Types of Transnational Crime

Transnational crimes are crimes that occur across national borders. These crimes are of heightened concern because the countries affected don’t have the jurisdiction to prosecute criminals who are committing transnational crimes from other countries. While many countries combine forces to combat these crimes, drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trafficking and human trafficking are growing international problems.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking refers to illegal drugs being sold and distributed. This happens in the United States as well as in other countries. The main concern with transnational drug trafficking for the United States is illegal drugs being transported in from other countries and sold. Not only do these illegal drugs cause crime in the States, the sale of them also draws large amounts of money into other countries. Because illegal drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamines and cocaine, are in demand in the United States, trafficking in drugs is a very common and lucrative transnational crime. This causes drug trafficking to be extremely hard to combat and stop. With drug trafficking comes other types of crime, such as money laundering, illegal procession of arms or even murder.

Money Laundering

Money laundering refers to the process of criminals disguising the illegal origins of their money. Money laundering occurs all over the world. Criminals who get their money from illegal actions, such as prostitution, smuggling or computer fraud typically launder their money in order not to attract the attention of authorities. By not attracting attention from authorities, criminals are able to fly under the radar and continue their criminal activities, making even more money without getting in trouble. Money laundering is done in three main ways: disguising the source of the money -- such as disguising a prostitution ring as a massage parlor, changing the form -- such as changing cash into a money order, or moving the funds -- such as taking money from one large bank account and putting it in several smaller accounts under different names.

Arms Trafficking

Arms trafficking refers to the smuggling of guns, ammunition and other weapons. When weapons are smuggled into a country and sold illegally, buyers don’t have to have any type of license or waiting period in order to buy one. This makes it easier for criminals who can’t purchase a weapon legally to obtain one. Smuggled weapons typically end up in the hands of criminals or people with criminal intentions. This causes more crime to occur that could potentially be reduced if illegal arms trafficking is reduced or eliminated. Stopping arms trafficking is difficult because weapons have military, law enforcement and sport uses. This makes it harder to determine if a weapon is in the country and possessed legally.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves the sale, transportation, receipt and harboring of human beings through the use of force, threats or coercion with the intent to exploit the individuals. Human trafficking often includes payment or money transfer from a trafficker to a person in control of the victim. Common reasons that humans are trafficked include for prostitution, sexual exploitation or forced slavery. Human trafficking happens across state lines as well as across international borders.

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