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ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security

What Is The Meaning Of Term ‘Organised Crime’? | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Organized crime is described as any group having a corporate structure whose main aim is to obtain money through unlawful activities often surviving on fear and corruption.
  • Today, organized crime is business at large scale that is conducting global commerce for the trafficking of illegal services and products as well as developing the associated supply chains.
  • Organized crime is defined as “those involved, normally working with others, in continuing serious criminal activities for substantial profit, elsewhere”.
  • Organized criminals that work together for the duration of a particular criminal activity or activities are what we call an organized crime group. Organized crime group structures vary.
  • According to The FBI, “organized crime as any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities” (FBI 2006). These crimes include: Bribery, Murder, Counterfeiting, Embezzlement of Union Funds, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Obstruction of Justice, Murder for Hire Drug Trafficking, Prostitution Sexual Exploitation of Children, Alien Smuggling, Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods, Kidnapping Gambling, Arson Robbery, Sports Bribery Extortion, Drugs, and Theft from Interstate Shipment/Interstate.

What Is Transitional Organised Crime?

  • Transnational organized crime (TOC) poses a significant and growing threat to national and international security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability across the globe. Not only are criminal networks expanding, but they also are diversifying their activities, resulting in the convergence of threats that were once distinct and today have explosive and destabilizing effects.
  • Transnational organized crime (TOC) is organized crime coordinated across national borders, involving groups or markets of individuals working in more than one country to plan and execute illegal business ventures. In order to achieve their goals, these criminal groups use systematic violence and corruption.

Characteristics Of Organized Crime

  • Organized crime is considered to be a changing and flexible phenomenon.
  • Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, are politically motivated.
  • Many of the benefits of globalization such as easier and faster communication, movement of finances and international travel, have also created opportunities for transnational organized criminal groups to flourish, diversify and expand their activities.
  • Traditional, territorial-based criminal groups have evolved or have been partially replaced by smaller and more flexible networks with branches across several jurisdictions.
  • In the course of an investigation, victims, suspects, organized criminal groups and proceeds of crime may be located in many States.
  • Moreover, organized crime affects all States, whether as countries of supply, transit or demand.

 Different Types Of Organised Crime | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking: It is perhaps the most serious organised crime affecting the countryand is truly transnational in  character.  India is geographically situated  between  the  countries  of Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent and is a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions tothe West, India also produces a considerable amount of licit opium, part of which also finds place in the illicit market in different forms. Illicit drug trade in India centres around five major substances, namely, heroin, hashish, opium, cannibas and methaqualone.
  • Smuggling: Smuggling, which consists of clandenstineoperations leading to unrecorded trade, is another major economic offence. The volume of smuggling depends on the nature of fiscal policies pursued by the Government.
  • Money Laundering &Hawala: Money laundering means conversion of illegal and Ill-gotten money intoseemingly legal money so that it can be integrated into the legitimate economy. Besides, tax evasion and violation of exchange regulations play an important role in merging this ill-gotten money with tax evadedso as to obscure its origin.
  • Terrorism &Narco-Terrorism: Terrorism is a seriousproblem which India is facing. Conceptually, terrorism does not fall in the category of organized crime, as the dominant motive behind terrorism is political and/or ideological and not the acquisition of money-power. TheIndian experience, however, shows that the criminals are perpetrating all kinds of crimes, such as killings,rapes, kidnappings, gun-running and drug trafficking, under the umbrella of terrorist organizations.
  • Contract Killings: The offence of murder is punishableunder section 302 1PC by life imprisonment or death sentence. Conviction rate in murder cases is about 38%. The chance of detection in contract killings is quite low. The method adopted in contract killings is by engaging a professional gang for a monetary consideration.
  • Kidnapping for Ransom: Kidnapping for ransom is ahighly organized crime in urban conglomerates. There are several local as well as inter-State gangs involved in it as the financial rewards are immense vis-a-vis the labour and risk involved.
  • Illegal-Immigration: A large number of Indians are working abroad, particularly in the duff region. Young people want to move to foreign countries for lucrative jobs. Large scale migration is fostered by the high rate of unemployment in the country and higher wage levels in foreign lands.
  • Prostitution: Trading in sex and girl-running is a very profitable business in which the underworld playsan important part.

