Interlinkage between organised crime and terrorism
- November 6, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: MMN
Interlinkage between Organised Crime and Terrorism
Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals who intend to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for money and profit. Crime and terrorism can potentially have a very close linkage. Organized crime and terrorism have developed a symbiotic relationship. Neither are all terrorist acts organized crime, nor are all organized criminal acts terrorism; in most developed countries, organized crime thrives with little or no terrorist activities, and in most developing countries, terrorism exists along with varying levels of organized criminal activity.
What are the linkages between terrorism and organized crime and how are they relevant in the Indian context?
While organized crime involves many activities, its linkages with terrorism stem from illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and human beings and money laundering. Terrorist groups, whether indigenous or sponsored by outside states, need arms and money for their fight against the security forces. Organized crime conglomerates need a clientele and couriers who can smuggle drugs, arms and human beings across the countries and regions.
In India, the linkages between the two exist at national and transnational levels. At the national level, both terrorists and those involved in organized crime are within India. At the international level, collaboration exists between transnational syndicates and terrorists from inside and outside India.
CASE STUDY: North East Region
In India’s northeast, almost all the militant groups run a parallel government or have their areas of influence and are involved in collecting money directly from the people. Much of the government funds reach the militants indirectly due to misgovernance. Government officials in conflict zones are either threatened or bribed to award contracts to individuals patronized by the militant groups. Contracts apart, essential commodities like rice and kerosene reach the militant groups directly which are then sold to the public at much higher prices. This cycle, though unnoticed in other parts of India, is a clear example of the linkage between organized crime and terrorism inside India.
Extortion, kidnap, contracts and black marketing still fall short of financing the nefarious activities of the militants. This is where transnational drugs and arms syndicates come into play. Terrorist organizations in India, especially in the northeast, mobilize funds by becoming couriers of illegal drugs and arms and at times even human beings from one point to another within the country. Some of the infamous entry points from Southeast Asia include Moreh and the entire Chittagong Hill tracts, especially Cox’s Bazaar. Initially, international criminal syndicates had their own network; however, with these routes being taken over by various terrorist groups in the northeastern states, the syndicates started using these groups instead of bribing them to let their consignments get through.
CASE STUDY: Kashmir Region
In Kashmir, the linkages between terrorists and organized crime exist at a different level. Unlike the northeast, reliance on funds from extortion and other related means is minimal. There is no parallel government in Kashmir and government resources do not reach militant hands. However, external funds compensate for inadequate internal mobilization. External funds reach the militant organizations fighting in Kashmir thorough various means. For instance, enormous funds that are mobilized in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, especially in the Gulf, are channeled through various organizations in Pakistan to Kashmir. Markaz dawa al Arshad, for example, mobilizes funds from inside and outside Pakistan, to support its militant wing, Lashkar-e-Toiba. Besides, external funds are also routed through select organizations and individuals in Kashmir, which finally reach the militants. Money laundering plays a significant role. Hawala (money laundering) transactions take place swiftly and effectively in Kashmir. Besides, it is also believed that the ISI uses drug money to fund militant activities in Kashmir.
Another significant relationship between organized crime and terrorism, especially in Kashmir, is through the spread of counterfeit currency. Terrorists are the main couriers of Indian counterfeit currency inside Kashmir, which then spreads all over India. Even guides for the militants from across the border are paid with counterfeit money. In fact, when some of the ‘indigenous’ militants were also paid with counterfeits, it resulted in squabble between them and the so-called guest militants.
Besides Kashmir and the northeast, sporadic incidents in other parts of India like the Bombay blasts, for instance, have exposed the connection between terrorism and organized crime. This is distinct from the traditional linkages flourishing between organized crime syndicates and local criminals.
SOURCE: UNODC Website
Difference between Organised Crime and Terrorism
Characteristics of the Criminal Group
(1) Continuity: The criminal group operates beyond the life time of individual members and is structured to survive changes in leadship.
(2) Structure: The criminal group is structured as a collection of hierarchically arranged interdependent offices devoted to the accomplishment of a particular function. It may be highly structured or may be rather fluid. It is, however, distinguishable as the ranks are based on power and authority.
