Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Considerations on the Economic and Financial Crime Investigation Phenomenon Peculiar to European Judicial Scope

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Considerations on the Economic and Financial Crime Investigation Phenomenon Peculiar to European Judicial Scope

Article excerpt


The recent economic and financial crisis, with little chance of being exceeded in short term, has grown the economic and financial crime phenomenon, exceeding the national authorities due to super state institutions, structures and computerization on a large scale; the wide range of offenses, such as EU subsidies fraud, cross-border smuggling, laundering black money, computer crimes, etc. impose countermeasures going from prevention to their coercion in ways to reduce or even stop the phenomenon, which seems to be always one step ahead of the law. Accomplishing preliminary acts of criminal prosecution, investigation methods, evidence, preventive and protective measures must take the economic and financial phenomenon of crime at higher levels.

Keywords: coercion, crime, investigation, methodology, prevention, scope

1. Introduction

The economic and financial crime specific for the beginning of the third millennium is characterized by accelerated globalization and unprecedented dynamism, especially of large-scale fraud performed by specialists. Amid an evolving economic and financial crisis, which started in 2008 in the U.S., has not spared Europe, mainly affecting a series of banks and the economies of most countries, the modern organized crime tends to grow continuously, as they engage in all forms of economic-financial, legal or illegal activities, the essential condition being that they have to be profitable, providing the possibility of bringing into the legal system channel the obtained funds and getting the grouping influence and power to a higher level, using any means, especially corruption.

According to the studies conducted in the United States of America, it was listed the organized crime in business matters among the threats to national security. The report presented by Louis Freeh, director of the FBI in October 1997, at the U.S. Congress, highlighted the fact that criminal organizations are particularly dangerous because it involves computer science, encryption technique and the use of money laundering structure for recycling hundreds of million dollars. In his opinion, the organized crime groups operating in the U.S. come from Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and other parts of the world (Conseil de G Europe, Doc. 7971/ 22.12.1997, Criminalité des affaires: une menace pour G Europe/ The European Council, Doc.797 1/12.22. 1997, Economic Crime: a Threat to Europe). Also, in the Report of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), of November 1998, the activity of transnational criminal organizations is considered a serious threat to the country's economic security by: crimes in the insurance domain bank fraud, fraud in the payment of fuel taxes, corruption, etc.

An important finding of the specialized European bodies is that the phenomenon of economic and financial crime often called the "business crime" or "white collar crime," is little known and investigated in relation to conventional crime. This fact results on one hand from the appearance of lower social risk, that is the misconception that these facts are less "dirty" than the ones specific to conventional crime, but especially from the politicization of crime control activities, which is the essential cause of the weak response to danger, a favoring condition for the development of criminal structures in the contemporary society. Business crime is perceived by the Council of Europe as a threat to Member States, which is why it has issued the Recommendation no R(81)12 of 25 June 1981, which presents the list of illegal activities confined to this type of crime: Offenses relating to cartel formation; Fraudulent practices and abuses committed by multinational companies; Fraudulent obtaining or misappropriation of funds allotted by the State or international organization; Cybercrime (e.g. data theft, violation of secrecy, manipulation of computer data); Creation of fictitious companies; The forgery of balance sheet and breach of undertaking the obligation of bookkeeping; Frauds which have consequences on commercial status and social capital; Fraud to the detriment of creditors (e. …

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