organized crime

Popular Terms
Ongoing conspiratorial enterprise engaged in illicit activities as a means of generating income (as black money). Structured like a business into a pyramid shaped hierarchy, it freely employs violence and bribery to maintain its operations, threats of grievous retribution (including murder) to maintain internal and external control, and thuggery and contribution to election campaigns to buy political patronage for immunity from exposure and prosecution. Its activities include credit card fraud, gun running, illegal gambling, insurance fraud, kidnapping for ransom, narcotics trade, pornography, prostitution, racketeering, smuggling, vehicle theft, etc.
With the arrival of international terrorism (with which it often has symbiotic relationship) and internet, organized crime now covers practically every nation and segment of society, and uses extremely sophisticated methods and credible front-organizations (such as charities and high-tech firms) in movement of large amounts of money and weaponry. Called by names such as cartel, mafia, syndicate, and triad, these establishments do not tolerate competition and constantly fight for monopolization in their specialty (such as drug trade) or geographical region. They are distinguished from the common (unorganized) crimes by characteristics such as (1) non-random nature of criminal behavior, (2) coordinated activities of hundreds or thousands of operatives, (3) diversification of activity (production, supply, retail), (4) regional, national, or transnational scale of operations, (5) large volume of turnover (running into billions of dollars in some cases), (6) pursuit of both profit and power, and (7) usually an identifiable leadership. A 1975 UN definition of organized crime reads, "... large scale and complex criminal activity carried on by groups of persons, however loosely or tightly organized, for the enrichment of those participating and at the expense of the community and its members.
It is frequently accomplished through ruthless disregard of any law, including offences against the person, and frequently in connection with political corruption." Paul Nesbitt (head of Interpol's Organized Crime Group) defined it in 1993 as, "Any group having a corporate structure whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption."

Use 'organized crime' in a Sentence

Before I moved to the new city, I checked out how much organized crime happened there and if it was dangerous.
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Organized crime may try and force its way into your business from time to time saying they will offer protection but they will do more harm than good.
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Alfredo could not get and legal work so he started to steal and rob for the Irish mob which was the largest organized crime in the city.
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