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THE NEED TO COORDINATE COMBATING ORGANISED CRIME IN THE CIS MEMBER STATES

Дата публикации: 09 июня 2016
Автор: Hamlet Yegiazaryan
Публикатор: Александр Павлович Шиманский
Рубрика: АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЯЗЫК (HAPPY ENGLISH)
Источник: (c) http://portalus.ru
Номер публикации: №1465465419 / Жалобы? Ошибка? Выделите проблемный текст и нажмите CTRL+ENTER!


Hamlet Yegiazaryan, (c)

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Hamlet Yegiazaryan, adviser, Military Cooperation and Security Department, CIS Executive Committee
It is a well-known fact that the ex-USSR republics have started facing the phenomena and processes they have rarely experienced before. These are organised crime, criminalisation of the economy, corruption, illegal drugs traffic and weapons smuggling, uncontrolled migration, threat of internal political conflicts and many others.

Some kinds of crime have acquired a well-articulated international and transnational character. The native illegal business is getting actively engaged in the international drugs traffic, "living goods" and arms trade, illegal and half legal export of raw materials, non-ferrous metals, pieces of art and antiques.

Economic and financial crimes connected with false bankruptcy, profit concealment and tax evasion are getting increasingly menacing. Closed criminal groups are established in international banking systems and fuel and energy consortiums.

There is no doubt today about the impossibility to defeat crime without constant and active coordination of actions by the Commonwealth countries. The crime penetrates all the spheres of social life. It hampers social-economic reforms and undermines belief of the public in the ability of state structures to safeguard their rights and freedoms. Organised criminal groups make use of the commonly transparent borders between the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to money laundering and smuggling. This leads to the plundering of national wealth and the lowering of the yet low life standards.

It is also apparent that the measures being taken in the CIS states are not always adequate to the criminal activities. The scope of the organised crime, its capabilities of penetrating the economic, political, social and financial spheres are not taken account of. Being far from the ideal, the coordination of the parties is often of sporadic and one-time character and depends on random factors.

To make it clear, let us get down to the statistics. Significantly, 1996 and 1997 manifest the tendency towards the overall decline of crimes filed in the CIS. In the absolute figures the situation is as follows: 1996 - 3.8 mln crimes (4% less than in 1995) and 1997 - 3.5 mln crimes (7% less than in the previous year).

Therefore, the increase by 2% of the total number of crimes in January - September 1998, as compared to the three quarters of 1997 (see Table 1), turned out somewhat unexpected.

Table 1

The total number of registered crimes in the CIS states in 1996-98


1996
1997
1997 in % to 1996
January - September
Jan - Sep 1998 in % to Jan - Sep 1997

1997
1998

Azerbaijan
17,528
16,402
93.6
12,630
11,547
91.4

Armenia
12,479
12,355
99.0
9,405
7,572
80.5

Belarus
127,232
128,420
100.9
95,460
90,225
94.5

Georgia
14,483
13,876
95.8
10,849
11,198
103.2

Kazakhstan
183,977
162,491
88.3
123,129
106,324
86.4

Kyrgyzstan
39,623
37,262
94.1
28,842
26,470
91.8

Moldova(1)
44,485
48,915
110.0
36,043
34,447
95.6

Russia(2)
2,625,081
2,397,311
91.3
1,800,757
1,883,880
104.6

Tajikistan
13,386
13,201
98.6
9,994
10,386
103.9

Turkmenistan
14,784
-
-
11,016
-
-

Uzbekistan
65,980
66,982
101.5
48,954
-
-

Ukraine
617,262
589,208
95.5
442,353
432,545
97.8

 

 


(1) Hereinafter according to CIS Goscomstat data (2) (3) The data is given in compliance with the new Criminal Code of the Russian Federation introduced on 1 January 1997. (4) The nature of crimes continued to change. Grave and organised group crimes are consistently coming up to the forefront. Grave crimes constitute approximately one half of all crimes in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, one third - in Georgia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine, one forth - in Azerbaijan, one fifth - in Moldova, and one sixth - in Armenia.

