Subscribe Now Subscribe Today
Research Article

Organized Crime in Kazakhstan: The Past, the Present, Development Tendencies and Social Consequences

Bakhyt Moldatjaevich Nurgaliyev, Kanat Sametovich Lakbayev and Alexey Vladimirovich Boretsky
Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit Linkedin StumbleUpon E-mail

The aim of this study is to investigate the organized crime in Kazakhstan, identify the trends of its development and forecast its social impact. In the present article, the authors consider the issues of fighting the modern organized crime in Kazakhstan at the turn of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. It reflects the structure and dynamics of the organized crime, the features and tendencies of its development, the scope and activities as well as assessment of its severity. Special attention has been paid to the impact of the Russian and Chinese criminal organizations on the process of the organized crime development in Kazakhstan, also their increasing internalization and interaction noted. In addition, the organizational, legal and other measures taken by law enforcement agencies in the fight against organized crime have been provided. Based on the international experience, the idea of reasonable supervising within the socially acceptable limits was discussed.

Related Articles in ASCI
Search in Google Scholar
View Citation
Report Citation

  How to cite this article:

Bakhyt Moldatjaevich Nurgaliyev, Kanat Sametovich Lakbayev and Alexey Vladimirovich Boretsky, 2014. Organized Crime in Kazakhstan: The Past, the Present, Development Tendencies and Social Consequences. Journal of Applied Sciences, 14: 3436-3445.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2014.3436.3445

Received: April 02, 2014; Accepted: August 13, 2014; Published: September 26, 2014


Organized crime has always existed and still thrives in all countries without exception, even in the hard authoritarian (totalitarian) regimes. Neither Stalin’s camps nor the physical destruction of the Italian mafia leaders under Mussolini and many other methods cannot be considered exhaustive in combating organized crime (Grutzner, 1970). On the contrary, after moving from Italy to America between 1880 and 1924, it fulfilled its terror and deeply rooted, not only in American life (Lurigio and Binder, 2013) but also in the minds of many generations in other countries, including Kazakhstan.

Since then, the criminality has made great strides and in many respects produced the global criminal methods. According to incomplete data, the world circulation of criminal industry estimates within 1 trillion U.S. dollars, almost half of it falls to the share of drug trafficking. Moreover, over the past 14 years the drugs sold in Afghanistan solely exceed U.S. $ 1 Tn. More than 1 million people worldwide died from Afghan heroin and drugs production in the country increased 40 times higher (Ivanov, 2013).

As noted by foreign experts, criminal organizations are sources of strategic threats and challenges, related not only to police. Transnational criminal organizations are involved in significant dynamic and adversarial relationship with governments worldwide. These organizations adapt to hazardous conditions by restructuring and redirecting their activities in accordance with the line of least resistance as well as developing new and integrated risk management strategy.

Given the ability of criminal organizations to adapt the measures taken against them, the states concerned should be aware that they jointly counteract strategic adversaries and therefore should regularly evaluate and respond to their actions.

Threat assessment and adaptation of the strategy is a continuous process in which governments try to surpass the flexibility and adaptability of transnational criminal organizations (MFAR, 1999b).

Organized Crime Perception Index (OCPI) (The World Justice Project, 2014) which reflects the level of perception of potential victims-businessmen and experts, almost 40% of 156 surveyed countries have high levels of organized crime. The most unfavorable situation persists in the CIS countries, where the level of organized crime remains one of the highest not only in Europe but also in the entire world. Among the 15 countries with the worst rates in the levels of corruption and social disadvantage and low levels of efficiency of the criminal justice system and law, Russia holds 7th, Ukraine-9th and Kazakhstan-13th place (Zhernovoy and Sukharenko, 2012). This study has been done to find out the reasons for organized crime, it’s constant increase and effects on society.


Methodological bases of this study were the dialectical method of knowledge of socio-legal phenomena as well as systematic-structural, comparative legal, logical-theoretical and special scientific study methods. In addition, such sociological techniques as questionnaires and interviewing of law enforcement personnel were used.

In the present study, the authors have studied Kazakhstani and foreign scientific sources in the field of combating organized crime as a socially negative phenomenon.

Also, in the course of the study the authors have carried out a comparative analysis of the organized crime in the United States, China, Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries.

In addition, there have been analyzed the statistical data on the status and dynamics of organized crime in the Republic of Kazakhstan according to the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A great role in this study played, the analysis of the proceedings, initiated in response to the criminal activities as well as opinion polls of law enforcement officials.

To achieve objectivity of the study results, these methods have been applied comprehensively.


