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  • Global Challenges

    Workshop: International Organized Crime:  A Key Driver of Corruption

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    International organized crime represents a growing threat to the safety, health and development goals of people and societies on a global basis. The extent of transnational organized crime has increased enormously with the spread of our interdependent world economy, and wherever it becomes entrenched, it corrupts public institutions and legitimate commercial enterprises as a matter of course. This workshop will convene experts from law enforcement agencies, the academic community, and regulatory authorities with expertise on the particular role played by international organized crime in facilitating corruption, including both ‘official’ corruption of public officials and infiltration and corruption of otherwise legitimate private sector industries. 

    This panel will seek to illustrate the extent and means by which international organized criminal organizations promote systematic corruption to further their illicit criminal enterprises, including in key commercial sectors vital to the global economy.  This panel will also share examples of successful law enforcement and regulatory practices for preventing and detecting corruption facilitated by organized crime, as well as identify gaps that increased cooperation between the public and private sectors may help to overcome. 

    James M. Trusty, Principal Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, will provide a general assessment of international organized crime’s infiltration of legitimate commercial industries and promotion of official corruption, as well as an overview of United States law enforcement strategies for curbing this corruption. The Organized Crime and Racketeering Section (OCRS) coordinates the Department’s program to combat organized crime. The principal enforcement efforts are currently directed against traditional groups such as La Cosa Nostra families emerging groups from Asia and Europe, such as Chinese Triads, the Sicilian Mafia, and Russian organized crime.

    John Picarelli, a Social Science Analyst for the International Center of the National Institute of Justice, will provide a survey of ongoing research into this field, and identify where gaps exist in the academic research community that require additional studies.  The International Center oversees a portfolio of research on various aspects of international organized crime and corruption, and recently published a lengthy report discussing the most pressing needs for research in this field. Dr. Picarelli will discuss the results of this report as well as recent developments in the research community.

    Michael J. Mansfield, Commissioner of the New York City Business Integrity Commission, a law enforcement and regulatory agency charged with eliminating and preventing organized crime and corruption of legitimate industries in New York City, will discuss his experience with public/private sector cooperation and will describe procedures developed by his agency for monitoring and preventing organized criminal racketeering. Commissioner Mansfield will address the prevailing conditions that led to the creation of the New York City Business Integrity Commission: the systematic corruption of industries providing basic public services and the resultant costs to consumers, the cartelization of the private waste hauling industry and the resultant denial of fair public services, and the infiltration of legitimate industries as a pathway to the corruption of public officials. He will discuss the agency’s resources and its procedures for investigating and vetting businesses, the impact the agency has had on the industries it regulates, and the need for continued vigilance against the return of organized crime and corruption. Finally, Commissioner Mansfield will discuss how the agency’s model can be applied internationally and in industries other than those which it regulates.

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