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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120503 Find in a Library
Title: Asian Organized Crime
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:58  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1989)  Pages:12-17
Author(s): L L Keene
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Asian organized crime (AOC) groups are involved in murder, kidnaping, extortion, gambling, drugs, and money laundering, and have the potential of becoming the biggest law enforcement problem in the U.S.
Abstract: There are several similarities between AOC and La Cosa Nostra (LNC), indicating that similar investigative and prosecutive techniques can be used against both. There is a working relationship between AOC and LNC that has included trading heroin for loan-sharking capital and weapons, performing reciprocal contract killings, and operating cooperative illegal gambling ventures. The illegal drug trade is the factor elevating Asian criminals into mainstream America. Chinese criminal organizations, or triads, were originally established as resistance groups to the Ching Dynasty that ruled China from the 17th to early 20th centuries. They still employ initiation rites involving oaths of loyalty, secrecy, and brotherhood, which are enforced by an individual trained in the martial arts and responsible for internal and external security. Triads are composed of active supporters who join to avoid harassment, and people who seek a criminal career. Triad members who have emigrated to the U.S. have joined other criminal street gains. Tongs are groups whose memberships are largely non-criminal; however, some tongs are used as fronts for Chinese organized crime that prey mostly on Chinese Americans and immigrants. The Japanese organized crime syndicate, Yakuza, consists of 2500 groups and 110,000 individuals; their existence is openly recognized in Japan, and members constitute a separate class with its own wealth, culture, and political ties. This pyramid organization is highly competitive, with power concentrated in the boss's hands. Since 1974, there has been Yakuza activity in the U.S. to secure illegal weapons, invest excess capital, and run the Yakuza tourist business which works in agreement with Japanese tour operators. AOC present unique law enforcement problems because the crimes are largely confined to the Asian community, where people cannot speak the language, are suspicious of police, and reluctant to deal with the criminal justice system. 6 endnotes.
Main Term(s): Asian Americans
Index Term(s): Criminal infiltration of business; Organized crime; Underground economy
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