Organized crime in Kazakhstan at the turn of 20-21 centuries reached upto severe level, however, as throughout the former Soviet Union, organized crime did not exist on the surface. It was the setting of the communist leadership of the country and law enforcement. The early 90s of the last century were characterized by the destruction of a large country into separate republics, economic stagnation, the collapse of agriculture, moral decline, corruption of youth and other negative phenomena (Luneev, 1996).

During this period as in every collapsing system, the basic mechanisms of the state malfunctioned. So the law enforcement system of the republic has failed, it could not hold back the onslaught of violent and acquisitive crime and of course, its organized forms that seemed to be copied from Western mafias models. The most vulnerable were the financial, monetary systems of all CIS countries, separate sectors of the economy and agriculture.

According to Western experts, the representatives of organized crime controlled 35% of commercial banks, 40% of state-owned industries, 35% of private companies and 60% of businesses. The last had to pay taxes, bribes or protection money from 10 to 20% of its turnover (Rosselli, 1999).

The cruelest methods used the ordinary organized crime as well. Racket assassinations and kidnappings have become common place in the criminal statistics. Thus, it confirmed the belief in the uniqueness of the national organized crime. In general, it cannot be called wild compared to traditional, respectable foreign gangster syndicates such as the Chicago (Lombardo, 2013), or such as Cosa Nostra, Camorra, Yakuza, Triad and so on. It is likely with distinct elements of gangsterism (Nurgaliyev, 1997b).

In such difficult conditions, the leadership of our republic newly recognized independent (1991), was taking steps to reorganize the police. The functions to combat the organized crime were administered to the Ministry of Interior Affairs; specially created divisions were engaged in them, Department for Combating Organized Crime (DCOC MIA RK) with the field subdivisions. Then in 1996 State Investigative Committee (SIC) has been established which took charge of these special units after reorganization. However, visible results could not be achieved. Although similar functions belonged to National Security Committee (NSC) of Kazakhstan. In the mid-90s in the republic, attempts have been made to criminalize this phenomenon. Initially, a model Criminal Code (CC) of the CIS and later the codes of all countries had introduced an enhanced criminal liability for acts of organized crime. In the Kazakh, criminal code have also emerged independent legal norms for forms of complicity i.e., crimes by an organized group, a criminal association, for organizing a criminal community but in a strengthened version, responsibility for banditry was intensified.

The analysis of criminal cases materials and the operational information entering the Ministry of Internal Affairs indicated a stable trend of expansion of influence spheres of some ethnic OCG in Russia and transfer of a part of their criminal activities on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Besides such criminal activities as car theft, racketeering, kidnapping and assassination, traditional for these OCGs, they monopolized weapons market, counterfeit currency and drugs in Kazakhstan in the last years of the 20th century, created commercial enterprises in various business spheres, where they laundered capital, obtained in the result of criminal activity. In a number of offshore companies operating in Kazakhstan, a Russian Chechen criminal Diaspora laundered money from the sale of weapons and drugs (Curtis, 2002).

A significant part of the active functionaries of such ethnic OCGs resided or hid in the Russian Federation, making it difficult to suppress their criminal activities and bring them to justice for alleged crimes.

In the context of the economic collapse and the formation of oligarchic capital, the predominant activity of criminal organizations in Kazakhstan is the penetration into the economy. Their main goal was the rapid build of financial resources, their legalization in still working productive areas of the economy and services, skillfully combining the violent offenses with various forms of commercial activity (MFAR, 1999a).

In all areas of criminal activity, the listed Russian organized crime groups have reached the international level and successfully cooperated with foreign criminal organizations, including Kazakhstani OCG (Zhernovoy and Sukharenko, 2012).

A situation when a considerable part of the economic capacity and financial resources of the country could turn under control of the organized crime has developed. As the American researchers state, organized crime appears wherever there is a possibility of enrichment; for example, criminals skillfully use the unsettled preservations of the credit institutions savings which immediately created a kind of bait and the temptation for the application of their efforts in this sphere (Benson, 2013). This situation is a typical in Kazakhstan as well.

The range of criminal activities of criminal groups and communities significantly expanded from theft of state property and large-scale frauds to establish control over industrial enterprises and industries. According to experts, organized crime groups controlled 50% of private enterprises of different ownership forms and up to 60% of the state which are an effective means of carrying out illegal financial transactions (MFAR, 1999).

Statistics of the organized crime at the turn of the centuries testified to the rapid inquiry and investigation into the hundreds of organized criminal groups and communities, most of which (more than 1200 Fig. 1) have been convicted of criminal acts.

Particular concern was one form of organized crime i.e., robbery. If 4-5 facts of banditry had been recorded in the Republic in 1998-2010, in the following years more than 15 gangs were neutralized annually and only after 2006, the situation began to decline.