The Links Between Terrorism, Terror Funding And Organised Crime

  • Organised Crime and Terrorism have been aiding each other with the tactics and methods to achieve their goals.
  • Sometimes they get transformed from the one to the other, like Organised Crime to Terrorist organization and vice-versa.
  • The evolving nexus can be observed in the case of Drug trafficking and terrorism, Illegal firearms trafficking, Cybercrimes and terrorism, money laundering, fake currency, human trafficking etc.
  • Terrorist groups, whether indigenous or sponsored by outside states, need arms and money for their fight against the security forces.
  • Organized crime conglomerates need a clientele and couriers who can smuggle drugs, arms and human beings across the countries and regions.
  • In the Northeast, extortion is the fundamental basis for funding all forms of terrorism. In addition to this, kidnapping has been used extensively for spreading terror and raising funds. Human trafficking, drug trafficking and gun running are some of the other criminal activities that have been common in these areas.
  • In J&K, counterfeit currency has been a major source of funding terrorism.  Money laundering plays a significant role. Hawala (money laundering) transactions take place swiftly and effectively in Kashmir. Besides, it is also believed that the ISI uses drug money to fund militant activities in Kashmir.
  • In the Maoist terror movements, extortion is yet again a common phenomenon. They have also indulged in robberies of banks to fund their movement. There have also been reports of cuts being enforced on drug yielding crops in the region.
  • Organized criminal parties and terrorists flourish due to ineffective administration and weak law and order. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two. In most developed countries, organized crime operates without any terrorist activity. Terrorists are active in most developing countries with varying levels of organized crime.

Threats From Organised Crime

  • Presence of differences between different classes in India. These differences are economic, social, regional, ethnic, caste, communal. Criminals try to capitalize on differences which are dangerous from the point of view of internal security.
  • India has a large number of educated unemployed who can be trained and qualified for organized crime. These youth work on social basis for this.
  • Ethnic struggles and separatist movements are going on in many areas and the association of these movements with criminal organizations is also an important problem.
  • The location between the ‘Golden Trengle’ and the ‘Golden Crescent’ of India while it serves as a financial source for organized crimes. In particular, the separatist groups of India are financially supported by mafias of intoxicating values and the relationship of such mafias with the SP has also been shown.
  • Being a developing country, India has limited economic resources to spend on internal security, while criminal organizations have the possibility of developing cooperation between organized criminals and politicians due to the problem of availability of adequate finance.
  • Tension in India’s relations with neighboring countries, hence providing financial assistance and training and arms to criminal organizations by various neighbors.
  • Due to most corruption in political-administrative life, there is also a possibility of developing alliances between criminal organizations and political parties across the border.

Laws Against Organized Crime In India | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Section 120-B of the India Penal Code provides for punishment for criminal conspiracy.
  • Dacoity and Related Offences:
    • Dacoity is punishable with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and five months (section 395).
    • Its subdivisions are:
      • criminalists preparation to commit dacoity (section 399)
      • Assembly for the purpose of committing dacoity (section 402).
      • Section 400 of the Code criminalizes the act of belonging to a ‘gang’ of persons associated for the purpose of habitually committing dacoities.
      • Kidnapping for ransom, the parliament inserted Section 364-A in the India Penal.
    • State-Level Law Against Organised Crime: Till now Maharashtra (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime) and Karnataka (Karnataka Control of Organized Crime Bill) is the only two states to have legislation on this issue.
    • Gangsters:
      • There is no central legislation to suppress ‘gang activity’ having countrywide applicability.
      • The State of Uttar Pradesh, most populous and politically most powerful in enacted Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, which is applicable in that State only.
    • The National Security Act 1980:
      • The National Security Act 1980 provides for preventive detention by the Central Government or the State Government or by the officers designated by this Government.
      • The detention order is issued for one year with a view to preventing a person from acting in any manner prejudicial to the defense of India or to the friendly relations with foreign powers.
      • The expression ‘security of India’ is open to liberal interpretation and this Act has been used, though sparingly, against anti-national elements and hard core gangsters.
      • Detention is an executive action and the case does not go to the court for trial.
    • The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1988:
      • The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1988 provides for detention of persons related with Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
      • The Central Government or the State Government or designated officers of these Government, can pass an order for detaining a person with a view to preventing him from engaging in illicit traffic in narcotic drugs.

UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime And The Protocols

  • The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime.
  • The Convention is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of org anized crime: the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition. Countries must become parties to the Convention itself before they can become parties to any of the Protocols.
  • The convention entered into force in 2003 after the required number of ratifications.
  • The idea behind having an international convention against organized crime was that if crimes could cross borders, so must law enforcement.
  • UNTOC enables cooperation between member states for tackling international organized crime.
  • All member parties to the convention must take measures including:
    • Creating domestic criminal offences, for example, participating in an organized criminal group, money laundering, obstructing justice, corruption, etc. are all made offences under the law.
    • Adopting frameworks for extradition, mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation.
    • Promoting training and technical assistance for upgrading or building the adequate capacity of national authorities.
    • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the custodian of the UNTOC.

Money Laundering | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Money laundering is concealing or disguising the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources. It is frequently a component of other, much more serious, crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery or extortion.
  • According to the IMF, global Money Laundering is estimated between 2 to 5% of World GDP.

