Organized crime

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term organized crime generally refers to groups that criminal pursue goals systematically. In technical terms, the term is defined more precisely. The Duden, which is based on the general language, records the spelling of organized crime . The alternative spelling Organized Crime (abbreviation OK ) is mainly used in technical terms. Colloquially, this is also associated with gang crime .



In Germany, organized crime is defined as follows :

"Organized crime is the planned commission of criminal offenses determined by the pursuit of profit or power , which individually or in their entirety are of considerable importance if more than two participants share the work for a longer or indefinite period
    a) using commercial or business-like structures,
    b) under Use of force or other means suitable for intimidation or
    c) cooperate under the influence of politics , mass media , public administration , the judiciary or the economy
. The term does not include terrorist offenses. "

In contrast to terrorism , in which criminal offenses are committed to achieve political goals, the offenses committed in the context of organized crime are characterized by the perpetrators' (material) profit-making intent. Crimes that are not for profit (e.g. politically or religiously motivated) do not fall under the definition of organized crime. In the German Criminal Code , a distinction is therefore made between organized crime ( Section 129, formation of criminal organizations ) and terrorism ( Section 129a, formation of terrorist organizations ).

In reality, however, it is difficult to differentiate between these different forms, as terrorist groups are increasingly using organized crime to finance themselves or to establish contacts with criminal networks that operate e.g. B. are helpful for buying weapons . At the same time, it can be advantageous for organized crime to establish contact with terrorist groups, since crimes committed by the latter are punished differently in most countries than “ordinary crime”.

Transnational Organized Crime

According to the United Nations Convention of November 15, 2000 against cross-border organized crime, organized crime is transnational if at least one of the following criteria is met: Organized crime becomes

  • exercised in more than one state;
  • committed in one state but much of its preparation, planning, direction, or control occurs in another state;
  • committed in one state but involving an organized criminal group active in more than one state;
  • committed in one state but has a strong impact on another state.

Significant organized criminal activities such as B. Smuggling or human trafficking are transnational.


Organized crime occurs in hierarchically structured forms of organization; But there are also network-like , functionally differentiated forms of organization. Irrespective of this, criminal organizations are often additionally supported by ethnic solidarity , language, customs and social and family background. This creates a system of personal and business connections that can be used by criminals, in which there are often very fixed relationships of authority and dependency and the possibility of sanctions for deviants.

Because of the planned, long-term oriented approach and the business-like structures (systematic exploitation of loot, work to order, precise planning, exploration of the needs of the market) it is not surprising that the majority of the perpetrators of organized crime proceed professionally. In order to keep the structure of the group secret and to avoid identification, straw men are often used.

Organized help for group members is a hallmark of organized crime. For example, expensive lawyers and high bail contributions are paid, escape assistance is provided, others involved in legal proceedings are intimidated and exonerations are provided.

Conspiratorial elements such as the use of aliases or codes and the simultaneous use of multiple cell phone cards are also a common part of organized crime. Organized criminal groups often seal themselves off from the outside world, which manifests itself in internal conflict resolution mechanisms in which the police are not called in, and in a lack of willingness to give evidence. In order to avoid criminal prosecution and other problems, corruption is often used and dependencies are created (for example through sex , gambling or usury ) that enable extortion .

Most of the profits generated by organized criminal activities are returned to the legal economy through money laundering . This can be done through your own or third-party legal companies, letterbox companies or bank accounts (often in so-called tax havens ).

Favoring factors

Organized crime especially flourishes when state institutions, such as government, police or law, have little influence or no longer function. This happens above all in the event of economic crises, political upheavals or social upheaval. In such circumstances, criminal organizations can expect less police or legal interference.

Organized crime can particularly gain a foothold in (ethnic) minority societies because they often reject the state and the authorities. In addition, the social structures on which organized crime is based are more pronounced in minority societies.

Impact on society

Organized crime has a destabilizing effect on internal security , the state order and the functioning of the economic order. Since the effort to combat them is high, parallel societies and unlawful areas can arise. A strong presence of organized crime in a society can lead to the fact that the law of the respective state is not sufficiently enforced, so that respect for the legal order wanes.