Operative study in an organized criminal environment conducted by DCOC MIA RK and their units in regions testified to the growing presence of domestic and foreign criminal organizations in strategically important sectors of the Kazakhstan economy under the guise of a pseudo-investor firms registered mainly in offshore areas.

Image for - Organized Crime in Kazakhstan: The Past, the Present, Development Tendencies and Social Consequences
Fig. 1:Development of the organized crime in 1998-2010

Their activities in direction of the Kazakh economy were neither managing nor engaging enough for the reconstruction and development of production investments or the implementation of social programs and was aimed at laundering the funds gained in criminal activity, super-profits at the expense of smuggling, tax evasion and capital outflow from the country into offshore.

Analytical intelligence activities testified that along with the traditional markets for drugs and prostitution, a significant part of automobile, commercial, tobacco, alcohol and liquor, gambling and entertainment, tourist, restaurant, hotel, porn and show business, export-import operations with strategic materials such as oil, gas, coal, timber, gold, precious and base metals, aluminum, phosphorus, grain and sugar in the Russian Federation control Slavic and Caucasian wing of thieves in law and some organized gangster criminal networks, both under their influence and independent.

Analytical intelligence testified about the negative trends occurring in the other sectors of the Kazakh economy, primarily in the metallurgical complex and oil and gas sector, where a number of Kazakh enterprises: Large factories, refineries, power plants, mines moved into management of offshore companies of dubious sense, led by persons within the Izmailovskaya OCG (Russia) and former shadow businessmen from Uzbekistan, well-known international criminals investigated by special services of Russia and some Western countries for involvement in financial fraud with fake notes, thefts in various industries, organizing a series of assassinations of a number of Russian bankers and others.

At the conclusion of Russian experts-sociologists (Kakotkin, 1996), the share of shadow economy in the Russian GDP reached 40% and thieves in law, organized criminal groups and corrupt officials in their service controlled regions where more than 2/3 of Russia resource potential is concentrated (MFAR, 1999a). In addition, Russian criminal groups controlled the criminal activities of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, a significant proportion of prostitution, trafficking in drugs and arms, got into financial and structures in North American and European countries as: the USA, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Greece, England, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, the Baltic states (Rosselli, 1999).

Undoubtedly, along with the states of Europe and America, neither the former Soviet republics nor the newly formed states of the CIS left the zone of interests of Russian criminal groups. Primarily, the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, rich in natural resources with great economic potential and able to serve as a key to promising markets of Asia and the Middle East because of its geopolitical position (Shelley, 1994).

Therefore, Kazakhstan, rich in natural resources having long borders with Russia and other Asian states, where the power is democratic and underworld is weak, and remains attractive to criminal organizations of not only Russia but other countries of the CIS and the far abroad.

In agriculture, a significant portion of elevators, flour complexes and farms (about 75%) of the former Kokshetau, Torgai and North Kazakhstan regions moved under management and ownership of ethnic criminal diasporas laundering money from the sale of drugs and weapons as well as funds stolen from the Russian budget, allocated for the restoration of Chechnya (Savenko, 1996).

Analysis of materials in the production of MIA RK and entering operational information, testified to the negative trend transforming into a system of matching of active organized criminal functionaries with representatives of criminalized business officials of customs and financial police which in tandem generally pursued a common goal to provide criminal income from smuggling, tax evasion and bribery (Savenko, 1996). It was found that individual customs officers, appearing in a criminal case materials and participated in the illegal frauds were in close connection with the criminal members of an organized crime group which is one of the elements of a criminal association of thief in law, head, who also received illegal profits from these operations.

A similar pattern of matching, organized crime groups with officials of law enforcement agencies can be traced to other customs borders of the republic. Investigation and the court found that each car passing through the customs post Khorgos on the Kazakh-Chinese border with export goods from Kazakhstan to China was subject to illegal extortion by police border post’s cargo department $ 100 U.S., cargo customs $ 500, Tax Police $ 1000.

In total, for passing through customs Khorgos from Kazakhstan to China each car paid extortions to frontier officers, customs and tax police in the amount from U.S. $ 1,600-2,000. A similar scheme can be traced in part of the goods imported into the country through the customs of China.

In addition to binding fiscal payments the customs officers levied charges for $ 1,500 for each car with imported goods, in the temporary warehouse.

Performed analysis of cargo turnover of the exported and imported goods indicates that the shadow turnover at customs Khorgos was about $ 1 million per month that were charged by the employees of the specified law enforcement agencies in the form of illegal fees; and subsequently were redistributed among the officials of the indicated power structures and organized criminal networks that collaborated with them.

