Criminal Facilitators and Financial Intermediaries  

This is part three in a series on business practices of transnational organized crime and drug trafficking organizations.

An analysis of criminal cases (involving crimes such as fraud, terror finance, money laundering) indicates that facilitators and financial intermediaries were instrumental to the operation and sustainability of the transnational criminal organizationCriminal facilitators played a role in the sustainability of the supply chain and the financial intermediaries created legal structures that encouraged and enabled illicit activity.

Both the facilitators and financial intermediaries contributed to illicit business activities in a way that is akin to professional networking; they were relied upon to bridge knowledge gaps and make connections.

In almost all of the cases studied the most successful financial intermediaries operated separate from the criminal activity, in a manner akin to the way a corporate parent organization interacts with a subsidiary.  The criminal facilitator remained ambiguous and appeared to be quite adept at blending in where and when needed.   Both the facilitators and intermediaries gave instructions and set up policies and procedures in a way that is consistent with one who has had long term involvement in criminal activity.  The contributions of the criminal facilitator and financial intermediary were similar to what one might expect from a subject matter expert or consultant- one who has spent time studying and honing their expertise over a long period of time.

These findings, supported by prior work of Scott Decker and Michael Kenney, are disturbing because they continue to show a consistent level of commitment on the part of the criminal to refine and advance their criminal profession in order to sustain the criminal business enterprise.

In light of these realizations, what then can law enforcement and the private sector do?

I will explore innovative ideas and answers to this question in upcoming posts.

Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions below!


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