Jay Albanese Discusses Transnational Crime

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    • 00:15

      JAY S. ALBANESE: Transnational crimeseems to be a fairly amorphous topic, a very global sortof thing.But it's really quite easy.It's any crime that involves the crime occurringover two countries.Anything two or more countries.And that's a crime either in its inception, in the act,or in its consequences, occurs in more than two countries.

    • 00:36

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And again, that's a fairly broad definition.But if you break it out, it's reallythree different categories of behavior.So when you think of transnational crime,it's always good to think of, there'stransnational crimes that provideprovision of illicit goods, provision of illicit services,or infiltration of business or government.And it would be hard to think of an exception to that rule.

    • 00:59

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: Provision of illicit goods would bethings like trafficking in drugs,stolen property, counterfeit products, things like that.Illicit services would be human trafficking and sex, gambling,pornography, things like that.And then the third category, infiltrationof legitimate business or government--

    • 01:20

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: that would be extortion, racketeering, corruption,those kinds of offenses.What is the value of knowing about transnational crime?There is a tremendous value, because Iwould argue it's getting harder and harderto come up with exceptions to transnational crime.

    • 01:43

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: When you think about any crime that occurs to you,it is more and more difficult to findno transnational connection.So when you get spam emails, peopletrying to scam you in your emails, most of thosecome from overseas.When you get inquiries that are fraudulent-- if you

    • 02:05

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: buy a fake purse in New York somewhere, a knock-off,the odds are overwhelming that was,in fact, manufactured overseas, smuggled into the US,and being bought here.So in fact, many times you have illegal laborin a different continent and you don't actuallysee what the connection is.But it's a very clear connection.

    • 02:27

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: People who use the internet to traffic in people, sex,illegal forms of gambling.Most of that involves transmissions of communicationsacross countries.Usually the supply end is very different from the demand end.So more and more of the typical crimes

    • 02:49

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: that we expose ourselves to are in fact transnational crimes,even though it's not apparent to us.And for students very important to know about it because nowthere's an increasing need for peoplewith skills in computer forensics,in international relations, people with foreign languageskills, people who are able to understand international law.

    • 03:10

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: International law enforcement training has become crucial.So there's a whole new group of skill setsthat students need to get up to speed on.The challenges for law enforcement around the worldare similar to what they are in the US.

    • 03:31

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And that is, no matter where you are around the world,police face the same issue.And the issue is, how do you enforce the law,maintain order effectively, while at the same timerespecting the privacy of citizens?And the only way to protect peopleis of course, interfere in the lives of people.By asking questions you have to stop people,you have to make inquiries, you have to engage in surveillance

    • 03:52

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: to do all those things.So the issue is, how do you maintainthat balance between a citizen's reasonable expectationof privacy and the government's interest and society's interestin controlling crime and controlling violence.And most of the issues around policeare around that exact line.We have probable cause standards,

    • 04:13

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: stop and frisk standards to do that.And these have gotten to be very legally precise.A lot of court interpretations, both in the USand around the world on these thresholds.And these require well-trained police.These require good police supervision.How do you handle complaints against policein a reasonable way?So what's the best way to have a professionalized police

    • 04:35

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: presence that's transparent to the community,and at the same time be effective in controlling crime.And so this has been an issue in policingthroughout its entire history.And in transnational terms it's exactly the same.So the point is, if you wanted to make a dent, let's say,in how many fraudulent spam emails that people get,

    • 04:58

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: well, there's one way to do it.It's to allow police to enter everyone's e-mail accountsand look around.All right, well, in most places, you know, the societyisn't ready to do that.But at the same time, we have, as you know,increasing instances of major corporationsaround the world and governments that are being hacked.And they're taking personal information of folks

    • 05:19

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: for fraudulent purposes.So the question is, how do you balance that privacyultimately, but if you don't allowpolice to make their reasonable inquiries,many times citizens open themselves upto more victimization.So it is not an easy problem to solve.

    • 05:41

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: Technology has made all the differencein the last 25 years, when you think about technology.The overwhelming majority of the worldnow has access to the internet.So whether you live in Somalia, or you live in Canada,you live in the US, you live in the UK--no matter where you live, you have accessto the same material for the first time.