Various structures of Customs Khorgos were covered by the members of the famous Russian Izmailovskaya and Jewish OCGs as well as OCGs of Kazakhstan, for example, OCG four brothers which participated in the distribution of the shadow profit.

In this connection, in the same years, the problem of contract kills of those customs officials, who tried to confront the criminal system and work honestly in the public interest have seriously worsened.

Thus, Chief Customs Kordai Shintasov B. and Deputy Head of the Customs Office of Kyzylorda region Turushev S. in 1999 were killed by organized criminal groups in the result of criminal terror in 1998 (Nurgaliyev, 2000). They tried to stand alone against the existing system of smuggling on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz and Kazakh-Chinese borders, organized by criminal networks in a tandem with corrupt officials of law enforcement agencies which resulted in the country’s budget annually losses in tens of millions of dollars.

Over the last decade, special bodies of MIA RK brought to criminal responsibility (Fig. 2) more than 2500 members of organized criminal groups, 531 of their leaders, 451 criminal authorities (polozhentsy, common funds holders, etc.) eliminated 167 and disunited about 1000 of economic and criminal OCGs, returned to the state the sum exceeding 105 billion tenge in cash and property (Lukin, 2013).

The Ministry of Interior Affairs maintained structures specializing in rapid inquiry and investigation of organized crime groups. Situation related to the activities of organized criminal groups in general is stabilized, controlled and has no significant impact on the operational situation in the republic.

At the same time, we would like to note that the severity of the fight against organized crime today is not the same, the leaders of OCGs are not as active and the activities of OCGs headed by them do not put such fear to the population of each locality of the country.

Image for - Organized Crime in Kazakhstan: The Past, the Present, Development Tendencies and Social Consequences
Fig. 2: Information on criminal proceedings against members of OCGs (according to the MIA DCOC)

However, separate OCGs have retained their activities, reformatted the methods and techniques of criminal activity and some have changed the direction of its activities. According to experts, only 4% of the total number of respondents (operative workers of criminal police) associated organized crime with the activities of the criminal structures emerged in the 90s (Abisatov, 2004). The vast majority of them (88.8%) associated organized crime with operating today in tandem general criminal, economic and corruption criminality criminal alliance of entrepreneurs, officials and criminals. Their goal of rapid unlawful enrichment, in which the first act as the tool for obtaining illicit funds and corrupt officials and criminals protect sources of illicit enrichment from state, public oversight and competitors by using their official position, violence and corruption. The core of this alliance, according to experts, are the representatives of criminals using dishonest business persons and corrupt officials to obtain illegal profits in the economic (theft, smuggling, creation of fictitious businesses, money laundering) and general criminal (drug trafficking, prostitution, arms trafficking) spheres (Abisatov, 2004).

Largely than at the end of the last century, have been tracked the corrupt ties between officials and criminals as we have warned in our earlier publications (Nurgaliyev, 1997a), this is also evidenced by the foreign sources (Gounev and Bezlov, 2010). Here is the opinion of one of the entrepreneurs on a Kazakhstan website, regarding the merger of bureaucracy representatives with criminals in Kazakhstan: Security forces are there where the money is, they are right there, especially the financial police and now our brave police, the whole business is under them, the families of crime bosses openly remove tribute from businessmen. Racket, raiding, extortion from business, it is not in the past, it is in the present. They openly arrive at the study place of individual entrepreneurs in vehicles without public numbers; can come in black jeeps bought for these extortions from business, collect mark allegedly for traffic police and other law enforcement agencies. The courts are on their side, they also have a percentage or the judge has a shadow business, there it all spins and then everything is in the usual way. Those who opened their mouths are jailed, intimidated and killed. The whole business is divided and any statement to the police is to the security forces joy, they make money from this, the case against the applicant is red taped, exemption materials are for sale, there is a certain amount, especially in the city of Astana, regional centers (Abenov, 2012).

There are less criminal proceedings for the organized criminal activity against the individuals convicted in the 90s of last century. Although they transmit their criminal experience and management skills to those young people, who entered the criminal path. Criminological study abroad also indicate that the age and way of life of such criminals are not an obstacle to the continuation or resumption of criminal activity (Morris and El Sayed, 2013).

Current state and trends of organized crime development in the country: Considering the trends in the development of criminal organizations, we should be based on the understanding of some laws of their existence and development. Chinese experts, for example, note the regularity of the criminal organizations development which is the reason of their continuous elaboration. In addition, their general trend is the growth from a low level to a higher level. Second, the emergence and development of domestic and foreign criminal organizations in general is determined by changes in the political and economic culture of the society. Kazakhstan as you know, is in the process of economic transformation and the special period of social transformation. Moreover, the resulting and developing negative factors contribute to the emergence of criminal gangs largely. Trend of apparent self-expansion of Kazakhstan and foreign criminal organizations is inevitable. Third, the globalization has an inevitable impact on the creation and development of our and foreign criminal organizations, especially in the globalization of crime, resulting in the emerging and developing transnational criminal organizations (Bingsong, 2013).

