups, but they require specialists and more
investment, longer periods of time to observe the target or victim.
    OC has many different faces, it includes many different nationalities, usually not
linked together, so it is very hard for crime-fighting to follow a specific pattern,
situations and criminals will always change. Fighting OC requires manpower and
international cooperation – both is rarely available.
    OC also tries to legalize its operations: It will participate in joint ventures, in the
hotel business, restaurants, apartment houses, construction, trade companies, electronics
etc. OC will buy itself into other companies, will buy large and prestigious property and
will join the local business and political scene, including donations to politicians. OC
operatives often are acting as serious businessmen, and take advantage of legal trade-
and corporate-laws. This makes it so complex to investigate in such structures and
identify criminal activities.
    Social sciences estimate (in our societies) the percentage of people who would
commit a crime with 1 or 2% of the total population, depending on the level of want and
need. Circumstances, and a harsher environmental situation, can raise this figure up to
5%, and people who fear for their life will kill as a matter of survival. “Law and Order”-
policies in the western societies maintained the criminal level to 1% or lower. Severe
penalties can act as deterrence, permanent jailing of incurable criminals is another.
Criminals feel largely unbound to values or mental barriers, despite the fact that some

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F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

compensate their wrongdoings with social acts or argue that they are simply stealing
from the rich.
    But OC-members or mafia operatives are different: They are had-core criminals and
have no sympathy for their victims or competitors. Their efficiency is based on
mobility, good planning, fast action, fear, killing of traitors, and the sharing of profits.
    The state protects its citizens to such extend that they will be free of fear to become
the victims of a crime. Such was the situation in the western societies in the late 19th
and early 20th century. In this regard, European societies (in peace-times) were mostly
free from criminal violence: Western Europe was somehow better off than the US,
Japan was better off than Western Europe. In Western Europe some states were nearly
crime-free, like Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway,
Sweden or Finland. The small percentage of the population with a tendency to criminal
activity could be checked by normal police activities and legal procedures.
    Today, we face a different situation: Current crime levels and criminal activities are
carried out by a large number of mainly unidentifiable criminals and gangs; their
numbers are much higher than what police can handle or what the juridical system can
process. Today, more than 10% of the people will become victims of OC. And, what is
new, the state cannot provide anymore adequate protection.

                                  Origins of Organized Crime

The problem of OC is larger and older than the European Union. We can go back a long
way in history, and label the slave trade of the 9th, 10th and 11th century as OC, also
the corsairs which were attacking traders and sold their merchandise on markets far
away. In the medieval age, and later on, especially during wars and after wars, when
bands moved freely looting and burning in the countryside, the situation often went out
of hand. Also, crime and rebellion against the rulers often joint ranks.
    In early times, stealing was the basic motive for warfare, raids and crusades, and
was perfectly legal, including the killing of the rich and the poor alike. Empires were
built either on marriage, occupation or theft (which was often all the same). Even in
more recent times, governments were involved in illegal trade as well: The opium trade
in China – under the protection of the English Crown – is well documented.
    In our times the habits were refined but not much: The Soviet Union was stealing
patents, property rights, hi-tech items, military hard ware etc. from the early days of
1919, all the way till its end – and is continuing this habit now under a new name. The
GDR (DDR) had set up a mail- and merchandise-“by-passing” organization within the
postal system of the Federal Republic of Germany, involving large scale theft of TV-