    • 06:03

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So you have a lot more exposure to experiencefar outside your own.And in addition to access to the internet,if you go around the world, virtually everybodyhas a cell phone-- smartphones.So not only has the internet provided the informationglobally, now with the advent of handheld devices,

    • 06:25

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: more and more people have access to that information.So no matter what continent you happen to find yourself,you have the same access to informationas anyone in Washington DC or any other city has.So this is a good thing.This has helped disseminate information.You know immediately what's going

    • 06:46

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: on in other parts of the world.This is all great.But it provides opportunity for peoplewho are disposed to commit crimesto try to victimize you, go after your informationand that kind of thing.A quick example, if I was to steal your wallet,that only gives me very limited information.Most people don't carry much cash anymore.

    • 07:09

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: Once your wallet's gone, you have very limited liability.You cancel your credit cards.So it doesn't get me much anymore.I'm much more likely to gain benefitif I'm, in fact, going to get your personal information.All I need is your number and a pin.That gets me much further, because once youlose your wallet, it doesn't take

    • 07:30

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: you long to realize it's gone.But if I get access to your information,I could slowly drain-- I can put false charges,try to drain your bank account slowly.I can do a lot more damage because youare unaware that your information has been taken.And all of that is made availablethrough advances in technology that

    • 07:51

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: just didn't exist 25 years ago to the extent it exists today.In terms of the rise of cyber-related, internet-relatedcrimes, there is, headquartered in West Virginia the InternetFraud Complaint Center.And the amount of complaints to that centerhas gone up dramatically over the years, as you would expect.

    • 08:11

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: As access to the internet-- just thinkof, in your own personal life, the amount of Christmasshopping you do online now than what you did 10 years ago.Now it's dramatically increased.So all these are opportunities.Because in each transaction you'retransmitting personal information over the internet.So as more and more people do that around the world,

    • 08:33

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: there's just more and more opportunityto try to defraud you.Well, the most interesting period for transnational crimeis of course the current period, what wecall the Age of Globalization.And when you consider what happened

    • 08:54

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: starting roughly late '80s or early '90s to the presentis where the explosion occurred.We had the simultaneous increase of traffic by air-- more peopletraveling to more places than ever before.When you look at the previous generation,very few people traveled, and very fewtraveled internationally.Now everybody you know travels internationally.

    • 09:16

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So you have that combined with the collapse of the SovietUnion, the fall of the Berlin Wall.So that opened borders, not only to business, but alsoto tourists, trade, everything else.And then you had the rise of all these emerging democracies.All of Eastern Europe changed.

    • 09:37

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And this is all over the last 25 years.So you have a lot of new weak, unstable governmentswho are getting their footing around the world.But all of this creates criminal opportunities as well asopportunities for legitimate business.And this is what gave the impetusto the rise of transnational crime on the scale

    • 10:01

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: that we have today.When you look at transnational crime across cultures,it's a very interesting thing.Because you think of transnational crimes as a flow,because it always involves two or more countries.The developing world-- that is, developing countries,

    • 10:23

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: which is the majority of the world.Most of the world are developing countriesthat are building their economies as opposedto the developed world like Western Europe and the USand Japan and some others who have fully developed economies.Most of the flows go from supply to demand.So when you look at human trafficking, most of the flow

    • 10:44

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: goes from developing countries to developed countries.If you look at drug trafficking, mostof the flow from developing countries todeveloped countries.The developed countries have the money.They're the ones who create most of the demand.When you look at smuggling of ivory,of gold, of rhinoceros horn, of all kinds of things,you see that flow.

    • 11:04

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So when you look at efforts by the United Nationsand other bodies, they are interested in interruptingthat flow.You have the demand by the developed world,and the supply by the developing world.The developing world, sometimes there'sself-exploitation going on.In many cases they're being exploited by people

    • 11:24

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: from the developed world.So you have to account for those two perspectives.So the human trafficking issue in a developing countryis a very different thing than it is in a developed world.It's different kinds of problems.On the developed side, you're trying to reduce demand.And on the developing side, you're

    • 11:44

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: trying to reduce pushes on that supply.You know, why are so many people leavingthe country, interested in leaving the country?What can we do to keep them so they canthrive in their own country?So the perspective across cultures is quite different.You could be talking about the same issue, human trafficking,for example, or drug trafficking,

    • 12:07

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: but the issue manifests itself in very different ways,depending on what part of the world you're in.An interesting question is, what does the futurefor transnational crime hold?Is it going to be more of the sameor is it going to be quantitativelydifferent in some way?

