A Case Report on the 50th Anniversary conference of ASIS International.
17-20 April 2005. Copenhagen. Denmark.
Law Enforcement Major, Ret.,
Doctor of Law, Licenced private detective,
Chairman:* Latvian Federation of detectives & secutity services;
*Society for Baltic Security (SBS).
Dear Ladies and Gentleman!
First of all I would like to congratulate you on the 50-th anniversary of ASIS. For promotion my membership in the organization and for supporting my idea of making this present report I would like also to express my gratitude to Mr. Jerry Burke from Washington D.C. and general Victor Budanov from Moscow. They are the most experienced professionals in security sphere, as well as honorable members of our Federation.
Indeed it would be very complicated to cover all the worrisome issues that Easter Europe has undergone since USSR colapse. Thus, I will discuss the only one of them: Private Security Services in Counteraction to Crime with the emphasize on issues and tendencies in the Baltic States.
Considering our partnership with colleagues in many countries, I’d like to highlight that the similar tendencies may be observed across many Eastern Europe and former USSR countries.
The Report Guidelines are:
Risk Factors in Socio Economic Issues
Peculiarities of Criminal Situation
Private Security Service as a necessity of social order.
1. The risk factors in socio economic issues
Latvia is situated in northeastern Europe with a coastline along the Baltic Sea. It is geographically located in the middle of the three Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia).
It is also the middle republic in terms of size and population.
Like its neighbors, in the 13 years since independence Latvia has made a rapid transformation from a Soviet command economy to the free market. In the last year, the volume of foreign investments in Latvia has increased more than twice, compared to the earlier years.
The irreversible process of establishing independence in the Baltic States came with the spontaneous market relations, so also the outburst of crime. Those days became a time of very great, unchecked robbing of the government, spontaneous gathering of capital, criminal acquisitions of properties. Organized crime overtook whole sectors of the economy, got inculcated in government structures. Rackets, banditries, blackmail, laundering of dirty money, illegal prostitution, human trade, contrabands all flourished.
From Russia, Ukraine and other former USSR states came a flood of raw materials: copper, aluminum, red mercury, crude oil, timber moving to the West, and that, through Latvia also. The euphoria of the first years of independence and democracy came with big transfers of shady capital to the West on one hand, and on the other hand, the pilfering of huge financial investments that came from the West.
The conscientious entrepreneur began to feel highly uncomfortable. Practically every reestablished institution was forced to pay dues to bandits and that was called criminal ‘covers’. If the entrepreneurs had refused to accept the rules of racketeers, they went into big problems that might even lead to assassinations, burning and bombing of cars and offices, etc.
In the characteristic criminal conditions of any region of the world, it is not possible to manage without the factors, which define the general global tendencies.
Under the conditions of the collapse of industrial productions and agriculture, the society may find itself on the edge of food shortage and global economic recession.
According to the World Bank, already about 1 billion people live in abject poverty and this number is still increasing.
Poverty, injustice, human rights abuse, catastrophic difference between the standards of living of the population, migration from poor countries to the rich ones, the impossibility to acquire intellectual ability: socio-economic and psychological factors of such like are fertile grounds for the boom of criminal syndicates.
As the global structural crisis of world economies widen, there is a transformation of market relations: money is losing importance, its place is being taken over by technology. On the side of developing nations, there is a strengthening of protests, caused by the hopelessness of their situations; hundreds of millions of people are coming to understand that they will never meet up with the standard of living in the developed nations. Remarkably and steadily, there is an increasing gap in the levels of the developments of governments, acquisition for them is a character of an impassable barrier, leading to the weaker nations’ search for an answer to military pressures, secretly supporting terrorist and other extremist groups, using, for that , religious, public or charity funds.
In Latvia socio-economic problems are not as aggravated as in some other “hot spots” of the planet. The economics is steadily growing and some social issues are getting resolved. However, more then 80% of the population has income lower then average; national minorities’ rights are being discriminated etc. Thus, it creates serious frictions between social groups, leads to protests and other potentially dangerous activity.