(3) Membership: The membership in the core criminal group is restricted and based on common traits such as ethnicity, criminal background or common interests. The potential members are subjected to a lot of scrutiny and required to prove their worth and loyalty to the criminal group.
(4) Criminality: The criminal group relies on continuing criminal activity to generate income. Thus, continuing criminal conspiracy is inherent in organised crime. Some activities such as supplying illegal goods and services directly produce revenue, while others including murder, intimidation and bribery contribute to the groups ability to earn money and enhance its power..
(5) Violence: Violence and the threat of violence are an integral part of a criminal group. The violence or threat of it is used against the members of the group to keep them in line as also against the outsiders to protect the economic interests of the group. Members are expected to commit, condone or authorise violent acts.
(6) Power/Profit Goal: The members of the criminal group aim at maximising the group’s profits. The political power is achieved through the corruption of public officials, including legislators and political executive. The criminal group maintains power through its association with the “protectors” who defend the group and its profits.
Organised Crime Support
(1) Specialist Support: Organised criminal groups and their protectors rely on skilled individuals or support to assist the criminal groups on an adhoc basis. They are nonetheless considered part of organised crime. The specialists include pilots, chemists, arsonists, hijackers, shooters etc.
(2) Social Support: Social support includes public officials who solicit the support of organised crime figures; business leaders who do business with organised crime figures at social gatherings and thus portray the criminal group in a favourable or glamorous light.
Characteristics of Bombay Gangs Based on the study of the Bombay underworld, VK Saraf has concluded that:
- 66% gangsters are in the age group of 19 to 28 years; 26% in that of 29 to 38 years and 6.5% are above 40 years.
- 29% studied up to primary school, 42.5% up to secondary school and 5% had a college education.
- Most have poor economic backgrounds and were propelled into the world of crime due to economic difficulties.
GCSP Policy Paper view on organised crime
- The growing nexus of shared tactics and methods of terror and crime groups is due to four major developments: globalization, the communication revolution through the Internet, the end of the Cold War, and the global “war on terror”.
- Both terrorist and organised crime groups are leveraging the Internet for recruitment, planning, psychological operations, logistics, and fundraising. The Internet has become the platform for both organised crime and terrorists to conduct cybercrimes ranging from video piracy, credit card fraud, selling drugs, extortion, money laundering and pornography.
- The growing nexus has facilitated terrorists to access automatic weapons, including stand-off weapons and explosive devices, empowering them to challenge police, land and naval forces with the latest sophisticated weaponry and intelligence.
TYPES OF ORGANISED CRIME
A. Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking
“Illicit Drug Trafficking and Financing of Terrorism The Case of Islamic State, Al Qaeda and their Affiliate Groups “IDSA PAPER
- The revenue generated from the drug trafficking business constitutes a fifth of the organised crime revenues, with annual worldwide value of the trade estimated to be around $650 billion.
- As the trafficking of drugs provides a lucrative opportunity, transnational terror groups such as AlQaeda, the Islamic State and their affiliates are increasingly using illicit drug trade to fund their expenses and operational costs. Further, with the increasing surveillance of the funding routes of terror by the security forces, the traditional sources of revenue have dried up.
- Drug trafficking is a multibillion-dollar business, constituting a fifth of the organised crime revenues. A good part of the income from drug trafficking is funnelled into the treasury of terrorist groups.
CASE STUDY: With increasing surveillance on the traditional financial routes, the terror organisations are regularly looking for resources to fund their activities. The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is a case in point.
Smuggling, which consists of clandestine operations leading to unrecorded trade, is another major economic offence. The volume of smuggling depends on the nature of fiscal policies pursued by the Government. The nature of smuggled items and the quantum thereof is also determined by the prevailing fiscal policies.
C. Money Laundering & Hawala
Money laundering means conversion of illegal and ill-gotten money into seemingly legal money so that it can be integrated into the legitimate economy. Proceeds of drug related crimes are an important source of money laundering world over. This aim is generally achieved via the intricate steps of placement, layering and integration so that the money so integrated in the legitimate economy can be freely used by the offenders without any fear of detection. .
The United National Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988, (known as the Vienna Convention) to which India is a party, calls for criminalisation of laundering of the proceeds of drug crimes and other connected activities, and the confiscation of proceeds derived from such offences.
