[EDITORIALS]Fight against organized crimeOrganized crime rings are out and about, strutting and swaggering in the streets. Joint police and prosecution investigations have found that the nation’s crime rings are going international, assuming a Mafia-like operation where a boss behind bars masterminds things and alliances among regional criminal rings are being formed. The previous patterns of fighting over entertainment business rights, using violence to win profitable businesses at construction sites and setting up companies that exist only on paper to cloak illegal activities seem to be a thing of the past. These rings are adopting various sophisticated ways of doing business. As their methods develop day by day, laughing at government investigations, we require special measures to clamp down on them.
One serious development is the Korean organized crime rings’ waging of war for business rights abroad. In Japan, it is a well-known secret that Korean criminal rings sword-fight with rivals of host bars and ally themselves with yakuzas or Japanese organized crime rings as they jostle for lucrative business rights beyond their home turf. More alarmingly, foreign organized crime rings are seeking Korea as their main playing field. The recent murder of a Russian crime boss in Busan strongly suggests that ties were forged between domestic and foreign criminal rings. The police and prosecutors indicate that the activities of Korean criminal rings and the Japanese yakuzas in the private-lending sector are their next imminent target.
A large number of organized crime members target lower-income groups, acquiring business rights unjustly, extorting money, using violence and trafficking in human beings. Authorities should act promptly and thoroughly in apprehending and punishing criminal rings that intervene in the development of commercial buildings. By illegally engaging in the business of distributing and leasing commercial space, these rings threaten lower-income citizens’ basic right to a livelihood. These rings are bound to find their niche even in the face of an intensive police and prosecution crackdown; what is needed is a resolute implementation of the law.