Saturday, August 18, 2007


RCMP reports surge in organized crime

Meagan Fitzpatrick
CanWest News Service
Saturday, August 18, 2007

OTTAWA -- Canadian police are tackling more organized crime this year than last, statistics released Friday reveal.

In its annual report on the state of organized crime, the RCMP said the number of gangs operating in 2007 jumped to 950 from 800 in 2006. {Snip} ...

The report provides an overview of the nature of organized crime, where and how it's taking place, and its effects on society. It said that crime groups can be found everywhere in Canada, from major urban centres to rural areas, and they all have one thing in common: making money.

"Wherever there is profit to be made, organized crime can be found," the study said.

The illegal drug trade still makes up the bulk of organized crime activity in Canada, with about 80 per cent of all gangs involved in it. The majority are growing, distributing and transporting marijuana and much of the activity is in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Those provinces are also hubs for cocaine distribution to the rest of the country once it enters Canada.

Closely connected to the drug trade is the illegal gun trade, the report said in a feature section on firearms. Criminals need guns to commit their crimes and for personal protection, and the drug trade fuels the demand for guns because it is "highly competitive, extremely profitable and consequently fertile ground for violent disagreements between and within criminal organizations." {Snip} ...

Organized criminals are also using sophisticated techniques to commit financial crimes such as mortgage fraud, identity theft and money laundering, the RCMP said.

Buying and selling counterfeit goods is also generating billions of dollars for crime groups in Canada. Some are also engaged in human smuggling and trafficking.


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