D. Terrorism & Narco-Terrorism
Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing. Conceptually, terrorism does not fall in the category of organised crime, as the dominant motive behind terrorism is political and/or ideological and not the acquisition of money-power. The Indian experience, however, shows that the criminals are perpetrating all kinds of crimes, such as killings, rapes, kidnappings, gun-running and drug trafficking, under the umbrella of terrorist organisations.
CASE STUDY: The North East still continues to be in turmoil due to the unlawful activities of ULFA and NSCN. The terrorist groups there are partly financing their operations by kidnappings for ransom of tea garden executives and extortion from businessmen. PWG and LTTE, in small pockets of southern India, continue to indulge in continual acts of violence
E. Light Arms Proliferation & Trafficking Light
- Arms proliferation is a global phenomena. It has extracted a heavy toll in terms of human lives and socio economic development of entire regions, costs of which can never be adequately computed. In Afghanistan, the death toll has passed 1,00,000 and is still rising,. India has also suffered due to trafficking in illicit arms. The twin phenomenon of rising crime as well as armed conflicts and terrorism are directly linked to the global proliferation and movement of weapons. .
CASE STUDY: On 17th December, 1996, an Antonov 26 aircraft dropped over 300 AK 47/56 rifles and 20,545 rounds of ammunition, dragnov snipper weapons, rocket launchers and night vision devices in a Purulia village in West Bengal State)
F. Contract Killings
The offence of murder is punishable under section 302 IPC by life imprisonment or death sentence. Conviction rate in murder cases is about 38%. The chance of detection in contract kilings is quite low. The method adopted in contract killings is by engaging a professional gang for a monetary consideration. Part of the prefixed amount will be paid in advance which is called ‘supari’.
CASE STUDY: Dawood Ibrahim gang has been responsible for contract killings of several rich businessmen, industrialists and politicians
G. Prostitution Trading
It is a very profitable business in which the underworld plays an important part. Flesh trade has been flourishing in India in various places and in different forms. The underworld is closely connected with brothels and call girl rackets, making plenty of money through this activity. They supply young girls to brothels in different parts of the country, shuttling them to and from the city to minimise the risk of their being rescued.
According to a study conducted by the Indian Health Organisation, there are over 1,000,000 prostitutes in Bombay and an equal number in Calcutta
H. Illegal Immigration
A large number of Indians are working abroad, particularly in the Gulf region. Young people want to move to foreign countries for lucrative jobs. Large scale migration is fostered by the high rate of unemployment in the country and higher wage levels in foreign lands. As it is not easy for the aspirants to obtain valid travel documents and jobs abroad, they fall into the trap of unscrupulous travel agents and employment agencies. These agencies promise to give them valid travel documents and employment abroad on the payment of huge amounts. Often the travel documents are not valid, and sometimes they are simply dumped into foreign lands without giving them the promised employment
PROBLEMS IN CONTROL EFFORTS
- Inadequate Legal Structure There are several difficulties in combatting organised crime. First of all, India does not have a special law to control/ suppress organised crime. Being a continuing conspiracy, the incidents of organised crime are dealt with under the general conspiracy law and relevant special Acts. The existing law is inadequate as it targets individuals and not the criminal groups or criminal enterprises
- Difficulties in Obtaining Proof As organised criminal groups are structured in a hierarchical manner, the higher echelons of leadership are insulated from law enforcement. It may be possible to have the actual perpetrators of crime convicted, but it is difficult to go beyond them in the hierarchy because of rules of evidence, particularly, non-admissibility of confessions made by criminals before the police.
- Lack of Resources & Training In our Constitutional frame-work, the police are the State’s subject. Investigation of cases, their prosecution and the setting up of the criminal courts is the responsibility of the State Government concerned
- Lack of Co-ordination India does not have a national level agency to co-ordinate the efforts of the State/city police organisations as well as central enforcement agencies, for combating organised crime. Further, there is no agency to collect, collate, analyse, document and function as a central exchange of information relating to international and inter-state gangs operating in India and abroad.
