Globalization is a familiar term in culture and trade, and law enforcement officials are warning that it now also applies to transnational organized crime and related illicit threats.
Using high technology and phony front companies, international criminal gangs and networks operating in many nations are hacking computers to commit identity theft, furnish weapons to terrorists, smuggle people and contraband goods across international borders, launder money from illegal activities, and target banks and securities markets to commit financial fraud.
U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said these gangs recognize no borders and pose a broad threat to both individuals and nations.
"The challenge we face with the new breed of organized criminals is quite different from the one we faced a generation ago. They are more sophisticated, they are richer, they have greater influence over government and political institutions worldwide and they are savvier about using the latest technology."
At a time of rising energy prices, the gangs are also targeting international oil and gas markets, manipulating trades and in some cases diverting supplies.
In response, the United States is working closely with other nations to dismantle these transnational criminal syndicates and illicit actors by identifying threats, sharing investigative leads and coordinating enforcement. The nations of the world can’t ignore foreign criminal syndicates assuming they’re a danger only to their homeland.