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sets, expensive household items, machinery, luxury goods etc., which were delivered
free to SED-Politbureau-, and other high ranking party- and “Stasi”-members. The
Ukraine sold 1994 and 1995 missile parts to Iraq, despite an UN-embargo resolution.
Mexico’s Salinas-government was involved in drug dealings (and in the murder of US
narcotics officers), so was Noriega in Panama, whereas Congo’s Mobutu was selling
diamonds, metals, forest products etc., so does now Kabila. North Koreas missile and
nuclear experts, and Pakistan’s nuclear scientist Prof. Abdul Khan, were delivering and
selling nuclear know-how and missile technology to a much larger number of states
than was anticipated in the fall of 2003 or assumed by the IAEA. Afghanistan’s sole
export income for decades was (and still is) opium and heroin, Burma is another case of
state-sponsored and state-protected drug selling-, so was Abaca’s political gang in
    Many African states survive only because they bypass legal ways of trading (on the
mercantile institutions in New York, London, Amsterdam, Chicago) of rare and
expensive metals and diamonds. In the past, the (declared pro-western) Abdul Haq
government of Pakistan was a large-scale trader of heroin, and Mrs. Bhutto, who had
dared to expose these dealings, was arrested and had to flee the country. In some Latin
American states, drug trafficking is largely tolerated by politics and controlled by the
military. One ton of cocaine earns 100 million Dollar in the US, if cut with adulterants,
the profit can go up to 300 million Dollar. (What member of a government of a poor
country can resist if a share of profits is offered?)
    OC affecting Europe today, has its origins – at least partially – in mafia structures of
western and southern Europe, when such cartels had a monopoly for importing drugs to
Europe. Large-scale money laundering in the early seventies involved transnationally
organized gangs, also a number of cooperating banks in Europe, the Middle East, in the
US, and Hong Kong. OC was especially on the rise when in the early 1960s the demand
for cocaine, heroine and other drugs in the US and in Europe outpaced supply;
immediately profits rose and new players (from Latin America, Lebanon, Turkey,
Burma etc.) emerged in Europe and the US.
    In the early nineties, Latin American cocaine cartels (like the Cali cartel) needed the
cooperation of local European gangs who acted as controlling and distributing elements
and participated in the profits. Marihuana was more or less “officially” sold from outlets
in Columbia, Jamaica, Belize and Mexico. In Paraguay, the biggest drug cartel was and
is the military, such organizations feel well protected in Peru and Bolivia, and until
1996 were even controlling parts of the anti-narcotic politics and police (!) in Mexico.
In the 1990s, cartels from the Far East, Nigeria and Latin America replaced in Europe
the local drug distributors.

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F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

    The OC-scene in Europe shifted after 1990, when Russian crime organizations went
into eastern Europe, finally into Germany, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Great Britain,
France and the US, and could control OC in the Balkans, in Turkey and the Baltic
region. They took advantage of rather small and dispersed national domestic crime
structures all over Europe (at that time rather tamed well by local police and law
authorities). Old KGB-structures and political networks helped to corner these small
local gangs which were replaced (and often eliminated) by “international” bands. Such
organizations quickly controlled petty crime, prostitution, currency-forging, large-scale
drug dealing and distribution, car theft, burglar-gangs etc.
    The OC follows a typical pattern: Wealth not only is a magnet for all kinds of
criminal activities, it is also creating its own criminal activity. OC proofs that the rich
and weak are victims of the poor and strong: Therefore, OC is mainly active in the rich
countries, where the profits are the highest, and investments are low.
    The linkage of crime and state, and especially of crime and police, is well documented
in Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The mafia has its own
lawyers, doctors, informers, book keepers, bankers etc. In a number of Eastern European
states, politics, economy, and crime were equal participants in a tight network which was
well connected to the national (criminal) immigration scene in western capitals. Such can
be observed within immigrants from Russia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Rumania, Bulgaria,
Albania etc. Especially large scale car theft, prostitution, money forging, smuggling of
cigarettes, organized looting of houses, apartments, shop-lifting, assaults on postal offices
etc., are basically linked to such gangs. This does not mean that old European crime
structures (Mafia, Corsicans, Serbs etc.) have disappeared.
    Some well-meaning (“liberal”) people in Europe justified such activities as a
“transformation” of wealth from the rich to the poor. Drug consummation is seen as an
individual right, and drug production is defended by some “alternative” groups as an
income for the poor farmers in the third world. Drug production and selling is part of
the fight against “globalization”, simply helping the balance of payments of poor
countries. From the drug exporting side, selling drugs to the “north” respectively to the
“west” is seen as a necessary business to maintain the national income – whoever is
profiting. And, if the American und European drug addicts buy more drugs, the better it
is for the suppliers.
    If the “north” wants to do away with drugs, it would have to pay for it, and such
large (and never ending) subsidies are already paid out to a number of countries, but
logically these sums are shared mainly between government-insiders and the affected
drug cartels. But, on one hand, this will not reduce demand, and the farmers, cheated by
their own government, prefer to stick with their poppy fields. On the other hand, drug

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users point to legal drugs like cigarettes and alcohol, which are part of government-
taxes and legal income, and not curbed at all as longs as it “will not affect others”.
    Anti-Americanism is used as a perfect tool to avoid cooperation with Washington to
fight drug cartels, but such attitudes are finally working against Europe as well.
Whenever governments cooperate with US authorities, they are smeared as traitors and
puppets of the US or bought by “foreign interests”. Typical is the case of Columbia,
were the drug-fighting government is attacked by the drug-cartels of “selling national
interests” to the hated “gringos”; Peru and Burma are similar cases.

