In decades past, criminal organizations were largely domestic or regional in scope. They tended by nature to be centralized, and the arrest of a single key member was sometimes enough to dismantle them. But today’s criminals are not bound by international borders. They work in loose, fluid networks that cooperate intermittently but maintain their independence. They go where they can make a profit, and they no longer specialize in a particular type of crime, instead embracing multiple types of criminal activity. They employ sophisticated technology and financial savvy. They benefit tremendously from instant global communication, and flourish in an environment that knows no borders.
Clearly, it is no longer possible for any country’s law enforcement authorities to unilaterally engage and defeat criminal elements operating within their jurisdiction, because when under pressure, criminal organizations have the ability to simply transfer their operations to another country.
The United States is partnering with other governments to fight transnational crime. Most recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with Malaysian Minister for Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein on cooperation in fighting transnational crime.
This means that law enforcement officials from both countries will be able to share information to prevent and investigate transnational crime such as trafficking in humans, and in drugs; terrorism, money laundering, cybercrime and organized crime. The agreement will also facilitate direct and informal cooperation among law enforcement officers in both countries.
“With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, we reaffirm that the United States and Malaysia share a robust commitment to protecting our citizens from criminal activities that transcend jurisdictions, cross international borders and span across the globe,” said Attorney General Holder.
“This agreement encourages direct cooperation between key authorities and law enforcement officials, allowing our two nations to more effectively — and more collaboratively — respond to the evolving transnational challenges we must confront. I’m confident that it will strengthen our ability to safeguard our citizens and bring dangerous criminals to justice.”