Transnational Crime Essay
Transnational crime is a growing problem. Transnational crime is defined as “self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnational for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/ or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms. ” (National Security Council, n. d. ).
Transnational crimes are known under other names such as cross-national crime, global crime, international crime, and transnational crime. In my paper, I will attempt to explain transnational crime and the types of crimes committed under this such as cybercrime, drug trafficking, money laundering, maritime piracy, theft of art and cultural objects, trade in human body parts, and human trafficking In the early twentieth century, citizens feared gangsters such as Al Capone and Baby face Nelson. In modern day society, the everyday technology most cannot live without is feared.
Computers, cell phones, and tablets can all be used to participate in transnational crime. Transnational crime is defined as “self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnational for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/ or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms. ” (National Security Council, n. d. Transnational crime comes in many types, such as cybercrime, drug trafficking, money laundering, maritime piracy, theft of art and cultural objects, trade in human body parts, and human trafficking. Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crime areas in today’s society.
Children as young as ten are knowledgeable when it comes to looking things up on a cell phone or downloading an app into their parent’s tablets. If it’s that simple for a child, it is no rocket science to an adult. Cybercrime is dangerous mainly due to the anonymity it brings to the perpetrator and the speed at which you can commit a crime.
There are three ways in which cybercrimes can be committed. One of these three ways is cyber attacks. Cyber attacks are when the computer itself is used as the target of the criminal act, such as obtaining illegal access to a system. For example, if I was to illegally access your system and remove pertinent information on your computer which would not allow access by others, I would be committing a cyber attack. Another type of cybercrime is cyber theft. Cyber theft occurs when the computer is used as a tool in committing a crime.
In today’s news, the anchorman stated that the US has accused China of attempting to hack into US systems to retrieve diplomatic, economic and defense industrial base sectors that support U. S. national defense programs. The Pentagon also believes China is attempting to use information obtained from our system to their advantage and strengthen their systems. The final type of cybercrime is using a computer for security incidents. Security incidents include hacking, phishing, and theft of other information. For example, a famous case of hacking is the case of Gary McKinnon.
Gary McKinnon in the span of thirteen months hacked into ninety-seven US military and NASA computers. McKinnon stated he was only looking for proof of UFO existence and free energy suppression. McKinnong allegedly hacked into the US Military District of Washington network and posted a notice stating “your security is crap”. Drug trafficking has been on the rise in recent years. Marijuana trafficking tends to be grown locally and consumed locally also. Other drugs such as cocaine and heroin are produced in countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan and then trafficked onto United States soil.
Although, there are many worse transnational crimes being committed, Sheila Jackson Lee stated a quote I find very accurate; “We have not won the war against drug trafficking. ” Money laundering has been defined as the process by which criminals attempt to conceal the illicit origin and ownership of the proceeds from their illegal activities. Criminals obtain the money from their illicit activities such as drug trafficking, fraud, etc. From that point forward, three stages are to happen in order for the crime of money laundering to be committed. The first stage is placement. Placement means the cash is deposited into banks.
The second stage is layering meaning the funds are moved into other financial institutions to throw off any suspicions of its origins. The final stage is integration which simply means the money is used for legitimate assets such as purchasing a house or investing in stocks and other things of that nature. Maritime piracy in recent weeks has been on the rise around the Gulf of Aden, the Somali Basin, and the Indian Ocean. As stated in the text book, “In the first six months of 2011, there were 266 pirate attacks on the world’s seas. More than 60 percent of those were by Somali pirates who are increasingly bold in their actions. For example, in 2011 there was an attack by Somali pirates which shocked most. The Somali pirates during monsoon season targeted a ship and proceeded to shoot at it in the Indian Ocean. Attacks such as that do not commonly happen because maritime pirates typically do not go out in such harsh weathers. Maritime piracy does not just end with the shooting of the ship. In some cases, the ship will be hijacked and stripped for parts and cargo. The crew or passengers on the ship may be held for hostages for ransom demands. Another type of transnational crime on the rise is that of trade in human body parts.
As stated in the textbook, this is a simple case of supply and demand. Organs are in high demand at the moment due to many being wait-listed for organs. Annually, there are 112,000 people who are in need of an organ transplant; however, only 22,000 surgeries are performed every year. Many grow desperate and choose to find their own method of receiving the organs that they need in order to survive, hence the black market. Many of those working in the black market for human body parts are in it solely for profit. There have been cases of victims being drugged and awake to find they are missing a kidney or another vital organ.
The shortage of organs is unfortunate, but it gives no one the right to trick another human being into giving up theirs. A huge global problem at the moment is human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations as “the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. ” Many who are forced into human trafficking are victims forced to prostitute themselves, deal drugs, or do anything their traffickers see fit. Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar business. Many women are tricked into human trafficking.
For example, the traffickers may put an ad online stating they need a maid for their home and are willing to pay handsomely if the woman is willing to move in immediately. A woman may genuinely believe that this is a good opportunity for them and they proceed to leave their homes for this job. However, once they arrive, they are stripped of all their personal belongings, such as their passport, cash, photo identification and shipped off to another area where they will be forced to become a prostitute until the traffickers decide to let her go or kill her.
One of the most known forms of transnational crime is that of terrorism. There is no set definition for this word, but the U. S. Code defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents. ” However, the U. S. Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. ” Sadly, the terrorist attack that will never be forgotten is of the attack on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001.
Although, many Americans died that day. This tragedy also allowed for our government to wake up and realize that our defenses were not as strong as they thought. This tragedy also allowed us to see that these crimes can happen anywhere, no matter how big and strong a country you think you may be. Al-Qaeda proved to the United States that we are not untouchable and leave ourselves vulnerable to these attacks. Many Americans believe the terrorists can be only Muslim or must be a part of Al-Qaeda. However, the United States have their share of home-grown terrorists.
For example, Timothy McVeigh who became known as the “Oklahoma City Bomber”. McVeigh detonated a bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building which results in the death of 16 innocent bystanders and in the injury of over 500 pedestrians. Timothy McVeigh was an American citizen and even served in our military yet felt that the government was full of corruption and decided to turn his back on our country. Timothy McVeigh is the poster boy for domestic terrorism. Fortunately, there are many countries and agencies willing to put in the effort to fight transnational crime.
For example, the united States have started having enhanced inspection, detection, and monitoring at all U. S. borders to attempt to discourage transnational criminals the chance to cross our borders. The U. S. also has many amazing agencies such as the U. S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, FBI, and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. There are also many international efforts to help in preventing transnational crimes. INTERPOL allows cross-border criminal police cooperation among countries in an attempt to stop all transnational crimes.
The United Nations also begun a Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime which allowed laws to be created to make specific transnational crimes illegal and allow for mutual legal assistance, extradition, police cooperation, and assistance and training. The convention deals with specific crimes such as that of hijacked airplanes, taking hostage, stealing nuclear material, using explosives in public places, and preventing incidents involving terrorists. In conclusion, transnational crime is something that can happen to any one.
It can be something as small as being hacked or something as extreme as being trafficked. Technology plays a huge role in many of these cases yet everyone is so nonchalant with it. Criminals are transporting drugs, people, and organs around the world starting with something as small as an email. Transnational crime comes in different types but thankfully, there are many great agencies and countries willing to help combat transnational crimes. Perhaps if we can work together more, we may be able to have greater results in the fight to stop transnational crime.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 October 2016
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