This book contributes to the literature on organized crime by providing a detailed account of the various nuances of what happens when criminal organizations misuse or penetrate legitimate businesses. It advances the existing scholarship on attacks, infiltration, and capture of legal businesses by organized crime and sheds light on the important role the private sector can play to fight back. It considers a range of industries from bars and restaurants to labour-intensive enterprises such as construction and waste management, to sectors susceptible to illicit activities including transportation, wholesale and retail trade, and businesses controlled by fragmented legislation such as gambling.


Organized criminal groups capitalize on legitimate businesses beleaguered by economic downturns, government regulations, natural disasters, societal conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic. To survive, some private companies have even become the willing partners of criminal organizations. Thus, the relationships between licit businesses and organized crime are highly varied and can range from victimization of businesses to willing collusion and even exploitation of organized crime by the private sector – albeit with arrangements that typically allow plausible deniability. In other words, these relationships are highly diverse and create a complex reality which is the focus of the articles presented here.


This book will appeal to students, academics, and policy practitioners with an interest in organized crime. It will also provide important supplementary reading for undergraduate and graduate courses on topics such as transnational security issues, transnational organized crime, international criminal justice, criminal finance, non-state actors, international affairs, comparative politics, and economics and business courses.

chapter |8 pages


ByKimberley L. Thachuk, Yuliya Zabyelina

chapter Chapter 1|17 pages

Theorizing the Linkages between the Private Sector and Organized Crime

ByYuliya Zabyelina

chapter Chapter 2|13 pages

A Review of Methods in Research on Organized Crime Infiltration of Legitimate Businesses

ByFrancesca M. Calamunci

chapter Chapter 3|16 pages

Organized Crime and the Haulage Sector

ByLivia Wagner, Lucia Bird Ruiz Benitez de Lugo

chapter Chapter 4|15 pages

Private Port Authorities and Organized Crime

ByLuca Storti, Anna Sergi, Yuliya Zabyelina

chapter Chapter 6|17 pages

Organized Crime and the Hydrocarbons Industry

ByDavid Soud

chapter Chapter 7|16 pages

Trafficking in Persons and the Hotel Industry

ByYuliya Zabyelina, Thi Hoang

chapter Chapter 8|14 pages

Organized Crime in the Waste Management Industry

BySerena Favarin, Kimberley L. Thachuk

chapter Chapter 9|17 pages

Organized Crime in the Fisheries Sector

ByGohar A. Petrossian, Kimberley L. Thachuk, Yuliya Zabyelina

chapter Chapter 10|14 pages

Organized Forest Crimes

Charcoal and Timber Trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
ByDaan P. van Uhm, Milou M. Tjoonk, Eliode Y. Bakole

chapter Chapter 11|17 pages

Organized Crime in the Agri-Food Industry

ByAlice Rizzuti

chapter Chapter 12|15 pages

Organized Crime and the Retail Sector

ByMarco Dugato, Caterina Paternoster

chapter Chapter 13|15 pages

Organized Crime Money Laundering through Online Gambling Businesses in Great Britain

ByPeter Duncan, Nicholas Lord

chapter Chapter 14|14 pages

Private Art Businesses and Organized Crime

ByDonna Yates, Christoph Rausch

chapter Chapter 15|18 pages

Organized Crime and the Pharmaceutical Industry

ByYuliya Zabyelina, Stephen Noguera

chapter Chapter 16|15 pages

Organized Crime Links to Tobacco Companies

ByJay P. Kennedy

chapter Chapter 17|14 pages

Organized Crime and the Private Security Industry

ByAnja P. Jakobi

chapter Chapter 18|19 pages

Private Sector Criminal Risk Assessment and Risk Management

ByPhil Williams, Colin P. Clarke