The debate on taking ‘the profit out of crime’ in most countries has been linked to an increasing recognition of the threat to national and international stability represented by organised crime groups. These groups, in so far as their goal is financial gain, are businesses and are therefore often structurally and operationally able to take full advantage of services provided by other groups or on occasion work with such through an associated or integrated strategy. One of the most lethal organised crime groups in this respect are the Yakuza, or ‘Boryukudan’. The sum total of their criminal activity produces an annual yield of countless millions through various ‘activities’ including money laundering and corporate blackmail. The majority of these activities are carried out by centralised organisations capable of operating through a host of jurisdictions. It has become quite evident, particularly with respect to the last 15 years, that the Yakuza have been able to obtain a powerful ‘stranglehold’ over the economic sectors in several different countries. It will be the purpose of this paper, therefore, to analyse the severity of this impact with particular respect to the situation in the USA and Japan. With the advent of an ever diversifying global marketplace, the opportunities seem endless. And the ‘nightmare’ for law enforcement agencies has just begun.
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