6-Apr-20 Transnational Crimes

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Transnational crimes are different from international crimes.  The ‘trans’ prefix (from the Latin meaning ‘across’ or ‘through’) shows us that this refers to crime which is planned, executed or has an impact in more than one country.  ‘International crime’ refers generally to crimes against humanity which may involve two or more countries.  Albanese (2017) identifies three types of transnational crime:

  • provision of illicit goods (drug trafficking, trafficking in stolen property, weapons trafficking, and counterfeiting)
  • illicit services (commercial sex and human trafficking)
  • infiltration of business and government (fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and corruption)

Transnational crimes may exploit different regulatory regimes between nation-states: for example, differential tax rules, cyber-laws or freedom of movement.  Often too, these practices will exploit the social, political and economic inequalities between states.  This is why, for example, trafficking (for forced labour or sexual exploitation) occurs commonly from developing or economically emerging countries into Western and richer states.

The following blog posts explore some examples of transnational crime and harm:

To give you a taste on wildlife harm, read this Magazine special from National Geographic on wildlife tourism.  Note how this business relies on selling packages to tourists from richer countries, to bring them into areas which may be economically weaker and where laws around animal treatment may differ.

© Natasha Mulvihill and Criminology Tales, 2020. 


Albanese, J.S., 2017.  Oxford Bibliographies.  [online].  Available at: https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo

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