By definition, transnational crime crosses borders—and increasingly hopscotches across multiple sovereign frontiers and even continents.

The Special Envoy on Transnational Crime in the Philippines offers this definition.

In order to achieve their goals, these criminal groups use systematic violence and corruption.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that globally 40 percent of cocaine and heroin are interdicted somewhere between production and consumption, but less than one percent of drug money is ever recovered. Transnational organized crime (TOC) is organized crime coordinated across national borders, involving groups or markets of individuals working in more than one country to plan and execute illegal business ventures.

But efforts to combat it … Transnational crime refers to certain criminal phenomena transcending international borders, transgressing the laws of several states, or having an impact on another country. Similarly, transnational organized crime in diverse areas threatens peace and security and undermines the economic and social development of societies around the world. Transnational Crime Comparative Criminal Justice Systems Introduction: Transnational crime is a growing problem. Transnational organized crime (TOC) poses a significant and growing threat to national and international security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability across the globe. The reality, however, highlights the centrality of crime – and in particular transnational organised crime – to both security as a concern and defence and policing as activities that seek to combat it. Organized crime networks are billion-dollar businesses operating in many crime areas.

As a general rule, organized criminal networks are involved in many different types of criminal activities spanning several countries. Discussion of transnational crimes is used to make points regarding ways that legal corporations might facilitate criminal organizations (money laundering) or how corporate activity can change from being legal to illegal through legislation or be argued as criminal through definition (environmental crime). Take just one aspect of the transnational crimes analyzed in the following pages—drug trafficking—as an example. transnational organised crime and international security may appear to be an interesting sidebar from core defence-related concerns.

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