Home Views & Opinions White Collar Crime (WCC) annexes with terrorism

White Collar Crime (WCC) annexes with terrorism

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What is a pick-lock compared to a debenture share? What is the burgling of a bank compared to the founding of a bank? What is the murder of a man compared to the employment of a man? Nowadays a man must work within the law; it’s just as much fun! In this present age one uses peaceful methods. Brute force is out of date. – Berthold Brecht The Threepenny Novel (1967, p.266)
The declaration is a bit obscure when it comes to finding an annexe of whitecollar crime (WCC) with terrorism. The need to define initially both the criminal activities arises and then the extension of links or wings can easily determine the connection between the two. The aim behind the subject is to discover the manipulation or may be utilization of the peaceful environment in the most violent way to achieve targets of objectives so huge that can easily fit in the definition of forth generation warfare.
The WCC can be defined as crimes that are non-violent in nature and usually involve some form of deception, or fraud, to achieve financial gain. These crimes include, but are not limited to, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, identity theft, money laundering, immigration fraud, and tax evasion etc. in short, it’s the type of crime that is peaceful in nature and would include no more violence than perhaps hard talks or harsh debate. The criminals in WCC are mostly the business community, politicians, high scale government personnel and large organizations that would try to achieve financial superiority using the above-mentionedmethods or any other method that would include secrecy and invisibility.
Terrorism on the other hand is the actual violence. It’s the form of most visible crime in present day scenario. It would be correct to state that one of the aims of terrorism is violence loud and clear enough to dispense a threat or terror in surroundings to spread fear in general public. It includes public killings, open area firings and bomb blast etc. The intensity of terrorism if increased will eventually signify or compete with war scenarios as has been witnessed by the world in recent past.
Now to find an annexe between the two apparently different categories of crime can be actually easy if we consider the fact the any terrorist activity will require a huge financial support. Terrorism is a fairly complex crime. It needs masterminds to plan, trained human resource to execute, an effective network of communication and an executive command and control for any activity to achieve desired impact. This all means huge amounts of finances are required to make a plan, train the human resource, coordinate and communicate, furnish the activity from field level till the office and to establish command centre. It would require acquiring of land, establishing secrecy from anti-terrorism organizations and routing the finances through some channels that would go un-noticed in a perfect scenario.
This is where the WCC kicks inthe domain of snatching money innonviolent and secret way is actually WCC. It is easy for any terrorist organisation to develop a shell company or organisation which would secretly work as finance department of the terrorist organization. Although WCC is not the only financial source of terrorism as street crimes like public snatching and kidnapping for ransom play a role in supporting the terrorist activity but the huge amount of financial required is fulfilled using multiple resource in which WCC plays an important role.
The practical evidence of such system in work was found in 1990’s when Colorado police found out about the criminal activities and hidden operations of Jamaat ul furqa. The organisation had used WCC as main financial source for all the activities.
There are veryrare cases also available where WCC used terrorism as a shield to hide the financial corruption but that defies the very definition of WCC and hence will not be considered under the present topic. If an anti-terrorist organization initiates and operation against ant terrorist group or organization cutting the supply lines/finance is always a good start. This is where the former would need to divert its attention towards WCC and find out links. This would serve the dual purpose of cutting the supplies and reaching the foci of any terrorist organisation.
Following Modules can be used to establish the link between WCC and terroristorganizations:-
First Module: Outline the organization structure and activities of terrorist groups in general.
2nd Module: Investigation of properties include: Vehicle search, Search of storage lockers, Search of training compounds.
3rd Module: Verify suspected worker’s compensation violation.
4th Module: Flow of cash from worker’s compensation fraud to the purchase of property for terrorist training.
5th Module: Legal strategies and rules to persecute the case.
Example: Terrorist suspect ‘ABC’ collected materials such as photographs, identification cards, bank records and education records to create the false identities to travel to USA for sept attack.
1. One method of funding terrorism identified in federal court cases is raising funds through fraudulent charitable organisation claiming to support a particular cause such as disaster relief or food services. Two reasons for this association are: Charities face far less scrutiny than for – profit organisations and individuals; Charities often secure financial assistances from government grant programs.
In 2004, in USA a charitable organisation HLFRD (Holy Land Foundation for relief and development) was caught providing more than 12 million to terrorist group (Hamas).
2. Shell companies are also used by terrorist groups to receive and distribute money. These companies provide a legitimate appearance and apparently engaged in legitimate activities to establish a positive reputation in the business communities. To lounder or distribute funds they usually use third party and funds are distributed in lieu of “Insurance fraud” or “Identity theft”. If a shell company generate revenue, funds are distributed by altering financial statement,showing the company in loss and transferring the profit in accounts that are directly or indirectly associated with terrorist groups.