- Dual Criminality The crime syndicates do not respect national boundaries. Certain crimes, particularly drug trafficking, are planned in one part of the world and executed in another. Criminals also move fast from one part of the globe to another. Different nations have different legal structures. A certain act may be ‘crime’ in one country but not in another. To illustrate, money laundering is crime in USA and several European countries but not in India
- Criminal, Political & Bureaucratic Nexus There has been a rapid spread and growth of criminal gangs, armed Senas, drug mafias, smuggling gangs, drug peddlers and economic lobbiests in the country which have, over the years, developed an extensive network of contacts with the bureaucrats, government functionaries, politicians, media persons and democratically elected individuals at the local level certain States like Bihar, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, these gangs enjoy the patronage of local level politicians cutting across party line
- Slow Pace of Trials & Low Conviction Rate ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ is a well-known maxim. The pace of trials in India is very slow. Out of 7.12 million cases pending in the country, 0.77 million have been pending trial for more than 8 years (18.6% of the total). The average time of trial in grave offences varies from State to State but it is quite substantial and may run into years.
COMBATTING ORGANISED CRIME
It is the universal experience that organised crime is spawned by social economic and political factors and advances in science and technology have lent it a transnational character. Organised crime, like ordinary crime, cannot be rooted out completely from any society. It can certainly be kept within reasonable bounds by a deft mix of legal and administrative measures, coupled with social and political commitment
Strengthening of Criminal Laws
- Substantive Law
India does not have an special Act to control/supress organised crime. The draft of the Suppression of Organised Crime Act is on the anvil but it is not known when it will be passed into law. Organised crime and money laundering have close nexus warranting immediate legislative intervention.
- Procedural Law
Certain amendments need to be made in the Code of Criminal Procedure. The maximum time for police custody remand in section 167(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure is 15 days from the date of arrest of an accused. It is our experience that this time is inadequate for investigating organised crime cases having inter-state and international ramifications
- Evidenciary Law
- Confession made to a police officer: The Indian police are legally handicapped in collecting fool-proof evidence against ordinary criminals and, more so, against organised criminal gangs due to certain archaic provisions of evidenciary law.
- Forensic evidence: Forensic evidence plays an important role in criminal investigations. The police are duty bound to collect forensic evidence which may include the following types:- (i) Hand writing ; (ii) Finger/foot prints ; (iii)Blood samples for DNA profiling; (iv) Photographs
- Witness Protection Programme In cases of organised crime and terrorism, the witnesses are reluctant to depose in the open court for fear of reprisals at the hands of criminal syndicates/ terrorists. The cases of threat or criminal intimidation of potential witnesses are too many to be recounted.
National laws against organized crime in India
- The India Penal Code, the India Penal Code provides for punishment for criminal conspiracy. Dacoity is punishable with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and five months (section 395).Kidnapping for ransom, the parliament inserted Section 364-A in the India Penal.
- Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, which is applicable in that State only.
- The National Security Act 1980: provides for preventive detention by the Central Government or the State Government or by the officers designated by this Government.
- The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1988: provides for detention of persons related with Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
- Unlawful Activities Prevention Act– It provides for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and organizations. The 2012 amendment includes economic offences under the ambit of terrorist activities. It also gave authorities the right to attach or forfeit of property equivalent to counterfeit currency involved.
- The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008– Other than offences of terrorism, it also deals with counterfeit currency, human trafficking, narcotics, organized crime. The prevention of Money Laundering act also targets money laundering activities in a focused manner to counter the hawala transactions.
- NATGRID for intelligence gathering. The national and state investigating agencies engaged in tackling organized crimes such as NIA and state criminal investigation departments. The anti-narcotic cells in states.
Enhancing International Cooperation”108TH INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR VISITING EXPERTS’ PAPERS of crime”.
In an era of “globalisation”, speedy means of communication enable the transnational criminals to flee from one country to another within hours after the commission of crime. The international cartels comprising of criminals of various ethnicity regions and religions require response by the international community. International cooperation may entail various legal and governmental interventions.