The world financial system is no more taken care of by the gold reserves of national currencies. The nominal cost of practically all national monies is not defined anymore by their real amounts, but by the strength of their economic, ideological, political and military influences in one or the other country. In effect, weak currencies cannot withstand the competition, the exchange of goods between poor and rich countries tilt to the favor of the later, the economies of the poorer ones get more strongly suppressed.
Financial flows have moved away from production and turned to the so-called “virtual economy”, in which effect, a lot more income accrue to the real. Criminal systems organically keyed into this virtual world. (For example, in the USA last year, there was a legal proceeding over organizers of networks of proliferated child pornography on the Internet. This network included a Belarus company, Regpay Co Ltd. and its American partner in Florida Connection Ltd. They laundered their money through one of the Latvian banks. Payments were made in millions of dollars. In the very first days of the deal, 15 inhabitants of New Jersey were arrested, and another 40 USA citizens were found guilty for having their computers loaded with child pornography, meanwhile, their Latvian partners luckily escaped, for a while I hope).
There is a purposeful destruction of the moral basis of the society; dirty business is already being seen as normal and lucrative. The border between what is a crime and what is good for the society, lawful and illegal business is being eroded. Criminal and deviated conducts, vices, weaknesses and pathology are not only gaining an upper hand over tolerable relationship but are becoming fashionable, quite natural and unavoidable attributes of contemporary life.
The absence of real equal economic relations, in a greater number of the nations of the world, leads to a situation where it becomes impossible for a greater part of the population to get a legitimate income enough to live on. To survive, people in need are turning to illegitimate businesses, which would, again, give a boost to criminal systems, while law-abiding and honest people join-in step by step to their number.
Foreign investments are just stolen by the national elites of the country, while world financial centers get the opportunity to dictate their own rules to national economies destroying internal government defense mechanisms. At the end of last year, in Latvia, a proceeding was heard against “digital television.” On the scales, this case is comparable to the plundering of the agrarian credit line of the International Monetary Fund G-24 in the middle of the 90s. Presently, there is an on-going check on famous Latvian leaders. The plans were to dubiously acquire sums up to $53 million.
The concentration of capital and material possibilities at the disposal of an insignificant part of the population has reached a critical stage, therein are the international, national, financial and business elites, and connected to them are criminal systems also. This thin stratum of the society, satiated with exotic lifestyles and luxury, creates a demand for illegal goods and services.
As a response to these challenges, around 15 years ago we began to create private security structures, which never existed during the era of socialism. The organization, LDDDF, which I represent, was founded in that very period and we were forced to engage in the risky measures to protect our clients from the unlawful infringements.
Over the last years, there began the establishing and development of private security structures. Private eyes or detectives, security companies, internal security services for banks, insurance companies, commercial enterprises, professionals in the sphere of information, economic and computer systems securities. Some of such structures have already ceased to exist because they could not survive the test of time, money and competition. Some acquired great potentials and experience, possess finances, human, material, technical and other resources, which sometimes do not give in to the governmental law enforcement agencies.
However, the relations between private security structures and criminal syndicates also started to build up.
On one hand, legal businesses were forced to turn to private security structures (PSS) for protection, for the reason that the government structures were not capable enough to protect businesses owners from the lawlessness of bandits. The counteractions unconditionally helped to bring down the rampage of continuing rackets in the middle of the 90s. The contributions of the PSS in providing law enforcement and the protection of the lawful interests of their clients are significant. Importantly, I am certain that it would have been impossible to overcome the total challenge of organized crime in the countries of the former socialist camp, without the participation of the private security services. Unfortunately, many government officials, today, have forgotten about this.
On the other hand, the private security structures, themselves and some former members of the armed forces have long become objects of attraction for the underworld. Transnational criminal groups are strengthening their positions on every side and are penetrating different spheres of the economy, which includes detective, information and security business. Some security structures were created on criminally made money, operate in methods against the rules, get involved in criminal affairs. Even, these days, criminal and shady businesses put-in money for the creation of security structures, which are under their control or rent them for their own defense. Also, some former secret service agents and policemen betray corporate interests and go off to serve bandits, protect the interests of shady businessmen and corrupt dealers, using professional methods they operate against their own former colleagues for criminal ends.