In view of this, the further general crime trend in Kazakhstan as well as in neighboring Russia and China, will be as follows: Continuing the development trends of the last 30 years; the number of criminal gangs and organizations, foreign and transnational criminal organizations will increase every day; the process of transition from a lower level of organizations development to a higher level will accelerate; sooner or later, transnational criminal organizations will become a serious problem. Regarding the scope, limits and speed of their development, it will depend on uncertain factors which include inter alia, preventing and combating criminal organizations (Bingsong, 2013).

To a greater extent, the criminal organizations will focus on capitalizing on illegal economic activities, given the rapid growth of the post-Soviet economies including Kazakhstan.

As before, special concern will cause the functioning of criminal communities of the bordering Russian and foreign rival fraternities that have military and criminal experience and are able to influence actively on the situation in some regions of Russia that border with Kazakhstan, in the future (Rushailo, 2001).

In relation to development of organized crime in Kazakhstan, can be made not an exhaustive list of sectors of the economy (including informal), of considerable interest:

Purchase, processing and storage of grain production in the northern and central regions of the country
Production and sale of metallurgical industry in the central and eastern regions
Production, transportation and refining of petroleum products in the south and west of Kazakhstan
Production and sale of legal and illegal caviar fish production in the western regions adjacent to the Caspian Sea
Large-scale smuggling of consumer goods (and often, under their cover, large quantities of weapons and drugs) on the southern borders of the country

Even a brief analysis suggests that organized crime strives to penetrate into all important backbone industries of the country. In 2010 alone, the criminal charges were brought against 362 active members of organized crime groups, Kazakhstan closed the entry to 400 thieves in law which are registered at the law enforcement agencies of the bordering CIS countries. The statistics as a whole has not changed in 2011 and 2013 (Aubakirov, 2011).

Currently, many governments recognize that organized crime is not only a problem of law enforcement agencies and is a threat to national security. The heads of states and governments expressed their concern regarding the local, regional and global issues of crime. UN has taken a leadership role in this area. In 2000, a special Convention was adopted in which organized crime is declared a threat to global security.

If states do not take preventive measures to deter crime, especially organized forms, they are in the risks to appear unreliable with the discriminatory restrictions of the international community. According to the above mentioned index 2010, among 170 countries Kazakhstan ranked 74th place with an indicator-7.5; Russia 80th place with 8.1 points, while Azerbaijan received - 8, Armenia-6.6; Belarus-8.7, Georgia-9, Kyrgyzstan-8.4, Moldova-7.9. This indicates that Kazakhstan has a high level of lawlessness and criminalization, corruption is widespread and the number of criminal organizations rises (Zhernovoy and Sukharenko, 2012).

This fact demonstrates the weakness of the law enforcement agencies of the state, the difficulty or inability of eradicating it in the near future or even in the foreseeable future. It seems that many experts that keep track of underlying processes occurring in the field of organized crime (especially transnational), agree that under the circumstances the most optimal strategy is not seem combating it but reasonable restraint in socially acceptable limits.

Hence, another important aspect that arises when considering the challenges of criminal groups, it is the question of the uniqueness of assessment of the public danger. In the western and contemporary post-Soviet criminological literature prevails the view that organized crime (especially transnational) carries the greatest danger to society (Borger, 2007) and accordingly, law enforcement must keep relentless struggle with it.

At the same time, experts studying the economic roots of this phenomenon, see it in a fundamentally different way. So, one of the pioneers of the economic analysis of organized crime, Thomas C. Schelling noted that some of the goals of organized crime are in line with those of society; it is to minimize internecine gangs wars and all violent crimes side effects, even avoiding certain types of crime, according to the agreement. If so, it should not be wished that all crime were much less organized. It is even possible, we need to make some types of crime more organized than they are now (Schelling, 1967).

Later, in 1973, another American economist, criminologist James Buchanan substantiated some social utility of organized crime in terms of monopolistic activities. It is well known that the monopoly in the production of conventional goods and services is socially inefficient as it reduces the bid. However, if the monopoly in good offer is socially undesirable, the monopoly in the proposition of bad goods may be socially desirable. Consequently, the monopoly of crime organization is more preferable than competitive organization as it reduces the total number of crimes (Buchanan, 1973).

