Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 61-76

First online:

Organized crime in South Korea

  • Seungmug Lee

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Since the Korean War, South Korea has achieved remarkable economic growth. At the same time, this country has also faced a number of social problems. One of these is the crime problem. Organized crime has become a growing concern to governmental officials and law enforcement agencies. Organized crime groups have expanded their illegal activities domestically as well as to neighboring countries such as Japan, China, and Hong Kong. This descriptive study provides a brief history of organized crime, the crime trends, some of the characteristics of the offenders, and the activities of organized crime groups in order to address the contemporary issues of organized crime in South Korea. The data about the number of organized crime groups, their members and activities, and the number of arrestees by the police are presented and analyzed. The principle data source is the Korean National Police Agency.