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Transnational Activities of Chinese Crime Organizations

NCJ Number
LaVerle B. Berry; Glenn E. Curtis; Seth L. Elan; Rexford A. Hudson; Nina A. Kollars
Date Published
April 2003
68 pages

This study investigates the major pockets of activity of Chinese criminal groups from 2000-2003.


Findings suggest that the transnational activities of ethnic Chinese criminal groups constitute a serious threat to the societies where such groups have gained a foothold. Those societies are now found on every continent because criminal groups arise in virtually all the major centers of ethnic Chinese population worldwide. Chinese groups have been extremely efficient in creating loose, flexible multinational structures that often are linked with legitimate business enterprises; in exploiting weaknesses in the law enforcement systems of individual countries; and in coercing otherwise law-abiding members of the Chinese communities of many countries to carry out specific tasks such as supporting illegal migrants. Unlike more formally structured ethnic criminal groups, the Chinese groups exist in many forms, from small street gangs to transnational triads with branches worldwide. The most universal criminal activity of the Chinese groups, trafficking in human beings, takes advantage of an endless demand, relatively light legal penalties, and a worldwide network of transit points, from the Pacific Coast of Russia to Guatemala. Besides being relatively risk-free and enormously profitable, this activity expands the emigre communities that are the foundation of both human trafficking and other forms of crime in host countries. Appendix and bibliography