Anticipating possible attacks from opponents, J. Buchanan specified that his proposals suggest caution against crusades on organized crime held by reducing law enforcement efforts directed against ordinary competition crime (Buchanan, 1973). Based on this, quite logically J. Buchanan questioned the need for an unambiguous arrest of organized crime monopoly leaders and destruction of criminal monopoly. He reasonably believes that the destruction of the existing groups, controlling crime, will release a threat of violence that may be uncontrolled. Consequently, attempts to destroy those criminal monopolies, whose leaders are well established, should be administered with caution (Buchanan, 1973).

Although these authors express non-indisputable opinions on evaluation of the role of organized crime as an original regulator of certain criminal and economic processes, it is necessary to recognize that their approach is quite justified from both a theoretical and practical part.

Study of foreign experience as well as the authors' own observations, during the long-term participation in law enforcement activities in the combating organized crime, confirm the above point of view of its natural desire to monopolize the criminal sphere in the scale of a specific district, city, region, etc.

Koretsky (1997) shows it quite clearly, describing the processes taking place in the Russian corporation of thieves in law in the middle-end of 1990s. Despite the fact that the new mob was a strong competitor in the criminal environment, the traditional criminals felt responsible for everything that happened in their territory (Koretsky, 1997).

This trend still exists today. The main principle of the division of criminal influence between organized criminal groups is a site-territorial principle as groups take control of a region, industrial or commercial property, prisons, etc., in order to participate in the distribution of financial flows. To do this, they appoint the so-called polozhentsy and watchers, who are authorized representatives of the organized criminal groups (Zhernovoy and Sukharenko, 2012). Our survey is confirmed by the modern American experience indicating the monopoly of robberies and murders in the U.S. Chicago by representatives of Italian Mafia, preserved and acting quite boldly (Marshall, 2013).

In some cases, this process extends to the territory of neighboring countries. One of the nearest neighbors of Kazakhstan is China, with its centuries-old traditions of triads (Lo, 2010). Globalization of international trade with the Celestial Empire necessitates criminal manifestations. Most likely, the triads consider Kazakhstan as a convenient base for their operations. It is possible that now closer links are forming between their representatives and the Kazakh criminal groups operating at customs Khorgos, friendship as well as in the Chinese territory, up to Urumqi. As a result of an agreement, the control can be established between them, over official and contraband transportation flows of consumer goods from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, including the resolution of problematic issues in customs from both sides.

Our forecasts are confirmed by recent studies of Chinese scientists claiming that the trend of explicit self-expansion of Chinese and foreign criminal organizations is inevitable and sooner or later transnational criminal organizations will be a serious problem (Bingsong, 2013).

Accordingly, the main goal of all criminal groups, including ethnic (Kurdish, Chechen-Ingush and others) is to obtain the greatest possible profit. As seen above, for this purpose they try to move the center of gravity of their criminal activities into the economic sphere which is traditionally measured by the state and society as a less painful (compared with the murders and mercenary violent crimes). Therefore, in the regions with developed infrastructure of organized crime as a rule, the level of violent crime is low. In a certain sense, it performs law enforcement functions. Researchers face the need to explore the factors, affecting ethnic groups to unite in committing various criminal acts of organized nature, in the future as described in the American scientific journals (Miller and Gibson, 2011).

In foreign criminological literature, there exists a noteworthy point of view of the interdependence of economic indicators in the country and criminal activity; it is argued that poor economic conditions are an incentive to commit a crime. During the recession, people tend to commit crimes to increase their income. In the economic recovery, this hypothesis works in reverse: the possibility to commit a crime declines when goods and services are wide available (Detotto and Otranto, 2012).

Resonant crimes occurring on its territory are unfavorable for the developed organized crime, because they interfere easy moneymaking. Another example of D.A. Koretsky is appropriate here, when a counter intelligence agent was murdered by street hooligans in a major Russian city, thieves in law decided to track down the culprit and hand him over to militia, citing the fact that the thieves’ law allows to do so in certain cases (Koretsky, 1997).

A similar incident took place in the city of Karaganda in February 2001, when in one of the cafes an ordinary showdown of two gangs ended with an armed conflict with the use of automatic weapons and the death of several people. Numerous law enforcement officers were involved in disclosing this resonant crime including those of the central apparatus of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In result of the massive inquiries of the groups members, their criminal connections in various regions of the country were identified as well as sources of financing and money laundering. Then in order to close the case faster, the criminals submitted to the law enforcement agencies information concerning the persons related to the shootout and places of weapons storage (MFARK, 2001).

Thus, in the results of their study, T. Schelling, J. Buchanan and several other scientists provide important idea for law enforcement, the possibility to use (or redirect) the organized crime on socially useful purposes.


This study allows us to draw some conclusions concerning both the predictive estimates and measures required to correct the anti-crime policies.

