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Networks of organised black labour in the building trade
Brottsförebyggande rådet, BRÅ.
2009 (English)In: Trends in Organized Crime, ISSN 1084-4791, E-ISSN 1936-4830, Vol. 12, no 2, 122-145 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The building industry is a sector characterised by a large number of opportunities to commit economic crime. In Sweden, the level of tax avoidance in the building trade is estimated to be substantial, and the use of black market labour extensive. This article focuses on the organised use of black market labour in the building industry, which may be described as a form of both economic and organised crime. To date only a very small number of criminological studies have examined the use of black market labour in this sector of the economy. The article focuses on two of the central roles found in the context of organised, black market labour: the “fixer” and the “criminal entrepreneur”. The fixer is an individual with expertise in the methods of economic crime. The criminal entrepreneur acts first and foremost as a link between a client and the manpower required by this client. In this paper, fixers and criminal entrepreneurs are studied on the basis of data from the Swedish Register of Suspected Offenders. The analysis shows that the networks of fixers and criminal entrepreneurs overlap one another to some extent. There are nonetheless a number of differences between the two groups and also between their respective networks. The networks of the fixers are larger than those of the criminal entrepreneurs, and the individuals that comprise the fixers’ networks are suspected in connection with much larger numbers of offences. The fixers more often commit offences together with others and also have larger numbers of suspected co- offenders than the criminal entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the criminal entrepreneurs are suspected of having maintained their ties to suspected co-offenders for longer periods of time than the fixers. The fixers appear to specialise in fraud and forgery offences, whereas motoring offences, smuggling and drug offences are more common among the criminal entrepreneurs. The networks are highly maledominated and on balance they are comprised of much older individuals than those of traditional offenders. Many of the fixers and criminal entrepreneurs are suspected of committing offences with the same co-offender for a long period of time. Further out in the networks, co-offenders are replaced more often. Tax offences are very common in both types of network, both in those parts of the network that are close to the fixers and criminal entrepreneurs, and also in more distant parts of the networks. In the more distant parts of the networks, there is also an increase in the proportion of offences that individual network members are suspected of committing. Judging from the material examined in the current study, violent offences do not appear to be very common among either fixers or criminal entrepreneurs. The networks examined are largely comprised of individuals suspected of economic offences. These individuals are linked together with one another by means of direct and indirect contacts that produce semi-legal networks of individuals with knowledge of organised black market labour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 12, no 2, 122-145 p.
Keyword [en]
Networks, Network analysis, Organized crime, Black labour, Building trade, Sweden, Co-offending, Co-offenders
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56380DOI: 10.1007/s12117-008-9060-yOAI: diva2:410908
Available from: 2011-04-15 Created: 2011-04-15 Last updated: 2011-04-18Bibliographically approved

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Heber, Anita
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