Organized Criminal Networks as Global Powers

Organized crime has gone global. That is an accepted fact but it makes life for national anti-mafia services miserable. Going global has done for organized crime what it has done for transnational corporations: it has made these groups more powerful, more flexible; it has given them a greater reach into markets they did not yet have access to; it has allowed them to make connections with other "like-minded" groups whereas before, such contacts would have been limited by geographical distances and barriers.

Moreover, the liberalization of trade and capital as well as the removal of effective border controls within specific regional blocs, such as the European Union, has made circulation of illicit goods and services even easier and more lucrative. Criminality thrives in unregulated environments and failed / failing states. What’s not to love about globalization?

None of this has gone unnoticed, of course, and we are starting to see now real signs of concerns regarding the expanding activities of organized criminal networks, as illustrated by a flurry of articles all over the press across continents.

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