    • 12:28

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: It's very hard to predict, because opportunities change--criminal opportunities.For example, who would have thought 20 years agothat most people on the planet wouldbe walking with a portable phone in their hand?If you would have told me that wouldbe as common in the developing worldas it is in the developed world, I neverwould have guessed that.

    • 12:48

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And that people would be accessing the internetregularly from a handheld device.Which means you don't have to buy a $2,000 computerto access the internet.You can do it through a hand-held phone.So this is great.It's great for business.It's great for personal autonomy.It's good for economies.It's good for marketing.But it but it creates new opportunities.So it's very likely that there will

    • 13:09

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: be additional changes in technology thatare in fact going to manifest themselves in terms of creatingnew criminal opportunities.Because when you think of transnational crimein the future, think of it as a cat and mouse game.As we get more affective in closing downcriminal opportunities, there still

    • 13:29

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: remain a group of people who are motivated, not to work.And will try to get money by scamming.So you close off one opportunity.People actively work full-time.If I can't get access to your personal information anymore,then I will try to access it elsewhere.And we have seen this.

    • 13:49

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: For example, in the US, when you reduce cocaine usagein the US, which has been decliningin recent years, the effect of that is,there's more trafficking to Europe of cocaine.So you would think that would have an effect on the supply.Well no, they just look for different markets.And then while most of the cocaine in the world

    • 14:11

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: is coming from a few countries in South America,it's hard to do the direct flightfrom South America to Europe.So what happens, many of the flights stop in Africa.So you have corruption going on thereto get them onto smaller planes or boatsto get them into Europe.So many times you successfully do somethinglike lower illicit drug use in the US,

    • 14:35

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: but it just changes the manifestation of the problem,rather than actually solves the problem.So these are things that are in fact difficult to anticipate.But you need people thinking about this all the time.The research on transnational crime

    • 14:56

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: has evolved in parallel fashion to transnational crime itself.When you look at the number of journals with the wordinternational in the title in criminologyand criminal justice, that's gone up dramaticallyin the last 20 years.There's a journal called, Global Crime.There's all kinds of journals with transnational orinternational in the title.

    • 15:18

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And you look at the content of those journals.There is more and more studies involving crimesacross borders or crimes comparing twodifferent countries or more.So there is a lot more of that going on.And the impact of that on policy has been dramatic.The two most important examples would be the UN conventions.

    • 15:40

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: In 2003, the United Nations-- which again, the United Nationsis a conglomeration of 193 countries on earth,which is pretty much everybody.And they came together and ratifiedthe Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

    • 16:01

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And that went into effect in 2003.It's now been ratified by more than 3/4 of the world.The reason why it's important, because it doeshave enforcement provisions.So ratifying countries, which is most of the world,must have certain laws against certain types of conduct.They must be making prosecutions.They must have some kind of witness protection program

    • 16:23

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: to protect whistleblowers and people like that.So there's all kinds of interesting things,including a provision for extradition of folks.If one country has a criminal court in another country--to develop international provisions for bringingthat person back for trial.These are very important developments.But a lot of them came about due to the fact, well,

    • 16:44

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: research is showing how transnational crime flows.And once you document what those flows are,that helps people in policy positions to say,OK, this is what we need in a wayto counteract this flow of illicit goodsor people or money.

