Organized Crime and Eastern Africa


As volume and profit margins rise, another trend has been the expansion and increasing sophistication of African drug trafficking gangs . This is in addition to the more traditional and better known syndicates from Italy and other parts of Europe. West African gangs have developed extensive networks around the world. These present increasingly formidable challenges to law enforcement authorities. Evidence also suggests that in the 1990s, domestic criminal organizations in the region have started to diversify from activities such as motor vehicle theft, arms trading and mineral smuggling to the highly lucrative trafficking of illicit drugs. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in violence and organized crime.

Money laundering is an attempt to conceal or disguise the true nature, source, disposition, movement or ownership of proceeds connected with illicit drug trafficking or other illicit activities. It has a devastating effect on the economies of developing countries. Drug traffickers are quick to exploit inadequate banking regulations such as those in Eastern Africa. Financial cash transactions can be performed with little or no monitoring or supervision by the banking sector where corruption is also rife.