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La Cosa Nostra Essay, Research Paper

Organized crime has a long and notorious history throughout the world. The ancestor to today?s criminal organization can be traced back centuries to pirates who operated off the coasts of continents. The Mafia became to take force to protect estates when the landlords were not there (La Cosa 1). By the 1800?s the Mafia had become criminal and used violence throughout Sicily. A strict ethical code called omerta, the rule of death if broken, was used to sworn members in. It soon became so strong that they became politicians and were able to influence police forces and gain access to weapons (La Cosa 1). Organized crime then came back to North America after Benito Mussolini tried to control the Mafia. Because of Mussolini being so strict, members of the Mafia moved to the United States where they then led many criminal activities. From the early 1900?s until today, one of the biggest unreported stories has been the tremendous growth of organized crime around the world (Organized Crime & 1). Entire countries have fallen to criminal elements. World financial systems have been compromised by crime-sourced money. Under both the attack of crime, and by the defense against it, social and political systems are becoming distorted (Organized Crime & 1). World leaders are aware of the problem. Of all the issues facing the United Nations on its 50?Th Anniversary, organized crime was the issue chosen as the focus (Concept 11). The containment of organized crime though the criminal justice system remains a significant and unattainable goal. Public fascination with organized crime has been uninterrupted for decades and it remains a popular media topic. While organized crime remains elusive to define of conceptualize, a growing body of literature, from the popular media, academic research, and police intelligence have contributed to a better understanding of this complex phenomenon (Nathanson 1). Without constant income of money, organized crime would find it very difficult to exist, and the efforts of organized crime to corrupt police, judges, politicians, lawyers, government and civilian officials are probably more lethal to society than any other activity in which it engages (Organized Crime 5). Although organized crime has been a major problem for all mankind throughout many decades, legalization will inflict competition and it will reduce the constant income of money and break down these major powers.

Gambling operations can earn large amounts of money and present particular opportunities for skimming and money laundering. Dealers do not have to continually inventory their chips and money while they are working, providing opportunities for fraud. Dealer skimming of chips by palming or collusion is probably the greatest risk (Gambling 2). Clubs allow employees to gamble when they are not working, which could lead to collusion. Other risks include credit abuse, card cheaters, and currency transaction violations (Gambling 4). Because of these factors, proper operations and security are very important. Skimming has been a significant problem and the Kefauver committee found that it was widespread (Nathanson 1). Skimming can also occur with the granting of credit. Money laundering is another problem. Bettors can come in with a large amount of cash and purchase chips. Chips can be cashed in, labeled as winnings, and the money is now legal. Federal regulations require that currency transactions of $10,000 or more must be reported including multiple transactions that exceed $10,000 (Gambling 3).

The addiction of sex is probably greater than the addition of gambling. Women are brought in from other countries to supply the needs of these addicted men. Authorities in Atlanta have broken up a ring that smuggled up to 1,000 Asian women into the United States to work in brothels as virtual prisoners (U.S. 1). Prostitution is a multi-billion dollar business in this country. It has been developed through many years and become heavily commercialized. Police arrests have shown that fake identity cards have been provided for under aged girls or to illegal immigrants (U.S. 1). The trade has now become more sophisticated and disguised in various forms so that law enforcement officials may find it difficult to intervene. Above all, the problem of prostitution cannot be alleviated or resolved through the use of half-hearted measures (Thai 2).

Loan sharking remains one of the biggest moneymaking operations only second to gambling in the traditional organized crime. Loans are given to certain people and hold outstanding interest rates. If the money is unattainable at the given time, borrowers will have major damages done to their businesses or threatened. Families are often brought into this process by having wives or children summoned. Cars or expensive jewelry can be collected as a substitution. The loans often carry fixed repayment terms, which make it difficult to repay. In result, these men would have to keep borrowing more money to repay their last loans.

Today one of the greatest problems with all of mankind is the use of drugs. Supply and demand is a concept used greatly in many nations. Estimates of the profits from drugs are beyond most peoples? comprehension. Many estimates hold that illegal drugs generate billions of dollars per year (Organized Crime 2). Often drug arrests and convictions involve the ?foot soldiers? of the criminal network. The leaders of these drug rings are far away from the drugs. They tend to always be closer to the money (La Cosa 1). With these drug leaders away ?living the life,? the foot soldiers make all the money for the lords.

