What is Racketeering

It is important to start this article with the actual definition of this term. Racketeering is basically when someone operates an illegal business with the aim of making a profit and is usually done with a number of people working behind the scenes. Racketeering involves a number of illegal criminal acts like illegal gambling, child sexual exploitation and bribery. In some instances, racketeering and organized crime are used synonymously as both involve an organized and structure group.

Other criminal acts that can be found within racketeering include fraud and theft against individuals and businesses. Governments are also not left out when it comes to racketeering. The forms in which it appears include production of counterfeit money and trading in products that have not been taxed and yet they need to be taxed. In many instances, you may get cartels that are run by big businessmen are involved in such scandalous behaviour. In some countries, you will get even high people involved in government are the ones who make sure racketeering goes on and extort the same government that they work for. When the deal goes bad, it is usually the people who are on the ground who get caught in the scandal, and the ‘high and mighty men’ are nowhere to be found.

In some cases, you will get that rackets are run within a legitimate business. What people do is to register a legal business dealing with legal products and services. This acts as a cover up for the illegal business that goes on. The organized group is then formed by people who deal in various sector of a business or even the government. Once prominent people are established in the various industries or business fields, the illegal operations begin. At the end of the deal, each person within the line of service gets their share and it becomes a done deal. As stated earlier, if the racket is ever discovered, it is the people who are on the ground who get caught and prosecuted; the so-called ‘big men’ are never to be seen. One way people cover their traps is by paying in cash rather than using a cheque. In this way, they are able to cover their tracks as there is no physical or paper evidence available.

Racketeering also involves illegal services such as human trafficking, running illegal brothels, drug trafficking, among many others. In government, bribing, blackmailing and extortion of the public and civil servants are also considered as part of racketeering.

In summary, racketeering involves any illegal activity whether within the public or private sector, that involves a number of people who make their money illegally. 

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