Government complicity in illegal activities

Other Names:
Government complicity in drug trafficking
Government complicity in illegal arms trade
Government links to organized crime
Complicity of politicians with organized crime
Connivance between governing parties and organized crime

[France] In 1994 a member of parliament was assassinated as a result of her campaign against the widespread Mafia-style practices on the French Riveira involving an alliance of local gangsters, businessmen and politicians, characterized by vague rules, easy threats, arrogance and a network of protection and debtors.

[Italy] Efforts to curtail organized crime have been carried forward by a a small number of officials with only weak support from a succession of governments; the level of support has raised questions about the complicity of the government. In 1993 the parliament was asked to authorize the arrest of four of the Christian Democratic Party's ruling figures on charges of association with the Camorra Mafia to secure profits from construction projects. Naples has produced totally unexpected indications of the level of decade-long complicity between the Camorra and local politicians following the diversion of all of the £16 billion of state aid in response to the 1980 earthquake. The Camorra was able to appropriate successive grants and built its financial power from huge profits from the drug trade (estimated at US$1.8 billion per year in 1993). It was argued that the Christian Democrats had provided a semblance of democracy but their power had been effectively based upon corrupt patronage, vote rigging and an alliance with organized crime. The Mafia, for example, had become a useful accomplice in illegal exchanges of funds among business, politicians and corrupt officials. In 1993, for example, a group was charged with having established a "business committee" of politicians, businessmen and mobsters in Reggio Calabria, a city dominated by a Mafia-like crime syndicate called the 'Ndrangheta. Four of the politicians were already in jail for conspiring with mobsters in a political assassination.

[Peru] In 1993 the reforming president claimed that the legislature was corrupt and that some congressmen were linked to drug traffickers.

[UK] The UK government imposed an arms embargo on Iraq in 1985; a few weeks later, nuclear detonators bound for Iraq were seized at Heathrow airport, one of dozens of export shipments of military materials which breached the ban and were licensed by the government. In the UK in 1991 a successful police operation against organized crime was abandoned for no apparent reason.

[USA] Reports allege that John Kennedy, whilst president, had sexual liaisons with a woman who simultaneously had an affair with a Mafia mobster involved in the plot by the USA to assassinate Fidel Castro. A Congressional report indicated in 1991 that the government of the USA had enough information in the mid-1980s about criminal activity within the BCCI (notably in relation to money laundering proceeds from drugs sales) but failed to act, even to the point of suppressing recommendations to investigate more fully.

Gangsters do not go around raiding banks anymore, they are in the real estate business. And that is where the alliance with politicians comes in. As developers they need to get planning permission to make their profits.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
17.10.2021 – 09:45 CEST