Transnational Crime

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Transnational Crime

From a criminological perspective, the concept of ‘transnational crime’ originates from the mid-1970s when the United Nations used the term in order to identify certain criminal activities which transcend national jurisdictions. In 1995, the United Nations identified eighteen categories of transnational and mostly organized criminality. Transnational crime was then defined as ‘offences whose inception, prevention and/or direct or indirect effects involved more than one country. (UN Doc. A.CONF. 169/15/Add.1 (1995)). The crimes listed included ,among others, money laundering, terrorist activities, theft of art and cultural objects, theft of intellectual property, illicit arms trafficking, aircraft hijacking, sea Piracy, insurance fraud, computer crime, environmental crime, trafficking in persons, trade in human body parts, illicit drug trafficking, fraudulent bankruptcy, infiltration of legal business, corruption and bribery of public or party officials.

Transnational Crime in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): On July 24, 2011, acting pursuant to the Constitution and U.S. laws including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), the National Emergencies Act, and section 301 of title 3 of the U.S. Code, President Obama issued Executive Order 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations.” 76 Fed. Reg. 44,757 (July 27, 2011). President Obama acted based on his finding:

“…that the activities of significant transnational criminal organizations, such as those listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States; they are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets. These organizations facilitate and aggravate violent civil conflicts and increasingly facilitate the activities of other dangerous persons. I therefore determine that significant transnational criminal organizations constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

United States: E.O. 13581

E.O. 13581 operates like other IEEPA executive orders, blocking property of those listed in its annex as well as persons designated subsequently. Section 1 of E.O. 13581 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to determine which other persons constitute “a significant transnational criminal organization,” or have provided material support for, or are owned or controlled by, or acted for or on behalf of, other designees. The term “significant transnational criminal organization” is defined in Section 3(e):

(e) the term “significant transnational criminal organization” means a group of persons, such as those listed in the Annex to this order, that includes one or more foreign persons; that engages in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states; and that threatens the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

The Annex lists four entities as significant transnational criminal organizations: the Brothers’ Circle; Camorra; the Yakuza; and Los Zetas. On August 11, 2011, OFAC provided additional identifying information for these four entities. 76 Fed. Reg. 51,125 (Aug. 17, 2011).

Transnational Crime in 2013

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Transnational Crime: On January 23, 2013, OFAC designated eight individuals and one entity pursuant to Executive Order 13581 of July 24, 2011, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations”: Marina Samuilovna Goldberg; Jiro Kiyota; Kazuo Uchibori; Antonio Zagaria; Carmine Zagaria; Nicola Zagaria; Pasquale Zagaria; and Inagawa-Kai. 78 Fed. Reg. 7485 (Feb. 1, 2013).

Some Aspects of Transnational Crime

On July 24, 2013, OFAC designated five individuals and two entities pursuant to E.O. 13581: Marco Di Lauro; Mario Riccio; Antonio Mennetta; Mariano Abete, Rosario Guarino; Avuar OOO, and Guga Arm SRO. 78 Fed. Reg. 49,334 (Aug. 13, 2013).

OFAC designations

On October 30, 2013, OFAC designated six individuals and four entities pursuant to E.O. 13581: Artur Badalyan; Grigory Victorovich Lepsveridze; Vadim Mikhaylovich Lyalin; Igor Leonidovich Shlykov; Sergey Yevgeniyevich Moskalenko; Yakov Rybalskiy; Gurgen House FZCO; Fasten Tourism LLC; M S Group Invest OOO; and Meridian Jet Management GMBH. 78 Fed. Reg. 66,989 (Nov. 7, 2013).

More OFAC designations

On December 19, 2013, OFAC designated four individuals pursuant to E.O. 13581: Hirofumi Hashimoto; Tadashi Irie; Shoroku Ishida; and Toshio Masaki. 78 Fed. Reg. 79,726 (Dec. 31, 2013).