Without a major shift in social reporting and action, the outlook is bleak. We can expect the line between ?legitimate? business and criminal business will continue to blur. Crime lords will own common businesses as well as black market traders and prostitution rings, as they now do in a number of countries. A new type of multinational corporation is emerging. The perception of organized crime has evolved from an integral facet of big-city life to an assortment of global criminal players who challenge even the most powerful countries like the United States (International 6). There seems to be no easy solution to the task of coming to terms with the subject of organized crime. A definition will not help as long as there is not understanding of the necessary links that supposedly connect the various aspects of the social universe that fall under the organized crime label. Nevertheless, we can try to define narrower concepts that can help us in seeking answers to the questions raised in the debate on organized crime (Concept 11).

Almost every single person has bet on a ball game or a trivia question. Therefore, the first thing we are dealing with is uncontrolled double standards. Sure, people become obsessive gamblers. However, millions of people are obsessive eaters and we do not make eating against the law. There are also millions of obsessive drinkers. Alcohol was illegal and the market arose to supply the desires of drinkers from all lifestyles. Prohibition was a failure because the people of this nation dearly like to be ?buzzed.? Before Prohibition was repealed, a huge criminal hierarchy had formed around supplying a substance that was once legal and had become illegal (How 1). What would happen if tomorrow all gambling was legalized? Let the market seek its own firmness. Completely legalizing gambling would inflict competition into the industry. In order to increase their customers, taking off a point or two from their own advantageous spreads would help. More people would win money if the gambling industry was unregulated and had to offer competitive reward incentives (How 1). The legalization of gambling would also inflict other problems into the world of organized crime. The corruption that this great industry inflicts on society would then half to face corruption itself. Without a constant income of money, the gambling problems from organized crime would decrease thus allowing more time and money for the government to solve other affairs. In conclusion, if organized crime is going to be stopped, the tables must be turned and corrupt the organizations as they have done the same to many people, governments, and countries.

Organized crime is a chain of command all the way from London to Canada, the US, Mexico, Italy, France, everywhere (Organized Crime 1)! Today, organized crime is carried out by a diverse number of groups that have become increasingly transnational and have assumed a critical role in the most profitable criminal activities. Organized crime has become entrenched in many societies throughout the world, and in doing so it has amassed a financial power, a sophistication and an internationalization which dwarfs and previous incarnation (Organized Crime & 1). Millions of third world countries are intimately aware of like under the crime lords. On the other hand, the people of first world countries are more aware of street gangs and supposedly random violence than the billions begin raked in by crime as a business. As a society, we seem unaware of the challenge of the next century might be an ethical one. Will our society be driven by a concern for the common good, or will hidden groups rule it with the least limits to the exercise of fear, force, and degradation (Organized Crime & 1). The bottom line is that the criminalization has made an organized crime out of our own government. Think about it.


?Concept of Organized Crime in Historical Perspective, The.? 21 Nov. 2000 http://people.freenet.de/kvlampe/lauhtm01.htm

?Gambling and Crime.? 17 Dec. 2000 http://ferguson.library.ca.gov/CRB/97/03/Chapt11.html

How to Defeat Organized Crime. Ed. Kirby Ferris. Apr. 1997. 15 Dec. 2000 http://www.members.tripod.com/~orgcrime/defeatoc.htm

International Efforts To Contain Money Laundering. Ed. John Evans. Apr. 1997. 15 Dec. 2000 http://members.tripod.com/~orgcrime/genmlinteff.htm

?Italy: Chapter 5D. Organized Crime.? Electric Library. Jan. 1991. 28 Nov. 2000 http://www.elibrary.com/

?La Cosa Nostra.? 21 Nov. 2000 http://www.geocitites.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/9880/started.html

Nathanson Center for the Study of Organized Crime. 30 Nov. 2000 http://www.yorku.ca/nathanson

Organized Crime & The New Society. Committee for a Safe Society. Apr. 1996. 30 Nov. 2000 http://www.alternatives.com/crime/crime1.html

?Organized Crime.? Electric Library. Sept. 1997. Electric Library. 28 Nov. 2000 http://www.elibrary.com/

?Thai Prostitution Law Enforcement Problem.? July 1994. 17 Dec. 2000. http://www.kcg11.eng.ohio-state.edu/~jirapinyo/touchlaw.html

?U.S. Says Asian Women Held in Prostitution Scheme.? July 1999. 17 Dec. 2000. http://www.acrosswaters.com/pol_a08.html

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