By Dina Siegel
Europe is increasingly being plagued by itinerant crime groups, a trend also known as 'mobile banditry.' Even though the phenomenon of mobile banditry has existed in Europe for centuries, in recent years great concern has risen about the increase in the number of gangs from East and Central Europe who have been committing various types of crimes in West European countries. This book provides an explanation and analysis of the historical, political, economic, and cultural backgrounds of the phenomenon 'itinerant criminal gangs' from the following perspectives: a) the lessons learned from comparable situations in the past; b) the inevitable negative effects of globalization; c) the power of attraction of the West; and d) the gulf between the rich and poor and between West and East Europe. An analysis of the connections between organized crime, shady entrepreneurs, and corrupt politicians in East and Central Europe on the one hand, and the relationship between migrants and criminal groups in the Netherlands on the other, provide an explanation on the dynamics of the markets in stolen goods. Based on 127 interviews and observations in the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania, as well as an analysis of court files and literature, the research looks at the socio-cultural background of these criminals, how they operate, what happens to the stolen goods, and the efforts that the Dutch, Eastern/Central European states, and the European Union have initiated to combat this form of organized crime.
Publication Date: 2/6/2014