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Transnational Organized Crime


In the United States, transnational organized crime has long been a major problem. Because the United States is made up of immigrants and has a diverse population, it’s only natural that organized crime organizations would strive to profit from the country’s diversity by expanding their criminal networks. The Mexican cartels and their related drug trafficking gangs are the most prominent of these personalities on the United States’ southern border. The Cartels are remarkable examples of long-standing transnational organized crime, with networks dating back to the 1960s. The research paper will review transnational organized crime, the thoughts of President Obama, the effort of the federal bureau investigation America and other governments have fought diligently to discourage or terminate their operations and its global impact.

Nonetheless, criminal activities are getting increasingly sophisticated, and the echelons targeted are frequently just one piece in a vast developing network of unlawful activity. Several writers have discussed the techniques employed by transnational organized crime groups and how countries are adjusting policy to understand better how these organizations operate. In the United States, apparent agencies, including the DHS, FBI, and Coast Guard, fight transnational organized crime. This article will also discuss the different unlawful acts that transnational organized crime is involved in; additionally, the repercussions of transnational organized crime on the United States will be explored to demonstrate why the DHS should prioritize its defense and prevention of its operations.


According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service defines transnational organized crime as “organized crime that is coordinated across international borders, involving groups or networks of individuals working in multiple countries to plan and execute illegal business schemes” according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). These criminal gangs use systematic violence, bribery, and even intimidation to achieve their objectives. Transnational organized crime is carried out in a variety of ways (FBI, n.d, sec 3). Money laundering, cybercrime, human smuggling, drug, weapon, endangered species, body parts, and nuclear material trafficking are the most prominent examples.

Transnational organized crime is a significant and emerging danger to the international community’s security, affecting a wide range of cultures and communities. Transnational organized crime has a wide range of negative consequences that may be witnessed in various nations. Transnational organized crime has the potential to stifle democracy, disrupt free markets, drain national resources, and, most significantly, stifle the development of peaceful, stable communities. International criminal syndicates are powerful enough to endanger the security and well-being of virtually any country, thanks to their immense supply of resources and connections.

Transnational criminal organizations, on the other hand, are more common and operate on a larger scale in countries whose governments are too unstable and impotent to intervene in their illicit activities. This enables them to operate with comfort and no danger while earning huge profits. On a worldwide scale, law enforcement and government agencies are taking a variety of tactics to combat the menace of transnational organized crime, but there has been little progress. Terrorist groups and transnational organized criminal groups work together since they both want to make money. This link provides an extra-national security danger, as homeland security has become a rising concern of the American public and citizens in several other nations since 9/11 (FBI, n.d, sec 6). The FBI is the primary US government agency tasked with tracking out and destroying these groups. Because of the transnational character of the organizations, the FBI frequently uses its domestic and international links with different political and law enforcement institutions to combat their impact. Most Americans should be concerned about the reality that transnational organized crime may profit financially from the United States beefing up its security. The need for narcotics and people’s dependency on them has created such a supply and demand problem that these groups will continue to exist and generate enough money to smuggle their commodities regardless of the DHS and the United States’ efforts. The capacity to pay government officials and border officers accounts for a major percentage.

Prominent Players in the US

Many other TOC organizations have networks in the United States or operate from there; this section will focus on Mexican TOCs. The Sinaloa Cartel, Juarez Cartel, and Jalisco New Generation Cartel are three of the more notable groups on the US southern border (CJNG). These groups are primarily responsible for the US drugs network, but they’ve also branched out into human and weapon trafficking, vehicle theft, abduction, and extortion. Methamphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are the main substances exported by these cartels. Each of these organizations has designated a certain area of the United States to operate and conduct business. Sinaloa has a far broader range in the United States than its competitors, yet its activities on the east coast are noticeably more robust.

The Juarez cartel is based in the American southwest, whereas the CJNG is on the west coast. Most of these cartels began as drug trafficking organizations (DTGO), but as their power and wealth grew, they could branch out into more intricate criminal activities. Sinaloa is known to utilize bribes and bargaining before resorting to violence to achieve its aims. There are claims that the cartel has significant government people in its pocket and that it frequently pays border inspectors to look the other way during border checks. The Juarez cartel is primarily responsible for bringing Colombian cocaine into the United States. The Juarez cartel is the least stable of all the cartels discussed in this article since minor splinter organizations frequently break away and battle for notoriety and territory(Insight Crime). Although divided, the cartel is still regarded as one of the most dangerous active gangs because of its security squads of deserters from the Mexican special forces.

