The trend of globalization that has come to define our way of doing business and politics also holds true for organized crime networks. From drug smuggling to human trafficking, money laundering to terrorism, this is a global challenge of tremendous importance and current mechanisms are struggling to keep up. The UK Home Office asked the Columbia Capstone team to identify patterns of transnational organized crime groups across the globe and craft a series of recommendations to prevent and deter their practices in their countries of origin.

The objective of this research was to find the best tools, methods, and approaches for preventing and deterring organized crime groups in source and transit countries. To do this, the team analyzed drivers of organized crime around the world, evaluated existing tools, methods, and approaches to combating organized crime, and proposed novel solutions in nine policy objectives that carefully allocate the resources of the UK Home Office based upon their effectiveness. Following case studies of countries representing different levels of capacity and political will to combat transnational organized crime, the team developed a tiered categorization system to guide the implementation of policy solutions.

After conducting interviews with various experts in law enforcement, international agencies, prosecution and academia, the Capstone team developed policy recommendations that were tailored to the state capacity and level of corruption of target countries. The goal for each broad policy solution was to offer the most realistic, aggressive, and innovative solution based upon the capacity of the receiving country.