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Organized Crime in Labor and Drug Trade Essay

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Updated: Feb 28th, 2019

Introduction

Organized crime continues to be a big threat to the security and economic growth in most countries. Even though organized crime groups are found in every continent, the organization of such gangs differs. This paper will focus on the criminal gangs in China, Japan, Russia and Mexico. The organized crime groups in the above mentioned countries will also be compared and contrasted with those found in the US.

The Gangs in Various Countries

Russian Mafia is the most dominant organized crime group in Russia (Mallory, 2007). The gang is organized into units (families) that are usually in charge of a particular territory. They have a common code of conduct and leadership that governs their activities (Agling, 2010). Their criminal activities include drug trafficking, murder and extortion.

The dominant organized crime group in Japan is referred to as the Yakuza (Mallory, 2007). They organize themselves in three categories namely, the gamblers, peddlers and hoodlums. They also have a unique code of conduct and use tattoos for identification purposes. Besides, they usually work closely with “the Japanese right-wing nationalist through firm political alliances” (Gottschalk, 2008).

In Mexico, the organized crime groups exist as cartels. The common ones include the “Sinaloa cartel, Gulf cartel and the Juarez cartel” (Mallory, 2007). These groups have a power structure that is similar to that of Russian Mafia. Their main criminal activities include drug trafficking, murder and smuggling (Gottschalk, 2008).

The Triad is the most popular gang in China. They mainly operate in Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Mallory, 2007). The gang is organized into families or clans that are run by their respective heads and the conduct of the members is informed by “Confucian code of ethics” (Mallory, 2007). They are also known for the use of sign language to coordinate their activities.

Similarities and Differences

Comparison

The above groups and those found in the US have the following similarities. First, they usually engage in similar criminal activities which include murder smuggling and drug trafficking (Albanese, 2009). Second, they all have a pyramid leadership structure with a patriarch at the top and junior members at the bottom (Mallory, 2007).

The commands are usually issued by the top officials and the juniors are expected to obey without questioning. Third, all of them have a specific code of conduct that defines their values and relationships. In most cases respect for leaders and loyalty is emphasized. Finally, they all have extensive networks that include alliances with other gangs (Albanese, 2009). Thus their operations expand beyond their home countries.

Contrast

The organized crime groups in Japan, Mexico, China and Russia differ with their US counterparts in the following ways. Unlike the other groups, the American Mafia does not engage in “direct crime such as robbery” (Mallory, 2007). They instead facilitate the occurrence of such crimes by offering illegal protection services.

For example, they can protect thieves from police or provide security and equipment to those who intend to smuggle goods. Even though they all have codes of conducts, such codes usually differ from one group to the other (Albanese, 2009). For example, respect for senior members is less emphasized in the US groups as compared to those in China and Japan. Finally, the impact of the organized crime groups in Japan, China and Russia is relatively higher as compared to US.

Conclusion

The above discussion shows that different organized crime groups exist in different countries. The organized crime groups in Japan, Mexico, Russia and China are similar to those of the US in terms of their leadership structure and criminal activities (Mallory, 2007). Besides, they all have a code of conduct that differentiates them from other gangs. However, the impacts of the gangs on their communities differ from country to country.

References

Agling, J. (2010). Organized crime in our times. Burlington: Elsevier.

Albanese, J. (2009). Crime and resillience. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, vol. 37 (4), 182-196.

Gottschalk, P. (2008). Maturity levels for criminal organizations. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, vol. 36 (2), 106-114.

Mallory, S. (2007). Understanding organised crime. Sudbury: Jones and Barlett.

Schiloenhaedt, A. (2001). Trafficking in migrants: illegal migrants and organized crime in Australia and Asia Pacific Region. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, vol. 29 (4) , 331-378.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Organized Crime in Labor and Drug Trade." February 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/organized-crime-in-labor-and-drug-trade/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Organized Crime in Labor and Drug Trade'. 28 February.

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