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Organized Crime: An Imminent threat to Nation-State

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Personal safety, particularly the security of life, liberty and property, is of utmost importance to any individual. Maintenance of peace and security is essential in any society for a human being to live peacefully and without fear of injury to their lives, limbs, and property. 

Organized crime is a serious crime with group involvement. The difference between organized crime and other forms of crime is that it is “organized.” In general terms, it does not include random, unplanned, individual criminal acts. Rather it focuses exclusively on planned, rational acts that reflect the effort of groups of individuals.

Organized crime or criminal organizations is defined as transnational, national, or local groupings organized on a hierarchical basis, with at least three levels/ranks, of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals engaging in illegal activity, usually to make a monetary profit. 

It is committed by at least three or more than three people in a group and in any way of committing this crime is very sophisticated and it is very difficult to trace the people who have been involving in such type of crime. 

The boundary of this category of crime is not within the national. It is organized in one country or one place and consequently occurs in another country or in another place. 

“Prevention of Organized Crime Act, 2070” is the prevailing laws to control organized crime in Nepal. Besides this, Human Trafficking and Transportation (control) Act 2064, Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act, 2033 (1976), Money Laundering Elimination Act, 2064, Arms and Ammunition Act and Terrorist and Disruptive Act (Control) Act, 2019, Kidnapping and Abduction Laws, Police Act, 2012.  

Despite having various laws Nepal is facing the problem of organized crime. Organized crime affects our basic rights to peace, order and good governance. 

Narcotic drugs trafficking, Trafficking in Human, Illegal Trade in Wildlife, Arms trafficking, Dacoit, Smuggling, kidnapping and Abduction, Passport forging Scandal etc are the organized crime which is seen in Nepal. 

The organized crime flourishes where there is sufficient business to make a substantive profit. It is possible only when the organization group comprised of a well-experienced expert to deal with the counterpart, with a wider range of interconnected network, goods and services mobilizes by organized criminal groups are not clandestine and difficult to approach. 

In this way, Transnational organized crime crosses national and international borders for financial and sociopolitical gain, posing a serious threat to national security.

Drug trafficking, transnational crime, the importation of illicit weaponry, and money laundering, are all fundamental aspects of terrorism. Terrorists have impacted the open border between Nepal and India, giving criminals a means to avoid arrest by infiltrating into Nepal or vice versa.

The concentration and union of political and criminal power, known as a politico-criminal nexus, is gradually reaching the highest levels of many nation-states. Organized crime groups form cooperative relationships with state authorities to get access, and to exploit for their purposes, the political, economic, and social apparatus of the state. 

Organized crime also poses a threat to an economy’s financial sectors by creating a monopoly in the financial and economic sectors. Taking control of these sectors leads to unfair competition and, as a result, negative consequences for the economy and financial markets. 

Difficulties in Obtaining Proof, Slow Process of Trials, Low Rate of Conviction, Lack of Resources and Training, Lack of Coordination, Dual criminality are the problem of controlling organized crime in Nepal.

Organized crime is a huge global problem and prevention initiatives are necessary. Public authorities play a leading role in this process together with several factors, such as local authorities, NGO’s and the private sector, that have to participate so that crime can be combated and prevented from happening. 

Witnesses are not ready to disclose the evidence known by them in court due to the threat of the criminals. A witness must be protected by the government form the threat of such criminals group. 

Cooperation is the most necessary thing to cope with organized crime. It is not possible to bring fugitive criminals to justice without the cooperation of the countries where they are living. International cooperation is the key to suppress transnational crimes. As extradition is an important instrument to bring fugitive criminals to justice, the laws and procedures prevailing in different countries need to be standardized based on the model extradition treaty drafted by UNO. 

Therefore, Public awareness, Police professionalism and building police capacity, timely press release on the development of investigations on an organized crime, Political Commitment, coordinated mechanism with different actors, building international capacity, cooperation and partnership to deal with organized crime is recommended.  

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