WASHINGTON -- The White House has unveiled its new Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, slapping sanctions on gangs from the former Soviet Union, Japan, Mexico, and Italy.
The new initiative aims to more effectively employ U.S. legislation to break the financial power of organized crime gangs, proposes new laws to help investigate and prosecute criminal networks, and seeks to boost intelligence sharing between countries.
John Brennan, U.S. President Barack Obama's adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, unveiled the strategy in Washington, and said it was in response to an uptick in the activity of criminal networks in recent years.
"In the previous 15 years, transnational criminal networks have forged new and powerful alliances and are engaged in an unprecedented range of illicit activities that are destabilizing to nations and populations around the globe," Brennan said.
The Brothers' Circle, which the White House described as a "multiethnic criminal group...largely based in countries of the former Soviet Union but extending to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America," was one of the networks sanctioned with an asset freeze.
Transnational criminal networks make billions of dollars annually from human trafficking, drugs smuggling, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, and other illegal activities.
compiled from RFE/RL and agency reports