Along with the average decrease of the total number of violent crimes against personality by 9% in the CIS states, the number of premeditated murders in 1997 increased in Belarus by 6%, in Georgia - by 7%, in Moldova - by 4% and in Tajikistan - by 3%. The number of heavy bodily injuries in Armenia increased by 7%, in Belarus - by 4% and in Moldova - by 8%. Within the 9 months of the last year the number of premeditated murders increased in Armenia by 5%, in Belarus - by 6%, in Kyrgyzstan - by 2%, in Moldova - by 4%, in Russia and Ukraine - by 1%. The number of heavy bodily injuries increased by 6% in Armenia and Belarus, by 12% in Georgia and by 8% in Tajikistan.

Generally, the criminal situation in the CIS states remains difficult, to put it mildly. It is largely determined by the high level of the consolidation of criminal groups, professionalism of their members and enviable mobility which is to a great extent facilitated by transparency of borders within CIS.

The wide expansion of the organised crime and its growing influence seriously threaten security of the Commonwealth states, since the crime and its huge capitals actively penetrate all spheres of the economic and social life.

View from the outside

"Unemployment, low living standard, insufficient social protection of citizens, poor funding of the law enforcement agencies do not allow to hope for the reduction of crime level in the CIS states", announces Radio Liberty. "Both big and small Russian towns are divided into spheres of influence by criminal groups. On average, every fourth citizen falls victim of fraud, blackmail, financial machinations or robbery annually".

The outbreak of the international financial crisis made the economic sphere - mainly financial-banking and industrial structures - the priority area of the activities of the organised crime. The criminal business successfully masters all the existing property forms and makes active use of former and new management methods. It "fitted" market relations easily. Predominance of extraeconomic and force methods of competition up to physical elimination of unfavourable partners do not add authority or effectiveness to the reforms being carried out.

In fact, the organised crime has acquired most of the state functions: sanctioning, taxation, arbitration, securing and even pursuing and punishing the "guilty". Professionalism of the crimes connected with forced debt pay-back, ordered murders relating to the distribution of criminal profits, intimidation of business people to provide profitable deals, seizure of spheres of influence and protection of monopoly "rights" in the criminal business has grown.

In several countries the redistribution of the public property in favour of the new nomenclature as well as Mafia's capital connected with it, has acquired frightening scope. The data available to the researchers is contained in the Report of the Ministry of Interior to President B. Yeltsin "On the Situation and Measures to Enhance Combating Economic Crime and Corruption in the Russian Federation". It reads that the scope of the shadow economy in the country has reached one forth of the GDP.

According to the estimates of the Central Bank, until the August crisis, monthly outflow of foreign currency from Russia constituted from 1.5 to 2 bn USD.

The illegal outflow of hard currency remains a serious problem for the majority of the CIS states. This issue was addressed most intently at the Session of the CIS Interior Ministers Council held in mid-December 1998. The Decision adopted by the Council highlights a tendency towards the increase in the number of law infringements in the sphere of economy, especially in the banking and crediting-financial spheres. Amongst the most urgent measures required for a more effective implementation of the Agreement on the Cooperation in Combating Crime in the Sphere of Economy (April 1996) are the exchange of operational and other information of mutual interest, conduct of joint investigation activities, organisation of joint scientific research, strengthening of the multilateral international legal framework (within the CIS) and others.

The drugs traffic - the most profitable type of criminal activity - should be noted amongst different spheres of the organised crime rapidly acquiring international character.

It was stressed at the meeting of the Coordination Council of the Prosecutor Generals of the CIS countries, held in the end of October 1998, that organised criminal groups and drugs syndicates are seeking ways to create new drugs routes through the boundaries of the Commonwealth, the global drugs distribution network in Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle Asia and other CIS' neighbouring regions and to gain new markets on huge areas. There is proof of attempts to use the CIS as a proving ground for testing and introducing the newly synthesised drugs, marketing of different medications and the artificial increase of demand for them.