Transnational Crime

In relation to the international law practice and Transnational Crime in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

Diplomatic Relations, Succession, Continuity of States, Statehood Issues

About this subject:

Status Issues

Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about Transitional National Council in Libya



  1. Transnational Crime in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

See Also

  • Sanctions
  • Export Controls
  • International Restrictions
  • Imposition Of Sanctions
  • Implementation Of Sanctions
  • Modification Of Sanctions
  • Transnational Crime

International Criminal Law
Human Trafficking
Human trafficking
Organized crime
State Terrorism

Transnational crime Bibliography

Reference works

Ralph D. Clifford et al. (eds.), Cybercrime : The Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of a Computer-related Crime (3rd ed.), 2011
Philip Reichel (ed.), Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, 2005
Aaron Fichtelberg, Crime Without Borders : An Introduction to International Criminal Justice, 2008
Sesha Kethineni (ed.), Comparative and International Policing, Justice, and Transnational Crime, 2010
Tom Obokata, Transnational Organised Crime in International Law, 2010


CURRIE, R.J., International & Transnational Criminal Law, Toronto : Irwin Law, 2010
FICHTELBERG, A., Crime without Borders : an Introduction to International Criminal Justice, Upper Saddle River, NJ etc. : Pearson Education , 2008
KETHINENI, S. (ed.), Comparative and International Policing, Justice, and Transnational Crime, Durham, NC : Carolina Academic Press, 2010
LETSCHERT, R. (ed.), The New Faces of Victimhood : Globalization, Transnational Crimes and Victim Rights, Dordrecht etc. : Springer, 2011
LUBAN, D., J. O’SULLIVAN and D.P.STEWART (eds.), International and Transnational Criminal law, Austin, TX etc. : Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2010
MANDEL, R., Dark logic : Transnational Criminal Tactics and Global Security, Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, 2011
OKUBO, S. (ed.), Human Security, Transnational Crime and Human Trafficking : Asian and Western Perspectives, London etc. : Routledge, 2011
PAPANICOLAU, G., Transnational Policing and Sex Trafficking in Southeast Europe : Policing the Imperialist Chain, Basingstoke etc. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
REICHEL, P. (ed.), Handbook of Transnational Crime & Justice, Thousand Oaks, CA etc. : Sage Publications, 2005
STOECKER, S. and L.SHELLEY (eds.), Human Traffic and Transnational Crime : Eurasian and American perspectives, Lanham, MD etc. : Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
WHITE, R., Transnational Environmental Crime : Toward an Eco-Global Criminology, New York, NY etc. : Routledge, 2011
WILLIAMS, P. and D. VLASSIS (eds.), Combating Transnational Crime : Concepts, Activities and Responses, London etc. : Frank Cass, 2001


BOISTER, N., “‘Transnational criminal law’? “, 14 European Journal of International Law (2003), pp. 953-976
GASPAR, R., “Tackling International Crime : Forward into the Third Era” , in: Combating International Crime : the Longer Arm of the Law, London etc. : Routledge-Cavendish, 2008, pp. 8-28
KNEEBONE, S. and J. DELJAK, “Combating Transnational Crime in the Greater Mekong Subregion : the Cases of Laos and Cambodia” , in: Trafficking and Human Rights : European and Asia-Pacific Perspectives, Cheltenham etc. : Elgar (2010), pp. 133-152
MATIASEK, H. and T. PANKRATZ, “Developing a Comprehensive Understanding of Transnational Organized Crime by Applying a Constructivist Approach” , in : Hybrid and Cyber War as Consequences of the Asymmetry, Frankfurt am Main : Lang, 2011, pp. 225-246.
MUELLER, G.O.W., “Transnational Crime : Definitions and Concepts’, in: Combatting Transnational Crime, London etc. : Frank Cass, 2001, pp. 13-21
SCHLOENHARDT, A., “Transnational Organized Crime and International Criminal Law ” , in: International Criminal Law , Leiden : Nijhoff , 2008, pp. 939-962


United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, The Globalization of Crime : a Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment, Geneva : UNODC, 2010



Mentioned in these Entries

Education, Human Trafficking, International Criminal Law, International criminal law tags, International criminal law: Organized Crime and Narcotics, List of Justice organizations online resources, Piracy, country.

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