No. XXXVIII (2016)

The Present body of Knowledge on Organized Crime Groups in Poland with Foreign Nationals as Members

Katarzyna Laskowska
University of Bialystok

Published 2016-01-01


  • organized crime groups,
  • organized crime,
  • foreign nationals,
  • criminology

How to Cite

Laskowska, K. (2016). The Present body of Knowledge on Organized Crime Groups in Poland with Foreign Nationals as Members. Archives of Criminology, (XXXVIII), 161–173.


The paper offers a synthetic insight into the activities of organized crime groups in Poland with foreign nationals as their members. All the relevant data were obtained from the staff officers of the Central Bureau of Police Investigation (CBSP), i.e. directly from the operatives involved in investigating such criminal structures. The interviews were conducted in February 2015, with the three officers serving in the three departments combating: organized crime, organized drug trafficking, and organized fraud, respectively. On the basis of those interviews, it was established that the structures of interest are formed either exclusively by foreign nationals, or by foreign nationals in association with their Polish peers. Some groups might be characterised by specific traits, e.g. organisational tightness, or excessive brutality. Some insight was also gained into the ways of recruitment to the organized crime groups involving foreigners, i.e. diversified ways of recruitment to the structures of different specialisations (crime, drugs, fraud). In due course, the most frequently committed types of criminal offences were identified, i.e. theft, drug production and trafficking, cigarette smuggling, VAT fraud, and money laundering. The study highlights the ‘attractiveness’ of particular offences to respective organized crime groups. It was also possible to gain an understanding of their modus operandi and organizational structuring (be that complex or simple), including consideration for their own security (i.e. making expert use of the most recent advances of modern technology and personal training and vigilance). The research allowed to establish the specific ways of managing the proceeds derived from the committed offences, in due consideration of the respective nationality of their members. A certain proportion of the crime structures consumed the proceeds, others made investments and promoted business development, still others transferred the funds to their home countries. The study revealed that well-organized groups were active in Poland, whereas the highly-organized ones also ventured abroad with their operations, whilst making use of their international contacts with a view to establishing collaboration with some other internationally structured groups in order to promote business development and maximize their illicit revenues. The interviews revealed that police investigators manage to keep very much abreast of the activities pursued by internationally structured, organized crime groups in Poland.


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