Such processes, which are connected with the upsurge of transnational crime and terrorism, aggravate with globalization. Unfortunately, this is also assisted by the corruption in some bodies of government and police.
Last year, the Baltic States joined the European Union and NATO, which, in connection with the global threats in the world, raises some definite questions:
- Will new members not bring along a load of unsolved problems, which will negatively affect the situation in the other democratic countries?
- Will crime and corruption not become widespread in a society where criminals reign?
- How does one know which of the private security structures to deal with and which is connected with criminal systems?
- In whose interest does this or the other security structure work: In the interest of a legal business or in the interest of criminal alliances?
- How could the private security structures, which are still loyal to the government and operate under the law, be safeguarded from also becoming criminalized?
- In what manner could the cooperation with those law enforcement structures, which are not seized by corruption, be regulated?
- On what basis could cooperation be made better with the authoritative non-governmental organizations?
- Is it possible to create that level of professionals’ cooperation in the sphere of security, which would provide real security for entrepreneurs and personalities?
These and other questions are the objects of our investigations, which we bring to your attention.
2.The Peculiarities of Criminal Situation
The dynamics of crime in the Baltics, unfortunately, corresponds to the pessimistic UN forecasts and characterizes a strengthening growth of the level of crime, overtaking the rate of population growth.
According to the corruption index, of the report of the international non-governmental organization Transparency International, out of about 100 countries, Latvia is on the 59th place, well gapped by Estonia (28th) and Lithuania (38th). For comparison, Great Britain is on the13th place, the USA on the 16th , Germany – 20th, Russia –79, Ukraine –83 of general ratings.
Last year, the World Bank lifted the sentence on Latvia: It discovered more of the high level of corruption only on countries like Tajikistan, Albania and Bulgaria. Even in countries like Georgia, Moldavia and Uzbekistan the index of the so-called ‘looting of countries’ is not as high as in our country. In almost about 40 Eastern European and former USSR countries, one of the highest levels of corruption is found in Latvia. This is why after a long time since the first investigation in 1999, the situation in the country, till today, has practically not changed.
Counterfeit productions replace the genuine.
Last year, tons (!) of counterfeit reproductions of popular brand clothes were held by the Latvian customs. For example, crooks tried to bring Nike, Adidas, Columbia and such sport apparel. All these counterfeit production was discovered even in reputable stores in Latvia. These fake products are sold as though they are the very originals. And not long ago, there was a campaign for the protection of Chanel products in more than ten department stores, eight solid stores out of these offered fake clothes and accessories in the that brand name to their buyers.
According to the report of Euro Commission experts on counterfeit products, just the fixed EU loss from falsifications come up to 2 billion euros each year. The counterfeit production of all kinds of goods is catastrophically on the increase. For example, the quantity of falsified mobile phones in the last year rose to 503%, illegal productions of cosmetic products and perfumes increased their beat by round about 300%. Makers of fake and pirated products have moved from luxurious goods into goods of mass use, particularly food products, medical goods, CDs, cosmetics, auto parts, batteries, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.
Within the EU borders, in the first part of last year, the EU withheld 50 million units of fake and pirated goods. And by expert ratings, only about 5% of contraband goods are caught by the customs. It is not hard to calculate the amount of contraband goods that get into Europe. This means that the general volume of counterfeit products grow 8-10 times faster than the volume of legal sales and in the past year it came up to about $250 billion. According to the data of the World trade association, 60% of fake goods from Turkey, China, Thailand and Russia are prepared by fraudsters for sales in the countries of the European Union. The goods are also delivered to and through the Baltic states.
According to experts’ information, it is Latvia that takes it upon itself to receive great amounts of falsified goods from Russian illegal producers to send to the European Union. Early enough, even before joining the EU, the fraudsters had opened production lines at near-border territories.
