International organized crime : godfathers on the Riviera : the international reach of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the mechanism to combat it
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The organised crime industry on a whole generates an estimated gross criminal product of $800 billion USD annually generated from traditional crime industries like money laundering, cigarette and narcotics trafficking and prostitution. As a result of the new, globalised world, organised crime is diversifying its activities, penetrating legal sectors and further corrupting political systems. In general, it has been quick to adjust to the new economic opportunities and new technologies that this global village has to offer, and has been far more efficient in exploiting every available opportunity than its police and justice counterparts in preventing it from doing so. The face of international organised crime has changed to include new, sometimes smaller, often more dangerous actors, and has seen the traditional crime families metamorphose to keep up with the new environment. Diversification, penetration, legitimisation are the new guiding motto. The Sicilian Cosa Nostra has sought alternative ways to generate additional profits whilst reducing the risk factor. In order to branch-out, escape prosecution and yet remain within a pivotal and strategic position, the Cosa Nostra has chosen, amongst other havens, the French Riviera. Today, political and popular mobilisation and interest in combating organised crime is minimal, largely relegated to folklore status, crime annals, and the cinema industry. However, no judicial tool or innovation can have concrete and effective applications if the political will is not predominant and if concerted international co-operation is not enforced. The risk, should this trend continue, is that organised crime will become a dominant and decisive actor in State affairs, may continue to take over unstable micro-states and pervert the democratic process and the rule of law around the world. The threat is not so much to stand by and wait as crime develops further, but how long this lack of reaction can continue before it becomes irreversible.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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