Since the arrest of previous leader Luis Carlos Vazquez Barragan by Mexican police, the group’s head is presumed to be Juan Pablo Ledezma. The CJNG was established in 2013 in reaction to the killing a Sinaloa methamphetamine manufacturer. Initially, the organization collaborated with the Sinaloa cartel, basically acting as an armed police force.

The CJNG severed links with Sinaloa after gaining enough clout, finances, and establishing self-sustaining drug networks. Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes has been the CJNG’s leader from the group’s founding. This cartel’s power is mostly concentrated along the US’s western border, focusing on drugs like heroin and methamphetamines. These key players perform the most important roles along the US southern border, smuggling narcotics and other things into the country and firearms back to Mexico (DEA, 2015,). The cartels’ competence in smuggling and their desire for reputation and increasing Transnational organized crime monetary gain demonstrate how these organizations are outstanding instances of groups. With cartels and other transnational organized crime networks forming more and more linkages, it is becoming increasingly necessary to be aware of their impact and influence on government officials and companies, affiliate criminal gangs, and extremist groups.

Literature review

Transnational organized criminal groups are increasingly posing a menace. This anxiety is fueled by increased fears of further terrorist strikes in the United States, the ongoing US-Mexico border conflict, and the rapid rise of transnational organized crime in Central America and the Caribbean. Renee Novak off (2016) outlines the developing commercial links between transnational organized criminal groups and Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Hezbollah. The United States and the rest of the world should be concerned about the link between these two nefarious organizations. Still, they should also be concerned about regional street gangs, which frequently serve as the group’s security, local population enforcers, and political assassins. These organizations erect increasingly complicated structures to administer better what are essentially becoming separate empires. Drug trafficking was formerly these gangs’ principal menace.

Nonetheless, they have progressed to the point that they may be able to smuggle nuclear material, steal and transport precious art worldwide, produce/obtain weapons, and even engage in virtual extortion through cyber-attacks. According to AEI (2017), these organizations are likewise well-suited for corruption and frequently infiltrate governments to protect their financial interests in the area.

This infiltration also ensures that their overseas marketplaces are profitable and can develop without much competition or retaliation from local leaders and law enforcement. This progression in political clout demonstrates that these groups are becoming more flexible and more knowledgeable about politics, economics, and trade. Transnational organized crime frequently launders its ill-gotten wealth via the nations in which they operate due to the unlawful nature of most activities. Several federal organizations, such as the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, were already trying to keep our borders safe. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established, as was the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA’s objective is to “protect the nation’s transportation networks so that people and businesses can travel freely.” The TSA was established to detect and prevent future terrorist attacks like 9/11.

Even though the RSA is considered an irritation while attempting to board a flight in the United States, the TSA has seized and stopped an astonishing quantity of goods from being transported on flights and potentially utilized to carry out another 9/11-style attack. The TSA confiscated 2,653 weapons at checkpoints around the US in 2015. Daily, this amounted to seven weapons. According to the TSA, 83% of those were loaded in 2016. Transnational organized crime frequently invests the money it earns from cybercrime in various nations’ goods, which it then exports for cash, often with significant gains ( DHS. (2011). the extract from Politic discusses the link between transnational organized crime and drug trafficking and the numerous activities undertaken by criminal organizations to grow their riches, political clout, and control area.

The author’s thesis covers drug geopolitics and international security, covert operations, cybercrime, and money laundering to describe the impact of transnational organized criminal organizations on global economies and emerging country politics. Human trafficking is another important worry in the United States and narcotics. This issue has sparked significant political debate throughout the years, and with good cause. Human trafficking includes not just illegal immigration crossing US borders but also prostitutes, terrorism, and even hired killers. Preventing the flow of illegal aliens or immigrants isn’t merely a battle fought at the border. This is for a variety of reasons. One of the causes was evident on September 11th, 2001, when terrorists invaded the nation to attack it. Illegal immigration is especially dangerous to the United States’ economic stability and progress. Illegal immigrants do not only enter the US through the Mexico/US border but also through the northern border, by sea and air. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Coast Guard, and the United States Southern Command work hard to prevent illegal aliens and immigrants from entering the country.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has employed the US Southern Command to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identify and deter illegal immigration and other unlawful actions.The essay draws the reader’s attention to the Transnational organized crime groups’ techniques and atrocities and the economic consequences of their acts in places like Yugoslavia, Somalia, and Albania. After reading the extract, the reader will better understand the activities carried out by these organizations, how they target nations, and the criteria used to create networks and operations. The AEI piece is unique because it examines the US’s developing strategy for counterin Transnational organized crime activities. The author covers the rise of Transnational organized crime organizations from drug traffickers to subtle, sophisticated criminal operations capable of infiltrating decaying regimes.

