- Defining organized crime
- Definition in the Organized Crime Convention
- Similarities and differences between organized crime and other forms of crime
- Activities, organization and composition of organized criminal groups
Published in April 2018
Regional Perspective: Eastern and Southern Africa - added in April 2020
This module is a resource for lecturers
Excerpts of legislation
Law No. 39/2003 On Preventing and Combating Organized Crime
Chapter I, Article 1-2
Art. 1. The present law regulates specific measures for the prevention and the combating of organized crime at a national and international level.
Art. 2. In the present law, the terms and expressions below have the following meaning:
a) Organized criminal group- is a structured group, formed of three or more persons that exists for a period of time and acts in a coordinated manner to the purpose of committing one or more grave offenses, in order to obtain directly or indirectly a financial benefit or other material benefit. An "organized criminal group" is not the group formed occasionally to the purpose of immediately committing one or more grave offences and which has no continuity or definite structure or pre-established roles for its members inside the group.
b) Grave offence - is that offence which is part of one of the following categories:
- Homicide, second degree murder, first degree murder;
- Illegal deprivation of freedom,
- Offences against patrimony, which have brought about particularly grave consequences;
- Offences regarding the trespassing of regulations regarding weapons and ammunition, explosive substances, nuclear substances or other radioactive substances;
- Coinage forgery or forgery of other values;
- Disclosure of economic secrets, disloyal competition, trespassing of stipulations regarding import or export operations, embezzlement, trespassing of provisions regarding the import of toxic waste and residual matter;
- Games of chance;
- Offences regarding drug traffic or/and precursors;
- Offences regarding traffic of persons and offences connected with traffic of persons;
- Traffic of migrants;
- Money laundering;
- Offences of corruption, offences assimilated to these, as well as offences directly connected with offences of corruption;
- Fraudulent bankruptcy;
- Offences committed through digital or communication systems and networks;
- Traffic of human tissues and/or organs;
- Any other offence for which the law stipulates the punishment of prison whose specific minimum is at least 5 years.
c) Offence of transnational character - is any offence, which, as the case presents itself:
- Is committed on the territory of a state, as well as outside its territory;
- Is committed on the territory of a state, but its preparation, its planning, its charge or control take place, completely or partly, on the territory of another state;
- Is committed on the territory of a state, by an organized criminal group that operates criminally in two or more states;
- Is committed on the territory of a state, but its results are produced on the territory of another state;
d) Informer - the person who has knowledge about an organized criminal group and provides the judicial organs with information or data relevant to the prevention, discovery and sanctioning of the committing of grave offences by one or more members of this group.
Source: SHERLOC Database of Legislation
New Zealand (Crimes Act 1961)
Section 98A - group is an organized criminal group if it is a group of 3 or more people who have as their objective or one of their objectives - (a) obtaining material benefits from the commission of offences that are punishable by imprisonment for a term of 4 years or more; or (b) obtaining material benefits from conduct outside New Zealand that, if it occurred in New Zealand, would constitute the commission of offences that are punishable by imprisonment for a term of 4 years or more; or (c) the commission of serious violent offences; or (d) conduct outside New Zealand that, if it occurred in New Zealand, would constitute the commission of serious violent offences.
Source: SHERLOC Database of Legislation