          Supply, demand and cooperation: Drugs, cars and other crimes

Where is demand, there is supply: Drug-consummation is a well established habit in both,
the entertainment world (especially in the popular music, theater and film business), and
in “higher circles” (members of high-income groups). But, because of rather low costs and
easy access to drugs (and this is a new phenomenon), we see some drug-use also in low
income groups, adding to alcohol and other abuses. Eliminating drugs by a strict
enforcement of existing anti-drug laws (arresting drug users, and breaking dealer
networks) would probably be politically embarrassing. Members of the current cultural
elite often defend their drug consumption and other habits in the media, and refer strongly
to liberal and individual rights. No wonder, that some experts propose the liberalization of
hard drugs to limit the costs for crime-fighting, and let everyone decide by himself if he or
she wants to get hurt by alcohol, cigarettes, heroine, or all of it.
     Legalizing of drugs would reduce prices immediately, but nobody is interested in
such a move, certainly not the suppliers. No matter how expensive classical hard drugs
would be, chemical drugs would emerge on the market and offer a cheaper alternative.
If politicians think the whole population would become addicts if priced would come
down, they could begin their anti-drug war with alcohol and cigarettes. (What barriers
exist for drug addicts who sniff gasoline, chemical fumes etc.?)
     Fighting drugs costs the US taxpayer every year 18 billion US Dollar, a figure which
is still lower in Europe because drug abuse is still lower, but is rising steadily and will
reach US proportions in 2010 or earlier. Drug abuse is popular and affects legal drugs (5%
are considered as alcoholics, 35% of people smoke), and illegal drugs alike. Illegal drugs
are consumed by some 3 to 5% of the average European population at least once in a
while. Sedatives account for 3 to 4% of the population, hard drugs (heroin, cocaine, and
hallucinogens) for 0.8%, and soft drugs (like Canabis) are consumed by 1 to 2%.
     US data show that 40% of the population at least once in their lifetime had used drugs,
15% at least once in the previous year and 8% are doing so on a regular basis. 1,6 million

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F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

people are arrested every year because of drug abuse. In Europe, arrests-figures are rather
low, because there is a more tolerant attitude. So there is a pull effect by demand.
    OC is more than drugs. The best example of supply and demand is car theft: It
involves “customers”, car dealers, operatives in Western Europe, police and customs
officers in a least two or three states which are used for transit, and naturally local
politicians who tolerate such rackets. There is a demand for expensive cars on the side
of dealers in Eastern Europe and Russia, but also of “dependables” like VWs, Audis,
BMWs, higher priced Fords, Volvos and Opels. (There is practically no demand for
Japanese, Korean, French and Italian cars.) Potential buyers can not only order a
specific brand, but also a specific type and color, and can expect delivery within weeks.
    Italian gangs operate especially in Germany, France and Austria, specializing in
bank robbery, car hijacking, jeweller-shop break-ins, stealing of paintings and antiques,
blackmail and truck robbery.
    Many crimes are only possible because there is a number of people willing to offer
their help to commit crimes: The manager who sells confidential information, the truck
driver who is willing to deviate merchandise, or helps to hijack a truck, the customs
officer who informs a gang about valuable items in a warehouse, the security officer
who informs a gang about a diamond- or gold-shipment to an airport. So the “insider” is
the welcomed gate opener for OC.

                                     Crime fighting

The police in the western European states had been trained to handle small- and family
type-crimes. There was (and still is) a slow moving juridical system, strictly based on
the classical procedural framework of arrest, the identification and classification of a
crime, the looking for a motive and linking a motive to a suspect, hear witnesses, give
both, prosecution and defense, time to elaborate the case from their viewpoint, weight
evidence, use complex appellate-rights before coming to a verdict. Such a system is
totally lost when dealing with OC or terrorism: It has no power to prevent or to curb
OC: The main operatives sit outside the jurisdiction of national courts.
    A high ranking Rumanian politician said in Alpbach a few years ago: “In our
country organized crime, corruption, business and politics cannot be separated.” If this
situation was well known to politicians in the west, why then was nothing done to adjust
police and laws in time to provide the necessary tools to deal with these new threats?
Why could OC get out of hand?
    The problem of crime fighting has its own history. There were (and still are)
political, social and organizational problems. The western governments were slow in

