This module is a resource for lecturers

Review and assessment questions

a) Why do organized criminal groups infiltrate legitimate businesses and/or government? When are businesses and governments at the highest risk of infiltration by organized crime?

b) What is the difference between extortion and extortion racketeering? Has your country criminalized both? What is the difference between extortion and bribery in your country? What are the main forms of existing regulation of these crimes and countermeasures in your country, including criminal laws, institutions, mechanisms and policies?

c) Isaac loaned money to Melvin several times over the course of two years. The amounts usually ranged from $5000 to $30,000, and the total amount loaned was approximately $100,000. At the time of each loan, Melvin agreed to repay the loan amount plus 20% interest within 10 weeks. Melvin made periodic payments, but had difficulty meeting his commitments to Isaac. Isaac confronted him on several occasions and stated he would use physical force if Melvin failed to repay the loans, even if Isaac had to "do 20 years in prison." Isaac's threats caused Melvin to make out a will, buy a gun for protection, and carry it when he met with Isaac. A third party recorded some of Isaac's threats during a collection attempt. In light of the facts given here, are crimes committed in this instance? Let's assume that Isaac only intimidated Melvin, but did not strike him. Would that affect Isaac's liability?

d) John was an associate of a known organized criminal group. Ferris was a licensed electrician and long-time friend of John. He was well aware of John's reputation as a collector of loansharking debts who used threats and violence in the process. Ferris had several customers who had contracted for electrical work, but had not paid in full. The customers had been charged an exorbitant price for the work and disputed the amount they were billed. Ferris asked John to send his collectors to visit several of these customers to collect the full amount owed, and John added a 25% surcharge for his collection efforts. Conversations between Ferris and John clearly showed Ferris's understanding and support of the use of fear, threats, and intimidation to collect the money. How would you determine whether Ferris's efforts constitute simple debt collection or a crime? Is John's reputation as a debt collector for loansharking debts relevant in this case?

e) The Organized Crime Convention recognizes the close link between organized crime activities and money-laundering and builds on earlier international initiatives in that regards. List some of the bilateral, regional, and multilateral instruments. How did they influence the content of the Organized Crime Convention?

f) Organized criminal groups frequently make use of corruption in the course of their operations. How are bribery and other acts of corruption used by organized criminal groups?

g) Provide examples of active and passive bribery as defined in article 8 of the Organized Crime Convention.

h) What are the different stages of money-laundering? At what stage is the money launderer the most vulnerable for detection? Why?

i) Why is it important to target the profits and finances of criminal groups?

j) Does it make a difference if an organized criminal group is organized as a secret society or as a legally registered organization, where members are publicly recognizable?

Next: Quiz 4
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