In 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at strengthening drug cartels. Terrorist and rebel organizations have turned to transnational organized criminal networks and the drug trade to help pay for their deadly activities. “29 of the 63 organizations on the Department of Justice’s 2010 Consolidated Priority Targets list, which comprises the most important international drug trafficking organizations threatening the United States,” according to the study. Intelligence connections between the US and its foreign counterparts while promoting various policies through agencies like the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center. By the end of this sample, it should be evident that policies and agencies have been established and entrusted with collecting information on transnational organized crime groups and any related criminal organizations.

These agencies will also coordinate with foreign law enforcement authorities to target high-value assets such as crucial group leaders, trade routes, and any positively identified government officials on the group’s payroll. With the arrival of the computer era, multinational criminal organizations gained even more “commercial” options. Intellectual property theft and cybercrime have emerged as lucrative new marketplaces for international criminal networks (White House, 2011).. By gaining unauthorized access to commercial and proprietary computer networks, these networks have been involved in the theft of crucial US intellectual property. Music, movies, and imitations of well-known and reputable brands are examples of intellectual property theft. This crime costs businesses a lot of money and hurts America’s global competitiveness. The annual domestic value of customs seizures attributable to intellectual property rights infringement increased from 94 million to 188 million dollars between 2003 and 2010.

Cybercrime is becoming a more common economic model for many multinational organized criminal networks. According to the report, cybercrime also “costs consumers billions of dollars every year, poses a threat to critical business and government computer networks, and undermines global confidence in the international financial system,” according to the report (Generación.). Transnational criminal groups use cybercrime to represent a significant danger to financial and trust institutions, including banking, stock markets, e-currency, and credit card services. These financial and trust systems are vital since they are the foundation of the global economy. According to the US Secret Service, financial crimes performed by anonymous cyber criminals have resulted in billions of dollars in damages to the country’s financial system. The United States has made every effort possible via local, state, and federal authorities to eradicate this menace. Police, the Coast Guard, CBP, and other drug enforcement agencies have continued their efforts to eradicate the drugs trade in the United States.


To prepare and write this essay, I employed the qualitative research approach. It combines content analysis and case study transnational organized crime approaches to gather relevant information about transnational organized crime groups, cartels, and Terrorist or extremist organizations. Data on not just the topic but also cartel activities, US instruments for countering transnational organized crime, and linkages between the subject and drug trafficking was mined.

Analysis and finding

According to the publications, the number of transnational organized criminal organizations is growing, and their activities are getting increasingly complicated and marketed. Increased information exchange between foreign and domestic intelligence/law enforcement organizations is a prominent theme in the two articles listed. These investigations also reveal that DTGs are more likely to transform into transnational organized criminal organizations to gain more territory and improve their power and income. As they progress, many operations may develop ties to other parties, including corrupt government officials and terrorist organizations. Targeting high-value persons and regions such as established trafficking routes and manufacturing sites is part of the US and other governments’ counter-terrorism strategy. These direct action strategies will complement intelligence and law enforcement efforts to gather more data and disseminate it to the appropriate parties.

Conclusion and recommendation

Transnational organized crime is one of the world’s most dangerous and wealthy gangs. Even though Transnational organized crime are still active today, the DHS, DoD, and private sector agencies continuously thwart their final goals and plans. Transnational organized crime will be phased out through a concerted effort including local, state, federal, and international partners. With that in mind, the US has taken enormous steps to prevent these groups from entering the US by land, sea, or air with their illicit commodities and committing criminal crimes. To stop them from continuing to grow and develop, they’ll have to put in a lot of work and determination. Two terrorist organizations, the Taliban and Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces, rely heavily on drug trafficking to support their operations.

Furthermore, the US administration is concerned about reports of linkages between al-Qaeda and the drug trade. At the same time, other groups, such as al-Shabaab, have begun to engage in abduction for ransom and extortion. Transnational organized crime syndicates are particularly tough to fight due to their complicated workings and numerous outside links. Transnational organized criminal networks have thrived and, for the most part, escaped detection via persistent brutality and bribery. On the other hand, new law enforcement initiatives incorporate complete preventive, intervention, and enforcement programs. We will be able to lower the supply of illicit substances, thwart terrorist funding, improve international security, and finally bring transnational criminals to justice by disrupting and dismantling big transnational crime organizations worldwide.


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