In Latvia, the internal market is safegurded by the Custom, the Patent Rights Department, the Veterinary Service, the Economic Police and the Consumer Rights Protection Agency. But the very makers of original products give the most effective rebuff to the dupes.
Obviously, this demonstrates the story of the illegal production of Head and Shoulders shampoo, which was discovered, not by the police but by the very producers -Procter and Gamble Latvija. The production was hidden in the outskirts of Riga. There, private detectives discovered cisterns containing some stuff that resemble shampoo, 3 thousand already prepared bottles of shampoo and production equipment. It was possible to locate the production venue after a long detective work in a number of Eastern European countries. The guilty persons shipped the “shampoo” to Russia. Found at the scene was a large quantity of liquid fake that contain about 1 % of shampoo, which are sold monthly in the Baltic States.
Our specialists together with some Austrian colleagues also did the same kind of work on the issue of the contraband of illegal alcohol shifted through Latvia to European countries and the USA.
Latvia has a problem with money laundering.
The inevitable growth of world trade comes along with the development of international financial networks, which influences the increase of the volume of poorly controlled transnational deals and money flow. Large sums of money are in circulation in the world financial system, the simple mode of their electronic transfers simplifies the possibility of hiding; transferring and laundering criminally made money. There are so many well-developed ways to manipulate money flow that even restrictions do not have desired effect. For instance, It was recently on the news that Russian and Latvian hackers stole large sums of money from private accounts in five Australian banks. The hackers broke into computers which the clients used at home, libraries and cyber-cafes, got details of the personal accounts of the banks’ clients and after that, through the internet, they withdrew large sums of money. Another example, is that Latvian and Estonian hackers got into the accounts of banks in New Zealand and abducted 100 thousand dollars from them.
A US state department, in a serial report on ‘International drug control strategy,’ included Latvia in the list of the most problematic countries, which do very little to fight money laundering. Such a decision was taken after a careful analysis of the situation and consultations with Latvian institutions.
Latvia is included in this list on the basis of such criteria as very significant deposits in Latvian banks by non residents; FBI investigations on money laundering in which Latvia is involved; the presence of organized crime; inconsistent application of measures taken against money laundering in Latvian banks; little number of convicts on money laundering cases. Specialists remark that criminals know the legislature very well, maneuver well with the methods that makes the work of control departments complicated. In the money laundering circuit, one may find excellent analysts, lawyers, and financiers. Every separate episode appears absolutely legal, however when all the stages, in the different banks and countries, are put together, then it becomes a clear fraud. As such, the flow of money among terrorists has no difference from that of those who legalize criminal money or just evade taxes. Crime money, which are used in business also imprints a criminal psychology on those who invest it. For this reason, there is also no use to talk about a market fair play.
Good working relations with the Latvian departments responsible for the investigation of financial crimes, help the FBI. As the US ambassador in Latvia remarked, the US intend to work closely with Latvia in the future in the struggle against money laundering. A particular attention is given to the control on any cross-border money transfers, the necessity of a tighter requirement for the carrying out of some particular operations, it is recommended that a law be adopted, which allows the government to confiscate the financial means of people found guilty of laundering revenues.
The analysis of the situation shows that Latvia, as well as the neighboring Baltic States, are a transit zone through which drug trafficking go from the East to the West, to European countries. Part of the drugs though, remains in Latvia.
Having been integrated into the EU, the country will end up becoming a final destination for drug traffickers and a real drug consumer. According to all forecasts, the drug mafia is strengthening their positions in the region.
The amounts of drug money continue to grow. According to the UN the general daily volume of drug business operations is above five hundred billion U.S. dollars. About 20% (twenty percent) of this money is laundered and used in legal investments. In the neighboring Russia, the proceeds of drug deals are not less than 8 billion U.S. dollars. According to our evaluations, illegal drug deals in Latvia make up to about 80 million U.S. dollars per year.