How Money Laundering works

Forms Of Money Laundering

  • Bulk Cash Smuggling
  • Structuring also called as Smurfing
  • Trade based Laundering
  • Cash intensive Businesses
  • Round tripping
  • Shell companies
  • Black salaries
  • Gambling
  • Transaction laundering
  • Tax amnesties

Steps Taken by Government of India to Prevent Money Laundering | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance (XXXVIII of 1944):It covers proceeds of only certain crimes such corruption, breach of trust and cheating and not all the crimes under the Indian Penal Code.
  • The Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976:It covers penalty of illegally acquired properties of smugglers and foreign exchange manipulators and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985:It provides for the penalty of property derived from, or used in illegal traffic in narcotic drugs.
  • Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA): It forms the core of the legal framework put in place by India to combat Money Laundering. The provisions of this act are applicable to all financial institutions, banks(Including RBI), mutual funds, insurance companies, and their financial intermediaries.
  • PMLA (Amendment) Act, 2012: Adds the concept of ‘reporting entity’ which would include a banking company, financial institution, intermediary etc.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit-IND:It is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.
  • Enforcement Directorate (ED): It is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India. One of the main functions of ED is to Investigate offences of money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002(PMLA). It can take actions like confiscation of property if the same is determined to be proceeds of crime derived from a Scheduled Offence under PMLA, and to prosecute the persons involved in the offence of money laundering.
  • India is a full-fledged member of the FATF and follows the guidelines of the same.

 Global Initiatives Against Money Laundering

  • THE VIENNA CONVENTION: It was the first major initiative in the prevention of money laundering held in December 1988. This convention laid down the groundwork for efforts to combat money laundering by obliging the member states to criminalize the laundering of money from drug trafficking.
  • BASLE COMMITTEE’S STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES: In December 1988, the Basle Committee on Banking Regulations and Supervisory Practices issued a statement of principles which aims at encouraging the banking sector to adopt common position in order to ensure that banks are not used to hide or launder funds acquired through criminal activities.
  • THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF): The FATF is an inter-governmental body established at the G7 summit at Paris in 1989 with the objective to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system
  • UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL PROGRAMME AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING (UNGPML): GPML was established in 1997 with a view to increase effectiveness of international action again money laundering through comprehensive technical cooperation services offered to Governments.

Black Money | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Black money is often money illegally obtained or transacted.
  • As being unaccounted money, black money is not declared for tax purposes.
  • Black money is also hidden from the government authorities which calculates national income like GDP, GNP etc.

Sources Of Black Money

  • Bullion and jewellery market
  • Real estate
  • Public procurement
  • Hawala
  • Financial markets transactions
  • Non-profit organizations
  • External trade and transfer pricing
  • Informal Sector and Cash Economy
  • Trade-based Money Laundering (TBML)
  • Offshore Financial Centres
  • Tax Havens
  • Investment through Innovative Derivative Instruments Such as Participatory Notes.

Legal Framework Against Black Money

  • The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
  • Benami Transactions Prohibition Act, 1988
  • Lokpal and Lokayukta Act
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

International Cooperation Against Black Money

  • Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters
  • Financial Action Task Force
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
  • International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
  • United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
  • Egmont Group for international intelligence gathering regarding money landing and terrorism financing
  • Cooperation through G20, Bilateral agreements

Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA),1999 | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • This Act was passed by Maharashtra Government in 1999.
  • It aims to counter terror-related offences.
  • This Act defines “organised crime” as continuing unlawful activity by an individual or jointly or either by a member of organized crime syndicate, by use of violence or other unlawful means for aim of gaining pecuniary benefits or undue economic or other advantage.
  • The following actions performed by anyone is punishable under this given law
    • Conspiring or attempts to commit or abet or knowingly facilitates any organized crime
    • Harboring or concealing or attempt thereon any member of an organized crime
    • Member of an organized crime
    • Holding of any property derived or obtained from the funds of commission of an organized crime
    • Possession of any immovable or movable property on behalf of member of an organized crime that cannot be accounted for
  • There are the special courts that may take cognizance of any offence without the accused being committed to it for trial upon receiving a complaint of facts, which constitute such offence, or upon a police report. For every special court the state government may also appoint a person to be public prosecutor. Every offence punishable under this act shall be friable only by the special court within those local jurisdiction it was committed. If it is found that the person has committed some other offence under this act or under any law, the court may convict such person of such person.
  • The court also has the duty to decide whether stringent act can be applied to the matter without taking the cognizance of the matter. It is within the power of special court to tender a pardon to any person directly or indirectly concerned in an offence on the condition that a full and true disclosure will be made on his part. An appeal shall lie from any judgment, sentence or order of a special court to the High Court.

Way forward | ORGANISED CRIME | Internal Security 

  • Modern organized crime constitutes a global challenge that must be met with a concerted, global response.
  • The police department has to been given a free hand to deal effectively with troublemakers.
  • Most importantly no politician should give patronage to the criminals in lieu of money or power.
  • Most of the crimes are communicated through wires or internet; thus, the cybersecurity needs to be strict and under continuous surveillance.
  • The government should introduce hi-tech software and machineries in order to keep a track on the high alert areas.

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