In this context, it would be worthwhile to refer to foreign sources. According to western experts, in Afghanistan alone drugs traffic brings in over 45 bn USD annually. The southern neighbour produces approximately 7,000-8,000 tons of opium and 70-100 tons of heroine every year. It is not hard to imagine what outcome of this drugs expansion for the countries of the CIS and the European countries might be unless the effective and coordinated actions counteract it.

This conclusion can be confirmed by recent events that raised a broad public response: the arrest of the gang in Moscow that delivered a large portion of heroine from Tajikistan (in the black market its cost is 1 bn USD); and the results of the operation "Zaslon" (bulwark) conducted in Tajikistan. In the course of this operation roughly 10 kg of drugs, including 1 kg of pure heroine, were confiscated.

However, both local authorities and foreign experts believe that the withdrawn tons of deadly potion is merely a small portion of drugs crossing the border and penetrating into the CIS and Europe. It is possible to build a bulwark against it only by joint effort with the reinforcement of logistic support of units combating drugs turnover. Jointly with international structures, "security belt" has to be established around Afghanistan, which, as it has already been mentioned, remains the main drugs supplier to the CIS. According to the UN experts, now 40 tons of heroine are ready for "shipment" from its territory.

The Coordination Council approved then two important projects: The Agreement of the CIS Member States on Cooperation in Combating Drug Addiction and Drugs Traffic and The Provisions on the Inter-State Centre for Combating Drug Addiction and Drugs Traffic.

It is planned to use the method of controlled delivery more extensively to expose drug dealers with international connections and to block channels of illegal drugs trafficking, to increase the cooperation with the UN Programme on the International Drugs Control for the implementation of joint projects on personnel training, as well as rendering assistance in technical support to agencies and units combating drug abuse.

Highlighted above are just some of the problems relating to organised crime and the possibilities to counterbalance it with coordinated efforts of the CIS countries.

It is a fact that establishment of a solid international legal framework for cooperation, harmonisation and unification of national legislation of the CIS nations is an indispensable condition for real progress in combating crime. Hence during the first months pursuant to the establishment of the CIS the councils of the heads of states and the heads of governments signed multilateral documents, the implementation of which would open up vast opportunities for the consolidation of efforts in combating crime, the use of the previously set up structures and gaining experience in the new conditions.

As early as on 8 December 1991, in the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS the parties acknowledged that combating organised crime refers to the sphere of their joint activity realised on equal basis through common coordinating institutions. This provision was then embodied in the Charter of the CIS.

Concerted activity of all CIS member states based on approved principles and single policy is required to attach appropriate harmony and consistency to the nations' uncoordinated efforts. They were set out in the Inter-State Programme of Joint Actions to Combat Organised Crime and Other Types of Dangerous Crime on the Territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States for the Period up to the Year 2000, adopted in May 1996. Its implementation made it possible to establish the basis for the international legal framework for cooperation, to conduct a number of effective joint activities that proved vast potential capabilities stemming from consolidation of efforts and coordination of interests and actions.

A harmonious system of bodies designated for coordination of activities of national law enforcement institutions, establishment of a legal framework for multilateral interested cooperation of the Commonwealth countries in this critical area was formed. The Bureau of Coordination of Combating Organised Crime and Other Criminal Activities was established, as well as the Interior Ministers Council, the Council of the Heads of Security and Special Services, and Coordinating Council of the Prosecutor Generals.

It should be noted that within the framework of the Programme realisation a lot of work has been done to establish a unified inter-state data bank on persons involved in terrorist activities and illegal military units. Special database has been compiled on criminal leaders and active participants of international and interregional organised criminal communities, companies, agencies, banks and the property used to legalise criminal incomes on the territory of the CIS and other countries. The Interior Ministers Council plans to establish a collective use database on foreign citizens and people without citizenship involved in illegal activities in the CIS, as well as persons who committed crimes against foreigners. Setting up of an automated stolen cars data bank is expected.