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accepting that there even existed a new problem, and the police was unable to deal with
a multinational phenomenon on a local level. Many OC-figures were disguised as well
established businessmen and built excellent connections to politicians and various
elites, obtained foreign passports and citizenships. The fact is that OC simply went out
of hand, because democracies were unable and unwilling to accept and adjust in time,
and because political structures participated in and profited from OC.
    In some cities (or parts of cities) police was also in the past unable to control crime.
This was the case in London in the eighteen and early nineteen century, it was typical in
southern Europe and in China. The states often reacted with draconic measures like
hanging, torture, Dead or Alive postures, deportation, and so on, in some cases they
joined crime, and criminals received rewards for sharing income. However, in Europe
the situation improved in the first half of the 19th century, and we can assume, based on
criminal history, that the towns and the country-side became rather safe. In the United
States public safety always remained an issue but improved as well, and today the crime
rates of U.S. and European cities are rather the same. On the other hand, many Latin
American towns (Rio, Sao Paulo, Managua, all of Haiti and the Dominican Republic)
and a number of Asian and African cities, are crime infested (so especially in western
Africa, Nigeria, South Africa). New problems emerged in Moscow, Moldavia, Albania,
and the Kosovo, but old one remained in Palermo, Naples (both partially in the hands of
the Mafia) and other Mediterranean ports. Crime rose over the last years dramatically in
London, Manchester, Liverpool, Marseilles, Warsaw, Prague, Sofia and other places.

         Crime in Eastern Europe: There was crime in the Communist Era

What is less known, but is now quite well documented, is the crime scene in Eastern
Europe before 1989/90: There was quite an amount of crime in all communist states,
especially in the Soviet Union (so in Moscow and the southern Republics of the Union).
Crime was basically smuggling and prostitution. But, profit sharing with the local
CPSU-party organizations had its limits: The market was small, and selling western
TV-sets or cameras from Japan had also certain limits. Crime needs demand, supply
alone would not guarantee profits. Asian- and non-Russian-gangs controlled the black
markets, had contact to the police, were tolerated by party structures, because they
delivered what was legally not available, and protected themselves by a strict code of
mutual trust.
    When the KGB and the party structures collapsed 1991, illegal business became a
source (and sometimes the only source) of “legal” income. Ethnicities banded together
in the large Russian cities and began to control parts of the crime scene, competing with

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F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

other gangs, the government-embedded crime scene, secret police-based crime
organizations, and newly emerging white collar-structures who became new owners of
former state owned industries and distribution networks. Despite turf fighting, all
gained quickly wealth or participated in joint ventures with western investment groups
who usually became later on victims of blackmail and protective schemes. Crime
became an accepted part of the state. Journalists who dared to investigate in such
procedures were killed – 25 in Russia in the last five years alone. When such new
“czars” went to shopping sprees to Western Europe or Turkey, with a million Dollar in
plastic bags, nobody asked were the money came from. Spending illegal money legally
in the west, was part of the game.

                    The Iron Curtain disappears: No lines of defense

What impact had the end of border-control and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain on
the safety of the people in the west?
    In 1991/92, Western Europe began to open its borders when the Iron Curtain
disappeared, both was seen as the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era.
Immediately, Europe experienced a dramatic rise in criminal activities, alone in 1991 by
more than 100% compared to the Cold War-period. Neither the Schengen Convention
of 1990/1995 was of any help to prevent crime because visa requirement were
eliminated or softened for a number of Eastern European states, nor were UN
resolutions about TOC or bilateral agreements. All crime-fighting structures in the west
which were responsible for internal security and safety, were suddenly overwhelmed by
a crime-wave unknown in Europe in the 20th century. Criminals would use legal travel
means, roam freely across borders, commit crimes, and could quickly disappear behind
their national borders where they were safe, respectively could (and still can) assume
not to be bothered by their own government or police.
    A cooperation of western and eastern police organizations did not exist and even
today it is rather rare, and not developed. Lip service of politicians from Eastern Europe
is accompanied by low standards of law enforcement and an unwillingness to cooperate.
    Police in eastern European states was (and partially still is) corrupt, because politics
was corrupt top down, and bottom up. Petty crime of law enforcement personnel became
an additional huge problem, especially for tourists: On roads travellers are stopped and
accused of traffic violations, forced to pay a certain sum or to risk arrest and the loss of
their car. Reporting such modern hijacking is simply a waste of time. Higher police
authorities either are part of such methods or are unwilling to enforce laws. Replacing
such corrupt structures will need a different attitude of superiors and policemen.

