Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Organised crime and common transit networks

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 233

Simon Mackenzie
ISBN 0 642 24271 2 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2002


Given the common structure of the networks of transport and distribution for a range of illicit commodities, including drugs, diamonds, antiquities, arms, stolen vehicle parts and abalone, and the common nature of the skills required to successfully operate underground trading links, this paper asks whether the same personnel are involved in the movement of some or all of these illicit goods, and considers the nature of such "multi competent" smuggling networks. The paper analyses the market in illicit goods in terms of four groups, categorised by the legal status of the commodity at each of three stages of the market: source, international transport, and destination, and distinguishes between dependent and opportunistic multiple smuggling competences.The paper also considers the implications of multiple competences for crime prevention and detection, concluding that if criminal smuggling networks have multiple competences, then the police investigating them should have multiple competences too.