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Crime and Instability: Case Studies of Transnational Threats

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2010
65 pages
This study details the ways in which transnational organized crime (TOC) challenges stability in areas around the world.
This report looks at the relationship between organized crime and instability. It also examines how illicit commodities usually originate in trouble spots, and are then trafficked through vulnerable regions to affluent markets. This report focuses on the impact of drug flows (cocaine and heroin), as well as piracy around the Horn of Africa, and the impact of minerals smuggling on Central Africa. A number of case studies are presented concerning the impact of cocaine trafficking on the Andean Region, Mesomerica and West Africa; the impact of heroin trafficking on South-West/Central Asia, South-East Europe, and South-East Asia; the impact of minerals smuggling on Central Africa; and the impact of maritime piracy on the Horn of Africa. Each of these case study discussions looks first at the major TOC problem confronting the region. Though many of these regions are experiencing multiple contraband flows a single one is usually dominant, particularly with regard to its impact on political stability. Next, it discusses the history of instability in the region. Finally, the interaction between the organized crime problem and political stability is described in detail. 32 figures and 126 endnotes