It is believe that in the foreseeable future the organized crime will keep certain growth trend. Even if certain fluctuations down will occur, it will not imply the regress in the opposite direction. Accordingly, in order to optimize the size of the social consequences (price) of the organized crime, the relevant authorities should be redirected from the policy of merciless war to a reasonable containment within acceptable and economically viable borders.

It seems that for this purpose it is necessary to implement a set of strategic enforcement measures:

Further development of the targeted monitoring systems of the processes occurring in the organized crime infrastructure. Here, the following sources of information can be used
  State statistics on the number and structure of crimes committed in the country (mostly the Committee for Legal Statistics and Special Records of the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
  State program for studying different groups of organized crime (criminology, social and economic roots and causes) as it is done, for example, in the United States. American scientists are at the forefront of the study of various structures of organized crime and particularly gangs, after their studies the advice to law enforcement agencies are presented (Freng et al., 2012)
  The State statistics of financial, tax and customs authorities indicates the volume of the shadow and illegal economy under the control of organized crime. Ignorance and concealment of the processes occurring in the economy is fraught with further criminalization of all sectors of the economy as is the case in countries with economies in transition (Olatunbosun and Oluduro, 2012)
  Generalized information on the size of transnational organized crime and its individual segments derived from international organizations (UN, OSCE, etc.) as well as police statistics of various foreign countries
  Information of non-state and non-government domestic and foreign organizations that specialize in certain areas of criminal interest (drug trafficking, arms trafficking, illegal migration, etc.)
Improvement of the police intelligence which helps getting inside information on the status and trends of organized crime
Conducting systematic analysis of available data to build a real picture of the criminal groups functioning across the city, district, country, region and in some areas around the world
Adoption of coordinated organizational and financial action on the public response to the threatening crime situation changes caused by the organized crime using point measures for its return to the public permissible scope by adjusting the budget and financial policies

By the way, criminological study abroad suggests that the state, diverting just 14 year old minor who enters into organized crime, potentially saves from $2.6-5.3 million (Thompson, 2013). And how many young people have been lost without timely protecting it from the entry into organized criminal activity, is unknown for certain because of the known latency of crime in general and its organized forms, in particular.

At the same time, the increase in spending on law enforcement, including the fight against organized crime, gives positive results when over U.S. $ 165 per capita will be spent as practiced by the advanced countries.

Now the developing countries with low and middle income cannot allocate adequate resources (an average of only $ 5-10, to keep the criminal justice system in the power saving mode (Buscaglia and van Dijk, 2003).

Undoubtedly, it is quite difficult to implement the proposed integrated scheme. Moreover, the case is not in the material and financial costs so much as there would not be needed many of them. The hardest thing will be to change the consciousness inertia of the majority of the law enforcement officers and the inhabitants that are seamlessly fused with the idea of a war against the organized crime to the bitter end, although a long-term foreign and domestic experience clearly demonstrates its futility and most importantly, economical infeasibility. Continuation of such a strategy is like a fairy tale of the dragon that in return of a severed head immediately grows a new one (or maybe even two or more).

Apparently, if the state and society are keen to optimize the volume of the organized crime and therefore its social consequences (price), another way than proposed, does not exist.

Moreover, such an approach in the medium and long-term prospect will greatly reduce the cost of the budget for law enforcement which is important in the current economic environment.


  1. Abenov, M., 2012. [The deputies accused security forces of corrupt ties with the heads of financial pyramids].

  2. Abisatov, M., 2004. [Current state of organized crime in Kazakhstan]. Preliminary Results of Criminological Research.

  3. Aubakirov, A., 2011. [Almost 50 criminal authorities were caught in a year in Kazakhstan].

  4. Benson, M.L., 2013. Editor's introduction-white-collar crime bringing the offender back in. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 29: 324-330.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  5. Bingsong, H., 2013. Tendencies of criminality development in China. Criminol. J. Baikal Natl. Univ. Econ. Law, 1: 127-129.

  6. Borger, J., 2007. Organised crime: The $2 trillion threat to the world's security: Billions of dollars worth of bribes paid each year go into the pockets of public officials in rich countries. The Guardian, Tuesday 11 September, 2007.

  7. Buchanan, J.M., 1973. A Defense of Organized Crime? In: The Economics of Crime and Punishment, Rottenberg, S. (Ed.). American Enterprise Institute, USA

  8. Buscaglia, E. and J. van Dijk, 2003. Controlling organized crime and corruption in the public sector. Forum Crime Soc., 3: 3-34.
    Direct Link  |  

  9. Curtis, G.E., 2002. Involvement of Russian organized crime syndicates, criminal elements in the Russian military and regional terrorist groups in narcotics trafficking in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Chechnya. Report Prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the United States Government, pp: 36.