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    What was the reaction to this development in the west? The politicians in the west
were quickly accepting this dilemma, but tried to convince the public that the situation
was anyway under control, and new rules and organizational measures would improve
the situation, crime-rates could be managed and would come down. In fact, nothing was
under control, crime rates soared, public outcry was ignored, and nothing besides
statistics was managed. Strict visa policies and border control would have helped
immediately, but were not reintroduced, other mechanism to curb crime, were seen as
an unacceptable police state-mentality, and were not enforced. On the German-Polish
border the Grenzschutz was looking out for illegal border-crossings, but the criminals
used the official check-points or airplanes.


OC groups not only are well organized within their structures, but also cooperate and
coordinate their activities in Europe; gangs simply separated the turfs:
   – Latin American and gangs control petty crime-syndicates and drug traffic;
   – Chinese triads (Tai Lung, Lung Chai, 14K, Wo, Sun Yee On etc.) control
       restaurants and Chinese food outlets, demanding protective money;
   – Russian mafiya organization, mainly run by former KGB officers, protected by
       “high circles”, control large parts of Russia’s economy, and cooperate in Europe
       with Italian mafias, provide weapons, killers, and are involved in all types of
       activities, use former intelligence operatives in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria,
       Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova etc., supply European “red light”-outfits (and other
       “services”) with prostitutes, and are especially active in Germany, the
       Netherlands, Austria, Great Britain, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus;
   – the Japanese Yakuza steal hi-tech merchandise but also collect protective money;
   – Polish and other Eastern European gangs have specialized in car theft (such cars
       are shipped from Europe into Russia, the Caucasus region and to Asia);
   – gangs from the Balkans specialize in money forging, car theft, large scale
       robbery and petty crime;
   – African drug networks, in competition with Latin American gangs, have set up
       their own distributing systems (sometimes cooperating with local mafia
       structures), and became a well established sight in European cities;
   – the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Neapolitanian Camorra, the Calabrese
       Ndranghetta, and the Puglian Santa Corona, are still well established in Italy,
       France, Austria and Germany;

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    – inside France, gangs from Corsica and northern Africa compete with national
    It became convenient by gangs to contact or to establish asylum seekers in Europe,
and to use these (many without documents and nationals identification) as robbers and
dealers. Other OC groups in EU-Europe come from Albania, Croatia, the Baltic states,
from other African states, Vietnam, Serbia, Central Asia, and so on.
    One more remark to the Nigerian drug cartels: They control back home local
politicians and police, the manufacturing and shipping of drugs from Africa to Italy or
France, and have planted their local dealerships (usually also Nigerians or refugees
from western African states) in the European cities. It became a fully integrated system
with its own rules and a hierarchical distribution of profits. Such profits (billions of
Euros every year) do not come from some unidentified sources, but from the average
drug-consuming European citizens who not only waste their money and health, but
support with their habits other criminal activities, civil wars, weapons trade, children
soldiers, the enslavement of young women, the killing of policemen, and a large-scale
corruption of our system.
    Money is sent in small amounts to Nigeria to “support relatives back home” or “to
pay for bills”. European banks and the police are fully aware of these operations but
have found until now no way to curb it.
    It is interesting to see that OC-structures are very similar to terrorist organizations.

                                    Computer crime

Computer crime is a new territory for OC. Computer crime like hacking, cracking,
physical destruction of computers or software, stealing of software, illegal access to
computer systems (such break-ins often remain undetected for a long time), and illegal e-
commerce rose dramatically over the years. Especially the internet became a
communication tool for criminals and terrorists as well. Deceptive practices became a new
profession. Technical dependence raised the vulnerability against intruders and abuse. The
“dirty tricks” handbooks for such criminal activities are available for everyone.
    Computer crime is currently getting out of hand. There are numerous ways to bypass
the most sophisticated security systems and fire walls. Passwords, security cards,
crypto-systems, security policies, additional safety devices like authentication etc., will
never stop an intruder, especially if he or she finds a former employee, or an employee
who will knowingly (or in most cases unknowingly) help a criminal. In the US, only a
third of the attacked companies detected such an attack or are willing to report it.

