What is organized crime? Why is it called organized? The term “organized” is often used to describe crime involving organized groups. The most sophisticated forms of organized crime have a totalitarian structure and immunity from the law. Their operations are typically international and involve the use of violence and fear to achieve their long-term goals. Their members are generally part of a hierarchy and do not have direct access to one another, but work under the direction of their immediate superiors.
The term “organized” has a difficult connotation. Most people think of organized crime in association with the Mafia. But the reality of organized crime is quite different. Most definitions of organized crime include groups that involve at least two individuals, have a social structure, and employ specific modes of operation. The ultimate purpose of such groups is to make money. Hence, this term has become synonymous with organized crime.
Historically, organized crime has been associated with the illicit trade of drugs, guns, and human organs. Syndicates have risen in number and have gained political influence through the illegal activities they carry out. Besides illegal goods and services, organized crime organizations also engage in prostitution and gambling. And, of course, the term “organized” is often used to describe crimes committed by organized groups. But what does organized crime look like?