Fugitives, family, fortune seekers and franchisees


Foreign criminals are a significant presence in Africa. Four typologies of foreign criminal actors are identified, allowing an exploration into why some actors develop more successful criminal enterprises than others. Success appears to be the result of a slow embedment in the local criminal economy, avoiding displays of wealth and the targeted corruption of officials. It also depends on the expansion of ethnic networks where high levels of trust or coercion of members prevent law enforcement penetration. Eroding these successful criminal operations requires an ability to disrupt recruitment into the networks and ultimately their more effective integration into legitimate economic activities.

About the author

Mark Shaw is the Director of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. He was previously the National Research Foundation Professor of Justice and Security at the University of Cape Town. Mark worked for ten years at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, including as Inter-regional Advisor, Chief of the Criminal Justice Reform Unit and with the Global Programme against Transnational Organised Crime. Before joining the UN, Mark held a number of positions in the South African government and civil society.

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ENACT is funded by the European Union
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.
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