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Vandalism is seen as the first stepping stone of misbehavior which might lead to
criminal activity. Evidently, vandalism is a growing problem: Targets are cars,
buildings, public transportation, infrastructures, telephone and computer-systems.
    There is a connection between vandalism, dissatisfaction with life, joblessness, the
readiness to commit crime, violence, and gang membership. Besides damage to
property, vandalism is a psychological problem, a problem for police and courts (who
have more or less decided to ignore this problem).
    In the US, vandalism was identified as a social and individual problem which could
develop into a problem for the whole society. It was stopped when communities used all
means to curb it and judges pronounced draconic penalties. Such is still unknown in

                                 Industrial espionage

Additionally, to conventional OC (theft, prostitution, drugs), also industrial and
economy-related espionage rose dramatically. The main actors in these rather complex
areas are the Russian secret service organizations which replaced the former KGB.
Even here, western democracies prefer to look away – the issues are highly political.
Neither do we see arrests of such individuals nor juridical activities.
    This OC is “technical”, is centered on economic intelligence, like stealing of
documentation, research and development programs, dissertations, studies, technical
data and statistics, computer crime, blackmail and bribery. Corporations and western
institutions needed a rather long time before admitting what was going on, and what
damage was done mainly caused by ignorance. Economic competition within the EU,
between the US and the EU, between the US and the EU on one side, and Japan and
other emerging Asian states on the other side, and between all of these parties and
Russia, China, Brazil and India is growing, therefore such intelligence operations are
again a serious issue.

               Today, criminals are more violent and better educated

Criminal behavior has emerged as an additional challenge. A number of recent
developments affect police work: Even to make simple arrests (like intervening in
family affairs) became dangerous, the number of injured or killed policemen is on the
raise. Immigrants took their former frustrations and behavior into their new countries

AARMS 4(2) (2005)                                                                     359
F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

and do not adjust to the new social patterns. People are generally more aggressive and
criminals are ready to use a weapon, especially against the police which is the visible
representative of the state – and the state is seen as an enemy. Such raises the risks for
the individual policeman who is less willing to accept such risks.
    Police reports that OC operatives are usually armed, African drug dealers would
frequently use force to avoid arrest; also many robbers are well armed and are willing to
use weapons. Chances to avoid arrests are indeed quite high when acting aggressively
and when leaving the crime scene quickly. The “quick” criminal (using “hit and run”-
tactics) is one of the reasons for the low rate of solving crime and to identify criminals.
The victim usually has a problem to explain exactly what has happened and “who did
it”. Incident reporting (especially of petty crime and vandalism) is another problem;
victims know that the police cannot do much, so they give up reporting.
    Because the police is strictly limited to use a weapons in self-defense (and rarely
will a policeman use a weapon in defense of a victim), many policemen rather accept
the run-away of a criminal instead of risking a gunfight with injury or death, followed
by a long and painful investigation.
    The police is more and more facing criminals, who are well educated, have money
to spend, are using the technical means of perfect observation, are specializing in
specific crimes, are experts in communication and computer equipment, use rented cars,
cover larger distances with airplanes, are fast in their movements, use bribery and take
advantage of corruption on all levels of government and society, and can, if needed, buy
access into many ranks of western elites. Therefore, OC not only corrupts western
societies, but crime fighting must face many high hurdles to become a success.
    If criminals are better educated (than the police), are globally mobile (and the police
remains in its administrative precincts), have access to all resources (and the police is
limited by budget-restrictions), the fight against OC cannot be won. Transformation and
modernization of the police is a must – but never at the expense of knowledge and
existing expertise.