  10. Detotto, C. and E. Otranto, 2012. Cycles in crime and economy: Leading, lagging and coincident behaviors. J. Quantitative Criminol., 28: 295-317.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  11. Freng, A., T. Davis, K. McCord and A. Roussell, 2012. The new American gang? Gangs in Indian country. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 28: 446-464.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  12. Gounev, P. and T. Bezlov, 2010. Examining the links between organised crime and corruption. Trends Organ. Crime, 13: 326-359.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  13. Grutzner, C., 1970. How to lock out the Mafia. Harvard Bus. Rev., 48: 45-58.

  14. Koretsky, D.A., 1997. Antikiller: Novel. EKSMO Press, Moscow, pp: 442

  15. Lo, T.W., 2010. Beyond social capital: Triad organized crime in Hong Kong and China. Br. J. Criminol., 50: 851-872.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  16. Lombardo, R.M., 2013. Fighting organized crime a history of law enforcement efforts in Chicago. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 29: 296-316.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  17. Lukin, A., 2013. [The priority of financial police-preventing corruption].

  18. Luneev, V.V., 1996. Organized crime in Russia: Awareness, origins trends. State Law, 4: 96-109.

  19. Lurigio, A.J. and J.J. Binder, 2013. The Chicago outfit challenging the myths about organized crime. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 29: 198-218.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  20. Marshall, H., 2013. Come heavy, or not at all defended neighborhoods, ethnic concentration and Chicago robberies: Examining the Italian American organized crime influence. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 29: 276-295.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  21. Miller, H. and C.L. Gibson, 2011. Neighborhoods, acculturation, crime and victimization among hispanics: The cross-fertilization of the sociologies of immigration and crime. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 27: 4-17.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  22. Morris, R.G. and S. El Sayed, 2013. The development of self-reported white-collar offending. J. Contemp. Criminal Justice, 29: 369-384.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  

  23. Nurgaliyev, B.M., 1997. Corruption. Femida, 9: 31-33.

  24. Nurgaliyev, B.M., 1997. Organized criminal activity: Penal, procedural and Forensic aspects. Karaganda, pp: 312.

  25. Nurgaliyev, B.M., 2000. Organized crime: From the signs to the definition problems of combating corruption and organized crime. Collection of Scientific Works, Karaganda, pp: 19-22.

  26. Olatunbosun, A. and O. Oluduro, 2012. Crime forecasting and planning in developing countries: Emerging issues. Can. Soc. Sci., 8: 36-43.
    Direct Link  |  

  27. Rosselli, F., 1999. Organized criminality security in Europe. Working Paper, European Commission Forward Studies Unit, pp: 30.

  28. Rushailo, V.B., 2001. [Materials to the reports of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation participation in the next round of Russian-German consultations]. St. Petersburg, April 9-10, 2001.

  29. Schelling, T.C., 1967. Economic analysis and organized crime. Task Force Report, Organized Crime, Annotations and Consultants Paper, U.S. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Washington, DC., USA.

  30. Shelley, L., 1994. Post-Soviet organized crime and the rule of law. J. Marshall L. Rev., 28: 827-845.
    Direct Link  |  

  31. The World Justice Project, 2014. WJP Rule of Law Index® 2014. The World Justice Project, Washington, DC., USA., ISBN: 978-0-9882846-5-4, Pages: 220
    Direct Link  |  

  32. Thompson, E., 2013. What is the cost of a life of crime? Law Times.

  33. Zhernovoy, M.V. and A.N. Sukharenko, 2012. Russian organized crime: Transnational aspects. Lecture, Moscow, pp: 37.

  34. Kakotkin, A., 1996. The triumphal procession of crime. Arguments and Facts July, Volume 30, No. 823, pp: 8.

  35. Savenko, I., 1996. Millions of dollars go past the treasury. Caravan Blitz, February, 1996, Vol. 11, No. 1.

  36. MFAR, 1999. Analytical information to the All-Russia meeting on the fight against organized crime, including transnational. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Moscow, pp: 6-7.

  37. MFAR, 1999. Crime forecast for 2000 (based on statistical data for 1999). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Moscow.

  38. MFARK, 2001. Materials of special divisions for combating the organized crime MIA of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana, pp: 1-47.

  39. MFAR, 1999. Strengthening the international cooperation in combating transnational organized crime. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Monthly Newsletter, Foreign Press, Moscow, pp: 11-16.

  40. Ivanov, V., 2013. In the name of democracy: Since the beginning of the NATO operation "Enduring Freedom" more than a million people died from Afghan heroin, and its production has increased by 40 times.

©  2022 Science Alert. All Rights Reserved