Amongst the measures that can provide high efficiency of the criminal prosecution of organised crime, experts single out the necessity of unification of national legislation. According to them, there exist all objective grounds for that: firstly, many years of experience of law enforcement agencies working within a single state; secondly, commonality of their legal consciousness formed through the years of joint activities. This is where the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly can and should say it final word.

Two standing committees out of nine (the Legal Committee and the Defence and Security Committee) are directly involved in the development of the legal basis for combating crime. They have by now developed model civil and criminal codes, criminal code of practice, executive criminal code and others. An ad hoc commission was established in September 1995 on development of model legislative acts directly dealing with organised crime combating. It has already prepared model acts "On Organised Crime Combating", "On Counteracting Illegal Trade of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances", "On Counteracting Illegal Weapons Trade", "On Antiterrorism", "On Liability for Legalisation of Criminal Profits", and "On the Protection of Law Enforcement Personnel and Criminal Process Participants". These were adopted at the plenary meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and forwarded to the national parliaments to be used during development of their legislation. Model documents "On Corruption Combating" and others have also been worked out.

As regards joint work of the CIS on strengthening international legal framework for cooperation, it is worth mentioning that along with the establishment of its own legal basis, the process has been activated on joining the principal UN agreements relating to the criminal and legal sphere, as well as its special agencies and the Council of Europe.

What concrete work has been done by law enforcement bodies of the CIS states against transnational crime? We can cite dozens of examples of the coordinated operations successfully carried out within the framework of the CIS Programme.

In the conditions of a complex criminal situation the cooperation of the CIS states cannot remain sporadic or chaotic. It should rather be continuous and smooth running. Regrettably, crime grows and perfects itself faster than the competent bodies of the Commonwealth states approve joint retaliatory measures. However, it should naturally be the other way around: timely and not just adequate, but also pre-emptive measures against the criminal world are required, as well as full coordination and conformity of joint actions.

The criminal situation which is being formed in the CIS, requires reinforced coordination and interoperability of the CIS law enforcement agencies and special services, concentration of efforts and resources in the most critical areas of crime combating, and transition to a qualitatively new level of informational-analytical work.

The necessity to establish the basis for the inter-state policy of combating organised crime, a doctrine of informational security of the CIS states, development of provisions for secure foreign economic transactions by national corporations, counteractions to capital exports and its laundering outside the CIS member states have long ago come to a head. A solid information basis embracing all directions of the interested cooperation in combating transnational crime should be formed. It is high time the projects of the establishment of a single information environment that can provide for a full-fledged interoperability of law enforcement bodies were put into practice.

Unfortunately, combating transnational crime mostly comes to the reaction to the already committed crimes. There is a deficiency of joint measures aimed at prevention of crime attempts and purposeful disruption of international ties of criminal communities. The exchange of operational information has not yet become customary. Operational inquiry, investigation, criminological and other references, as well as joint databases are updated too slowly. The existing capabilities of reception Interpol's criminal analytical data on the leaders of organised criminal groups with the use of the most state-of-the-art computer technologies have not been realised so far. The investigation and return of stolen cars remains an irresolvable problem, mainly due to inadequacy of the information exchange to the modern requirements.

The analysis of the state of transnational crime and the course of the implementation of the Inter-State Programme urges on a conclusion on the necessity to adopt additional measures for strengthening joint efforts.

In this regard, a draft Inter-State Programme of Joint Measures in the Area of Crime Combating for the Period of 2000 - 2003 has been worked out.

To coordinate the efforts and adopt concerted measures associated with crime combating within the CIS, permanent bodies have been established, each having its own direction and sphere of activities.

Опубликовано 09 июня 2016 года




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