Transnational Organized Crime and International Security: Business as Usual?

By Mats Berdal; Mónica Serrano | Go to book overview

Notes
1
The definition of transnational relations used here is from Thomas RisseKappen (1995, p. 3): “regular interactions across national boundaries when at least one actor is a non-state agent or does not operate on behalf of a national government or an intergovernmental organization.
2
Slavery was formally outlawed in the Ottoman Empire under European pressure in 1855 (Rogan 1999, p. 11). However, it was still flourishing in Arabia in the 1920s, only eventually being banned in Saudi Arabia in 1962, when an estimated 4,000 slaves remained (Lacey 1981, pp. 177, 345).
3
The Arab Bank was established by Abdulhameed Shoman in 1930. The Shoman family has dominated the institution ever since, despite its development some sixty years later into a bank with around U. S. $13 billion worth of assets, more than one hundred branches and affiliates, and a presence in some twenty-six countries. By that time, the chairman of the board of directors was Abdulhameed's son, Abdulmajeed Shoman, while the deputy chairman was his younger brother, Khalid Shoman (Jordan Times April 2, 1990).
4
The transformation of transnational organized crime was not confined to the oil-producing countries or states subject to internal upheaval. Menachem Amir (1996) notes that organized crime, such as robberies, fencing, and the smuggling of high-tax items, emerged as a serious criminal problem in Israel around the same time.
5
The development of this vast smuggling empire at the center of the regime in Baghdad has not always been smooth and tension-free. In August 1995, friction between Saddam Hussain's cousin and son-in-law, Hussain Kamil, and his son Uday, in part over control of smuggling, prompted the defection to Jordan of Hussain, another son-in-law, Saddam Kamil al-Majid, and their wives.
6
Although exporting crude oil and product was overwhelmingly the most important area of Iraqi illicit exports, smuggling also extended to goods approved for humanitarian purposes that had been reexported, presumably by those at the center of the Iraqi regime. In August 1999, the Kuwaiti authorities apprehended a boat carrying such goods that had drifted into Kuwaiti waters, probably in an attempt to avoid interdiction by U. S. or British naval forces (EIU Business Middle East September 16–30, 1999).
7
These estimates are respectively from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (letter to the author, June 19, 2000); the UK Ministry of Defense (nonattributable author interview, June 8, 2000); and the Economist Intelligence Unit (Iraq Country Report, May 2000, p. 14).
8
There is evidence to suggest that the Israeli state has struggled to combat other aspects of transnational criminal activity. In 1998, for example, it was reported that the border police had stopped arresting Palestinians illegally in Israel because of the congestion that apprehending them would produce in detention camps and police stations (Krau 1998b).

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