Saturday, July 19, 2008

Globalization of Crime

I am teaching my Miami Law School summer class in London right now. And this year I decided to include in my Global Lawyering class a small section on the globalization of crime. I wanted to include David Cronenberg's excellent movie, Eastern Promises, with Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, which shows the activities of the Russian Mafya in London engaged in prostitution, drug trafficking (working with the Afghans, Chechnyans, and Turks), and smuggling. It is also filmed close to where I live in east London.

Of course when one does something like this--and I did say small section--it inevitably balloons and everything one reads concerns global crime or violence, e.g., UBS being investigated by Congress for dodgy money transfers and tax evasion; BAE directors being arrested in transit for suspected bribery in Saudi arms deals. (We are having to depend on the US to take over this investigation after the UK government caved in to Saudi demands to halt it.) Although, I've had one student comment that he can't see how this is to do with globalization.

However, what really encapsulated the essence of my teaching popped up in an article in today's (19 July 2008) Financial Times, titled, "Bulgarians Ponder Impeaching Leader." In it was the glorious paragraph:
One Olaf [EU Commission anti-fraud office] inquiry involved the illegal import into Bulgaria of Chinese rabbit meat, which was resold to customers in the EU after being repacked using false Argentine health certificates.
Can't beat that!
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