                          Public outcry – Victims demand action

With a crime rate totally out of hand (approx. 6 million cases per year in Germany, 5
million in France, 4.5 million in Great Britain, 600.000 in Austria, 500.000 in Hungary),
the public outcry would have required immediate answers to this new situation.
However, if such answers were found is still debated. After three or four years with a
small decline in the numbers of reported crimes after 1995, crime rates after 2000 went
up again. Today, the EU member states are facing a crime situation which is 400%

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higher than the one in the 1970s. On the other hand, the numbers in the police forces are
rather the same. In many countries, for budgetary reasons, the police force was even
reduced – so in Austria.
     The victim of such policies is the public. Petty drug dealers or shop-lifters will not
be arrested anymore because the police is overworked already. In the Netherlands,
drugs were made partially legal; in Switzerland consummation by drug addicts was
largely legalized. Because drugs cost money, and drug users are typically short on cash,
the need to satisfy drugs habits has been pushing secondary crime figures. Such home-
made crime includes attacks against old people, theft, shop-lifting and break-ins (cars,
pharmacies, houses). Much of stolen goods end in second hand stores and on public
markets, sometimes hundreds of kilometers away. But such crime must also be seen in
the context of OC. There is unreported and undetected petty crime, which is estimated
as high as 30 to 50% of the official numbers.
     The citizens of the European Union feel as victims of a crime situation which has hit
governments and societies unprepared. They have to pay the price for (a) the EU-
extensions, (b) for crime fighting at home, and (c) are objects of OC without adequate
protection by their own governments.
     Any further extension of the EU to the east, and even further into the “near” Asia
(Turkey), without a clear crime-fighting policy, and no strict demands on new members
to fight crime (and especially OC) effectively, will see the European taxpayer fully
carrying the burden of the extension, plus the penalty of a soft stance on crime at home.
This is one of the reasons why Brussels faces a disappointing view of the EU in general,
and of new member states specifically. The “No” to the European Constitution is a clear
and loud warning signal that people do not any longer tolerate political indifference to
their problems.
     Victims are also the people of Central and Eastern Europe, who are now targeted by
OC from Russian and Asian gangs. Especially OC-structures operating out of Belarus,
Moldova and some Caucasus states are operating in the Balkans, Hungary, Slovakia,
Poland etc.
     Additionally, the EU faces an invasion of refugees and asylum seekers from nearly
all parts of the world. For many years it was politically not “correct” to link asylum
seekers with petty and drug crime. In 2004, for the first time, many EU-states published
lists of such crime cases: Between 35 and 45% of such refugees became involved in
crimes. The refugee crime scene becomes understandable when looking into their
numbers, and their desires to have access to our wealth which was often promised to
them back home. OC and connections to refugees and asylum seekers becomes clear
when looking into their countries of origin, like Turkey, China, Russia, Afghanistan,

AARMS 4(2) (2005)                                                                       361
F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

Ukraine, Armenia, Pakistan, Congo, Nigeria, China and so on. (Why asylum seekers are
accepted from states which are demanding EU membership, or are officially
acknowledged as friendly “democracies” like Turkey and Russia, is another issue.)
    The linkage of transnational terror and transnational crime is a new phenomenon.
The U.S. State Department has identified since 2000 some 36 to 40 terrorist
organizations who are also involved in criminal activities: Drugs, weapons, smuggling,
selling of explosive and military equipment, kidnapping, illegal money transfers,
assassinations, money laundering firms acting as relief- and humanitarian-organizations,
kidnappings etc., are part of OC-“income”.

               Self-help, and self-protection is no answer to the problem

The state has the monopoly of maintaining security. In western democracies the
constitution gives all the authority to maintain internal stability and safety to the state. The
state uses its typical instruments, like laws, the police force, courts, public education and
socialization methods. Until a few years ago, citizens expected and also knew that the
state was using its authority satisfactorily. But recently this trust began to wane. The
government cannot guarantee safety and security anymore. The government realized
(without admitting it) that they were in fact unable to deal with large-scale crime.
    The advise and encouragement of people to buy sound-alarm systems to their cars,
better locks for their doors, and protect themselves in public places or buy higher
insurance, is cynical. The impression is that the state is not any longer willing and able
to protect the wellbeing of its citizens. This undermines not only the loyalty to the state
and its representatives but also diminishes the trust in democracy and in its institutions.
Insurance companies are a party in this strange situation when they are suddenly
lowering their contracted payments, when the victim had not taken additional
precautions and preventive measures at his or her own expense – precautions which
would have never deterred a professional criminal or prevented a crime.
    The public is rather stunned to see that democracies seem to be unable and unwilling
to enforce existing laws. When in 2004 in the Linz area (Austria) a gang of Armenian
robbers were arrested by a special police force, 23 were maintained at custody but the
other 147 were indicted at large without detention. This is what – negligence, stupidity,
or lack of will? Why should policemen risk their lives if such criminals are set free?
Does anybody really expect that these persons would remain in Austria and wait for
further proceedings?

