Asian transnational organized crime and its impact on the United States: Developing a transnational crime research agenda: A final report: A final report

James O. Finckenauer, Ko Lin Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Undertaken on behalf of the National Institute of Justice between July 2003 and August 2004, the research goals of this study were to (a) determine high priority areas for research on Asian transnational organized crime (TOC); (b) assess the impact of Asian TOC on the United States; (3) identify relevant data and information sources in Asia; and (4) identify potential collaborative research partners and institutions in Asia. The aim was thus not to examine in detail the organized crime situation in this region, but rather to lay the foundation for a research agenda and strategy that would accomplish that purpose. In seeking to achieve this aim, the researchers used a variety of techniques as part of an overall exploratory methodology. They included four months of interviews (andfield observations) with experts in eight Asian sites, including law enforcement officials, policymakers, and scholars, as well as American officials in each site. Meetings were also held with Asian crime experts in the United States. Interviews and site visits were supplemented with surveys and analyses done by local Asian researchers, an analysis of U. S. indictments, and the review of a large volume of literature. The sites covered by this research are China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia. The major findings are first, that there is little consensus among the Asian authorities on just wliat their main organized crime problems are. Whereas the Asian authorities give higher priority to traditional organized crimes, e. g., gambling, extortion, prostitution, etc., the American authorities focus more on transnational crimes. Consistent with this view, Asian authorities do not see much linkage between the local or regional crime groups about which they are most concerned, and transnational organized crime. Next, contrary to the views and expectations of some American authorities, the commonly expressed view among the respondents in this study is that there is no collaboration or linkage between transnational organized crime groups and terrorists. Finally, the transnational organized crime networks operating in the region are said to be highly specialized, with any overlapping of criminal activities occurring mostly at the level of transportation of goods or people. It is recommended that future collaborative research efforts focus on trafficking in women and children, human smuggling, and drug production and trafficking. These are likely to continue to have the most impact upon the United States and upon U. S. interests in the region. It is further recommended that these research efforts be both bi-lateral (principally with China) and multi-lateral in nature. A wide variety of potentially willing research partners are identified and their strengths and weaknesses are assessed. Finally, a specific strategy for accomplishing the research agenda is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-107
Number of pages90
JournalTrends in Organized Crime
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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