THE PROBLEM: VIOLENCE & CRIMES WITH GANGS
They poison our streets with drugs, violence, and all manner of crime.
Some 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members are criminally active in the U.S. today. Many are sophisticated and well organized; all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings. According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report, gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions, and up to 90 percent in others. We’re redoubling our efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs through intelligence-driven investigations and new initiatives and partnerships.
Organized crime is a multibillion-peso industry in the Philippines, its earnings accounting for a substantial portion of the country’s gross national product.
WHOEVER said crime does not pay has certainly got it wrong. Organized crime is a multibillion-peso industry in the Philippines, its earnings, by conservative estimates, equivalent to 10 to 20 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product, or anywhere from P300 to P600 billion every year.
The most successful criminals are part of well-organized and well-funded syndicates that use their connections with police, military, and civilian officials so they can operate with virtual impunity. Despite occasional high-profile arrests and killings of crime bosses, the syndicates thrive, often with the authorities turning a blind eye while lining their pockets with illicit proceeds from criminal activities.
The illegal drug trade alone, according to estimates by the police and the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics Statistics Report, generates more than $5 billion (some P251 billion) a year, equivalent to about a third of the government’s annual budget and eight percent of the country’s GDP in 2001. Most of that — about $4 billion — is accounted for by shabu or crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride, which is mostly smuggled from China or manufactured here in clandestine laboratories, some of them in the heart of otherwise respectable, middle-class neighborhoods in Metro Manila.
The cost of producing shabu is ridiculously low, and the PNP estimates that dealers make P2,000 for every P10 they invest. The market, currently about 1.8 million Filipino drug users, is also an expanding one.