    • 17:07

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: Another example of an international policy effortthat's related to research would be the UN ConventionAgainst Corruption.That went into effect in 2005.And that looks specifically at crimes of corruption.So like the Transnational Organized Crime Convention,this looks at corruption offenses.Around the world, you can make the argument

    • 17:27

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: that corruption is the most serious crime of allon the planet.Because without corruption, it's impossible to havean ongoing criminal enterprise that's protected from police.You have to have some degree of immunity from law enforcementor from the judiciary or from politicians.And the only way to do that is through corruption.And that's been a serious problem around the world

    • 17:49

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: in many places.And so what the Corruption Conventiondoes is mandate countries that are ratifying-- and again,more than 3/4 of the world has ratified that agreement--that in fact makes countries pass certain laws to prohibitcertain forms of corruption, have certain enforcementmechanisms in place-- extradition agreements,

    • 18:12

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: things like that.And there's a meeting of conferences to the conventionevery two years, where they look at whatthe implementation has been.So for example, if you're a country whoratifies the UN Convention against Corruptionand you have no corruption prosecutions this year,well you have explaining to do.And most of what the UN has done is

    • 18:33

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: provide training and technical assistance to countriesaround the world, to say, this ishow the law should be written.This is how you conduct investigations.This is optimum ways to handle extradition requests, thingslike that, to get the world up to speed so they'reenforcing transnational crime with the same level

    • 18:54

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: of intensity.And you have to do this with transnational crimebecause it, by definition, involves more than one country.So you have to get multiple countries at the same levelof competence.The way that I got involved with transnational crime

    • 19:16

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: is because I've always been interested in organizedcrime in general.Because organized crime is ongoing criminal activity,which has always interested me.The people involved in it are not necessarily smart,but they're very clever.They're always seeking angles to do something illegally.And perhaps the best example I can think of is in the book

    • 19:44

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: by Henry Hill, which was made into the movie, Goodfellas.His boss, Paul Vario would go to the Rainbow Room in RockefellerCenter-- nice high-rise place.Go to a club, dinner, dancing.It cost a fortune.But his boss would always do that on a stolen credit card.

    • 20:06

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: And if you or I would do that-- go out for a night of drinkingand dancing, you know, with your friends or family,and you were on a stolen credit card,you couldn't enjoy yourself.You'd be a nervous wreck, thinkingyou're going to be caught and embarrassed, humiliated.But Henry Hill's boss said no, I couldn't enjoy myself

    • 20:27

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: if I was spending my own money.So it's that upside down ethic that'scontrary to what regular people like you and I would think.We'd be a nervous wreck.We could never enjoy ourselves.But him, he couldn't enjoy himselfif it was his own money.He said, I couldn't spend my own money on this.So it was like a thrill of the illegal activity.

    • 20:48

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So I've always been interested in that.And then as current events unfolded with globalization,the collapse of the Soviet Union,the rise of the internet, transnational business,all these kinds of things, organizedcrime has become global, to the way it was not 30 years ago.

    • 21:09

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So, to me, it's just an outgrowthof that interest in organized criminal activity, of peoplealways looking for ways to scam the system,rather than going out and getting like a real job.And it's always interesting because these peopleare in fact clever.So you have to be more clever to stay ahead of them.So I just find that inherently fascinating.

    • 21:36

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: As a criminologist, I can say the contribution of researchto society is a very slow process.People are into research-- you'rein research to build knowledge.And knowledge gets built in small pieces.Rarely are there breakthrough studies.Those are very rare in any field.You build research by a series of small studies,

    • 21:56

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: looking at, for example, human trafficking between Albaniaand Italy.And then you say, OK, that's an interesting finding.I wonder if that would hold from Africa into southern Europeor from the US, within the US?So you need multiple studies to buildon this-- how it's organized, who the traffickers are.

    • 22:21

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: So most researchers like me, you do your workthrough a number of these small studies.And then it's that body of work you hope that impacts policy.That is, we have common features of human traffickingenterprises.And this is how they're structured.This is how they're organized.And that is the kind of informationthat policymakers need to then change laws, change enforcement

    • 22:42

      JAY S. ALBANESE [continued]: strategies, and change your whole approachto transnational crime.

Jay Albanese Discusses Transnational Crime

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Professor Jay Albanese discusses transnational crime and how it is changing. Transnational crime is a crime that occurs over two or more countries. Albanese describes the impact of technology, the future of transnational crime, and the research done in the field.

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Jay Albanese Discusses Transnational Crime

Professor Jay Albanese discusses transnational crime and how it is changing. Transnational crime is a crime that occurs over two or more countries. Albanese describes the impact of technology, the future of transnational crime, and the research done in the field.

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