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Asian Transnational Organized Crime and Its Impact on the United States

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2007
40 pages
This report assessed the nature and scope of Asian transnational organized crime as well as its impact on the Untied States.
Results revealed that Asian and United States authorities had different views regarding the most serious problems caused by Asian transnational crime. United States interviewees regarded drug and arms offenses and human trafficking as the most serious problems impacting the United States. United States interests harmed by transnational organized crime related to humanitarian concerns, business interests, and political relationships. Asian authorities identified more traditional organized crime activities, such as extortion, gambling, loan sharking, prostitution, and violence committed by local and regional organized crime groups as a higher priority than the problems caused by transnational organized crime groups. Transnational organized crime networks were characterized as highly specialized and, contrary to the opinions of some United States authorities, most study respondents reported no linkage between transnational organized crime groups and terrorist groups. The scope and patterns of Asian organized crime were also analyzed, which indicated that, in general, most traditional organized crime groups were local in scope and lacked cooperative relationships with other organized crime groups. While exceptions were noted, most Asian-based organized crime groups were not key players in transnational organized crime activities. The nature of Asian organized crime activities was not specialized and involved a mix of legitimate and illegitimate businesses. Legitimate businesses included construction, stock market, waste disposal, and food industry. Traditional organized crime groups in Asia were longstanding, preexisting groups while transnational organized crime groups tended to emerge around specific opportunities and then dissolve following the completion of the operation. Study methodology included 4 months of interviews and field observations in eight Asian sites (Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand) with law enforcement officials, policymakers, scholars, and other United States officials. Data also included surveys and analyses completed by Asian researchers, United States indictment records, and the large volume of research literature. Notes

Date Published: January 1, 2007