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                      Raise the police force – Change the rules

If crime fighting should become more successful, a number of steps must be taken:
    – Raise the number of policemen and policewomen. (In most European states, for
       budgetary reasons, the number of policeman in the police force was cut. This
       had dramatic effects on local crime fighting. In Germany the shortage of
       policemen is about 10.000, in Austria the number of policemen was cut after
       1999 by 3000, and today there is a shortage of 5000, caused by retirements and
       the delays for training applicants.)
    – Enforce laws stricter, speed up legal procedures and time-limit legal procedures
       for hard core criminals, encourage judges to seek higher penalties for crime,
       deportation of criminals, avoid parole.
    – Consider additional and stricter laws (like in the US) to collect from the criminal
       expenses for compensating victims and the state.
    – End the free distribution of visas and stop to grant visas to persons who do not
       have the necessary funds to travel from and also return to their home-state.
    – Fingerprints alone are not an answer to OC. The top-operatives are either
       businessmen, and the foot-soldiers are already in the country. The typical OC-
       intruder usually has a clean record or is never identified as a threat.
    – Open borders are for crime fighting the biggest hurdle. The problem of
       identifying OC-operatives (which are used only once or are professionals) is
       well known. Who is never caught in the act, can freely move in and out of a
       country – fingerprints or no fingerprints. Fingerprints and other identification-
       means must be made mandatory for all 450 million people in the EU and
       everybody who enters the EU – this is seen by experts as an impossible task, and
       still would not prevent crime. The FBI has 25 million sets of fingerprints in its
       now computerized archive and lists 5 million (!) people as dangerous, but such
       information does not prevent crime or acts of terrorism.
    – The EU must (like the US) send away any person who is considered as
       dangerous. With 500.000 to 1 million illegal immigrants, bypassing such a
       system every year, the limits of a universal European crime-fighting systems are
       on hand.

              Crime fighting in Eastern Europe – No solution in sight

Eastern Europe is creating OC and is a victim of OC – because governments in this part
of Europe want it that way. As long as corruption is well embedded in governments and

AARMS 4(2) (2005)                                                                     363
F. W. KORKISCH: Organized crime

its affiliations, and as long as politics and police will participate in and profit from OC,
nothing will be done, nothing can be accomplished. Mistrust is everywhere and
everybody in crime-fighting must assume that the counterpart on the other side of the
table is corrupt.
    The signatures at the bottom of international agreements are not of much use, if the
signatories are in the hands of powerful structures, which are often faceless, but can act
quickly and without mercy. We know from experience that fighting OC is quite
ineffective in Western Europe, so why should it be effective in the east? None of any
such agreements has ever caused any trouble for OC anyway.
    Fighting crime in certain states requires more than good intention. It would require a
total change of values, methods of political dealings, a totally new and well paid police
force, run by outsiders free from political influence. It would need robust jailing of
criminals, also in Moldova, Belarus and Albania. From where should such people come
from, and who would make such arrests and jail criminals? Who dares to accuse well-
established powerful individuals of OC-dealings? Where is evidence, and from where
would such evidence come from?
    Naturally can states like Poland, Austria or Hungary assist eastern governments in
crime-fighting, there are seminars offered by NATO and NATO’s Partnership for
Peace, there is the CSCE and there is Interpol, there is the FBI which offers help and
will train experts, there is information available. National crime fighting must be
organized accordingly to the types of crime – and OC-fighting requires an independent
structure. But all of this has been tried in many states without much effect.

                            Open questions and no conclusion

Why are politicians avoiding the crime problem generally, and issues of OC
    Police reorganization has not reduced crime statistics. Is centralization or
decentralization of the police the proper answer to the current crime situation?
    There are many private organizations offering protection of any kind. Is this
undermining the responsibility and status of the police?
    Why do private citizen action groups have to collect signatures to activate the police
and local politicians to end drug dealings, car theft or burglary activities in the
neighborhoods, in subway stations, next to schools etc.?
    When will the laws be changed to give police more rights and force the juridical
system to react properly?

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    Why is international cooperation of police organizations and of crime fighting
authorities not made mandatory? Why are existing agreements so ineffective?
    As long as there are more problems on hand, and questions not answered, the
problem of OC will remain, and the extension of the EU under the given rules, will have
to accept more crime in the future.

AARMS 4(2) (2005)                                                                    365

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