3. Another source of terrorist funding is IPC (Intellectual property crime), in which illegal sale of counterfeited goods and illegal use of intellectual property to commit other crimes and to support terrorist activities.
4. After funds are generated through illegal activities, money is laundered and distributed through ”offshore shell banks” which are specifically designed to hide money e.g. Swiss Bank and laws in Seychelles Island provide immunity to investors from all outside criminal charges and permit deposit of $10mn or even more if the money was originally obtained through act of violence or even drug trafficking.
5. Other methods of distributing illegal funds include concealing cash in exported goods and moving funds through informal banking networks such as ”Hawala”. One group associated with Hawala allegedly used the services of Dubai Bank to transfer around $1mn to the September 11, Hijackers through western union financial services. Western Union was subsequently fund $8mn for the transaction by New York Bank. Regulators for failing to provide the report of the transaction.
Suggested remedies and solutions to curb the funding of terrorist activities include: Change in Banking guidelines, International legislation, Cooperation among nation states.
The Group of Eight highly industrialized nations action plan to combat WCC: Need for capacity building: The International community is united to combat against WCC since the terrorist attack on September 11,2001. The threat of subversive activities is still there and some of the examples are seen in a series of attacks including Indonesia, Kennya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen etc. over the past years. For the prevention and eradication of WCC, G8 and other countries have successfully strengthened their own counter-terrorism measures, but still there is need to enhance their capacity so as to counter the terrorists who are scattered all over the world.
G8 Strategies for capacity building: Developing a successful capacity to tackle WCC requires a focus on three main areas of Counter-terror financing activities: To deny terrorists the means to commit terrorist acts e.g. to prevent financing and denied of false doucs and weapons; To deny terrorists a safe heavens and to reinforce the law enforcement agencies; To enhance domestic security measures and capability for crisis management and consequence management.
For the peace and security of the world it is imperative for all countries includingdeveloping countries to enhance such capabilities. The areas for capacity building assistance as outlined by United nation security council’s counter-terrorism committee (CTC) includes:(1) Counter terrorism legislation; (2) Financial Law and practice; (3) Custom law and practice; (4) Immigration law and practice; (5) Extradition law and practice; (6) Police and law enforcement; (7) Export control and illegal Arms trafficking; and (8) Domestic security measures.
G8 action plan: Building international political will and capacity to combat WCC, and G8 will support UN security council (CTC) with all their practical and financial sources available.
Pakistan’s National Action Plan: Like G8 countries who formulated their security plan after the September 11, incident of terrorism, Pakistan after the APS attack incident of terrorism on December16,2014, when TTP (funded by India) conducted a terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar in which 145 children and teachers embraced Shahadat.
Since after the attack it become imperative to formulate some plan to curb such activities in future, so on Dec24,2014, All Parties Conference was summoned to build a consensus on security plan. In the plan it was decided that: (1) Special courts will be set up headed by officers of the Armed Forces for the speedy trial of the terrorists; (2) Formation of Armed militia will not be allowed in the country; (3) National counter-terrorism authority will be revived and made effective; (4) Financial sources of terrorists will be cut; (5) Special anti-terrorism force will be raised; (6) Madrassas will be regularized and reformed; (7) Communication system of terrorist organisation will be destroyed.
To implement all these clauses 21st Amendment to the constitution of Pakistan passed on Jan07,2015, under which many preventive measures were taken which were successful and almost 100% terrorist activities have been curbed. Judiciously, if we stay on the track, we will be able to save our country from all such evil activities.
Basing on the comparison of both the plans in my personal opinion Pakistan has an edge over G8 because apart from confronting terrorist activities, our Armed forces are engaged on Eastern and western fronts as well. Here it will be unfair if we don’t appreciate the excellence professionalism of our Armed Forces without them targets were unachievable.
Conclusion: Terrorism, White collar crime or organised crime usually are inevitable fact and black truth on human civilization. They need funds for operation and all the illicit money gathered cannot be used for operation until or unless it is cleaned by the means of money laundering. As white collar crimes are not susceptible to probe so be found the best way to finance the terrorist pursuits/ventures. Only the governments with mutual efforts can later steps to combat terror financing especially when related to white collar crimes. Itis suggested that WCC culprits be apprehended and be dealt with iron fist. This is the real terrorism which requires an amicable solution and as this terrorism is in between the states so obviously it is to be decided at a forum like UNO.