Organized Crime - Terrorism

The transition from organized crime to terrorism and from there to a guerrilla or liberation movement in asymmetrical warfare can be fluid as a means of financing, but also as a means of war to destabilize a social order.

Fields of activity


Organized crime uses all fields of activity with high profit margins. The fields of activity include the following areas.


According to the “Federal Situation Report for Organized Crime 2011” by the Federal Criminal Police Office , drug trafficking and smuggling accounted for 36.7 percent in 2011, crime related to business life (not to be equated with white-collar crime ) 14.8 percent, tax and customs offenses with 7 percent, 6 percent and human smuggling with 6.8 percent are the areas with the largest proportion of criminal offenses. The other OC offenses in 2011 each remained below 5 percent.

The trial against the XY gang represents the largest trial against organized crime in East Germany to date.

Organized crime suspect 2013–2017

According to the BKA report in 2016, two thirds of 8,675 suspects in Germany were foreign nationals. Organized crime in Germany is heavily influenced by international groups. According to the information, 80 percent of the preliminary investigations have international connections.

In 2017, non-Germans again made up the majority of the OK suspects. The rate of German suspects fell to 29.3% in 2016 from 32.5% in 2016.

Worldwide betting mafia in football

A form that has only been recognized as significant in recent years is the manipulation of results in football ( match fixing ). The billion dollar business attracts criminals with high profits with little threat of punishment.

In Malaysia , the People's Republic of China or Singapore , individual perpetrators have decades of experience. The national police organizations are often overwhelmed, as different crime scenes and different nationalities of the accused complicate the legal situation. Some players can be blackmailed because of their own gambling addiction , referees can be bought because of their low income. At the base of the pyramid are "front men" who make contact with potentially corruptible people, finance backers and organize the manipulation. Organizations of the OK even act as organizers of international matches: In February 2011, for example, manipulated matches were organized in Antalya, Turkey , with the stadium, players and referees paid in cash.

The sentence for manipulated soccer games has so far been low: Wilson Perumal , who had manipulated games around the world for years, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in 2011. The security chief of FIFA since 2010, the Australian Chris Eaton , is relying on better cooperation between the national police, Interpol and FIFA. Regional security offices, an anonymous reporting office and amnesty programs are planned, as in other areas of organized crime.

Organized crime organizations



Latin America



  • Brian Freemantle : Importers of Crime. Organized crime in a grip on Europe . List, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-471-77553-6 .
  • Claudio Besozzi: Organized Crime and Empirical Research . Rüegger, Chur 1997, ISBN 3-7253-0583-8 .
  • Klaus von Lampe: Organized Crime. The concept and theory of organized crime in the USA . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-631-34721-9 .
  • Letizia Paoli: Mafia Brotherhoods. Organized crime, Italian style . Dissertation. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2003, ISBN 0-19-515724-9 .
  • Norbert Mappes-Niedieck: Balkan Mafia . Links, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-86153-284-0 .
  • Jörg Kinzig : The legal management of manifestations of organized crime . Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-428-11488-4 .
  • Stephanie Oesch: Organized crime - a threat to the Swiss financial center? vdf Hochschulverlag, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-7281-3283-3 .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See keyword organized at Duden online
  2. ^ Definition from the Federal Criminal Police Office
  3. Joint guidelines of the justice ministers / senators and the interior ministers / senators of the federal states on cooperation between the public prosecutor and the police in the prosecution of organized crime In: Guidelines for criminal proceedings and administrative fines, Appendix E No. 2.1. Status: 2008
  4. Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Convention against the Organized Cross-Border Convention [1]
  5. a b c d e f g (accessed on May 25, 2009)
  6. See BKA: Organized Crime Federal Situation Report 2011 , Wiesbaden 2012, p. 9.
  7. Stern: Federal Court of Justice: Decision in the XY process , seen September 22, 2008.
  8. Archived copy ( Memento of October 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  9. a b Federal Criminal Police Office (ed.): Organized Crime - Federal Situation Report 2017 . August 1, 2018, p. 13 ( ).
  10. Foreigners shape organized crime in Germany
  11. We are at war : Interview with Chris Eaton in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , August 21, 2011, p. 18