- Speedy Extradition of Fugitive Criminals, Speedy extradition can be a very effective method of bringing the fugitive criminals to justice. Extradition proceedings presuppose the existence of an extradition treaty between the Requesting State and the Requested State. Extradition requests must satisfy the principles of dual criminality and speciality. India has succeeded in securing extradition of several notorious criminals including Om Prakash Srivastava
- Deportation It is our experience that extradition is a time consuming and lengthy process, where, apart from satisfying the legal requirements of the Requested State, the judicial requirements of a foreign court have also to be satisfied. On the other hand, deportation of an undesirable alien is swift and speedy.
- Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance: Assistance from foreign countries is often required for effective investigation and prosecution of transnational crimes. Help is required in the matter of collecting information; collecting evidence during investigation; identification and location of persons and service of documents on them; access to records of financial institutions; production of foreign witnesses; conducting searches and seizures; forfeiture of proceeds of crime (including money deposited in banks); transfer of prisoners to give evidence
- SAARC Convention for Suppression of Terrorism: Multilateral Arrangements Apart from bilateral arrangements, India has also made multi-lateral arrangements for suppression of terrorism with its neighbours. India is a signatory to the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention for Suppression of Terrorism. India enacted the SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1993.
- Role of Interpol has serviced law enforcers all over the world in their fight against crime in last 75 years of its existence. ‘The Red Corner Notice’ for the arrest of fugitive criminals are generally executed by Interpol. Sometimes difficulty arises when the requested Interpol does not have enabling provisions in the domestic laws for effecting arrests. Section 41 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code empowers a police officer to arrest on the basis of a Red Corner Notice. Similar provisions need to be incorporated in the criminal laws of countries where such provisions do not exist
SUGESTIONS”108TH INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR VISITING EXPERTS’ PAPERS of crime”.
Need for Speedy Trial, It is said that justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done. Punishment should visit the crime within a reasonable time, otherwise the confidence of the public in the efficacy of criminal justice institutions will be shattered
Improving Co-ordination and Setting Up Specialised Units, Setting Up National Level Coordinating Body
India has a federal structure in which the States have the exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute criminal cases. The police forces in the States gather intelligence about organised criminal activities within their States and generally do not share it with other States or the central agencies
Setting Up of Organised Crime Wings in City Police Organisations
Except for metropolitan cities, awareness about organised crime in the police force is very low. There is no system of collecting intelligence and pursuing investigations in a sustained and systematic manner. It is suggested that each State/Metropolitan force should have an Organised Crime Wing, the same at the State level as that of the apex body at the national level.
Setting Up Organised Crime Cells at the District Level
The district is the basic administrative unit in India. The work of police stations is supervised at the district level. However, there is very little awareness about organised crime, its dimensions, and the harmful effect it eventually has on the national economy and security, at the district level.
Strengthening of Police Stations
Police station are the pivotal points in the enforcement machinery. No specialised body like the National Co-ordinatory Body or organised crime wings at the State level can function unless the police stations work effectively. It is, therefore, imperative to strengthen the police stations in areas affected by organised crime. This would be possible only if they are equipped with welltrained personnel, good systems of communication and means for mobility as also modern gadgetry necessary for investigation.
Common Database for Enforcement Agencies
No mechanism or institutional arrangement exists for collection of data regarding organised crime gangs either at the Central level or the State level. This hampers investigative efforts and planning. It is suggested that a common data base be built up and stored in a computer accessible to all enforcement agencies, through networking of the computers. National Crime Records Bureau could take up this job as it has the technical wherewithal to do so
Defending Honest Officers
There is strong evidence of a criminal political nexus. The officers who have taken initiative to fight organised crime are sometimes transferred leading to their demoralisation. Crime syndicates by themselves or in concert with politicians sometimes launch a campaign of character assassination against honest officers, discrediting them
Incidence of organised crime is proportional to the will of the people to tolerate it. If there is strong political commitment, it can be suppressed by legislative action, strengthening of criminal justice system and building up of strong public opinion against it. Organised crime thrives when political commitment is lacking. The Vohra Committee Report has exposed the linkages between unscrupulous politicians and the criminal syndicates.
Role of Mass Media
Mass media-both print and electronic media-can play an important role in exposing organised crime and help build public opinion against it. Indian mass media has been doing this job quite well and every day we read lurid accounts of the activities of crime syndicates in the newspapers and magazines.