Drugs are practically dealt on in the open. There’s rarely a school child in Riga, who does not know where to get drugs. The relative success of repressive actions carries a formally demonstrative character. Often situation is that the drug users are punished, whereas the retail dealers, not to mention the large scale dealers, escape punishment. In place of each arrested retail dealer, another one appears on another shift.
Today, in Latvia, drug dealers could not exist without the covering of a police ‘cover’. Unfortunately, the drug mafia is able to spend more money on paying off government officials than the government budget spends on the payment of the law enforcement agencies, whereas, from different charity funds, comes the money for many anti-drug programs.
It may be said that people who, control the drug market are remarkably more powerful than the ones who control the legal spheres of businesses and services. It is a reality today that criminally earned income and shady money, are used in acquiring, not only properties, and large companies but also for participating in legislative and executive arms of the government. If the tempo of the development of drug business in Latvia in the last five to six years maintains, then the number of heavy drug addicts in the country will increase by ten percent, whereas the returns of drug business will exceed the national budget.
A great concern in Latvia, as well as in many other countries, is the growing influence of organized crimes. The criminal rings continue to encroach into legal businesses, enlarge control over some spheres of the economy, regions and territories, and conspire with their own structural subdivisions and with other groups, including penetrating into government, public and political institutes on an international scale.
Generally, businesses are owned by two sides: the legitimate and the criminal, and they work in parallels. In reality, the legitimate businesses are falling more and more to the power of criminals.
According to the official rating alone, up to 40 to 65 % of the Latvian economy is shady. The more corruption is widespread, the more government workers become tightly connected with criminal structures. Criminal organizations and corruption provide protection for criminals from all forms of social controls, this includes the help of the law enforcement agents. It is clear that organized crime is fully established, has penetrated into all the legislative, executive and the law enforcement structures of the government, accumulated enough funds, organized a teeming number of people, equipped them, have a solid base in the form of commercial structures of assorted kinds and can operationally adapt to their criminal purposes to a new change in the socio-economic sphere of life. All these mean the further growth of organized crimes; this includes the development of its organization, structuring, strengthening and cohesion and even the emerging of its new forms.
According to the given operatives, there are 4 large crime gangs in Latvia. Each gang is made up of a steady group (brigade) of about 40 to 70 hit men.
These men are specialized in racket, blackmail, contrabands, car thefts, the courier of petroleum; transit; bank and construction businesses. They trade with drug dealers, deal on prostitution and human trade, fraud networks. Basically, these groups maintain a ‘tight’ connection with their colleagues in Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, in the Ukraine and also in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Israel, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and now also in the USA.
THE LATVIAN BANDIT
Vadim Liede, a Latvian citizen was held last summer in Florida, A Polish court in Gdansk charged him with the organization of international criminal groups, seven murders in multiple armed operations. Ten years earlier, he and nine other inmates broke away from a prison in Latvia. In 1992 Liede was sentenced in Latvia to 13 years imprisonment for banditry, however, in June 1993, he made an escape from his confinement. The jailbreak was especially planned in other to liberate Liede.
A gang that operated within the Polish territories from 1997-99 consisted of 15 people: a few Poles, two Latvian citizens, Belarus, a Lithuanian and a Jordanian. They attacked a lot of exchange bureaus and cash-courier vehicles in several different parts of the country. Sneaking away from Poland, Liede was lucky but not for long, till the police catches up with him. The Florida police arrested this dangerous international criminal for car theft and forging of documents.
The connection between terrorism and organized crime
The characteristic tendency of modern times is the strengthening growth of organized crime and terrorism, such interconnection today, in all its spheres, has become a serious social issue.
In comparison with terrorist networks, organized crime is economically motivated rather than politically. There is a wrong supposition that illegal enterprises supports the real national economy, increases the rate of employment, provides a guarantee in the event of an economic fall and that part of the revenues from such businesses flows back into the legal economy.
However, such an approach does not account for the fact that the shady sector makes it difficult for the government to manage the economy, causes inflation, creates imbalance in many different non-profitable sectors, and increases the gap in the level of income of a thin circle of close individuals and the wider section of the society.
So it was in 2002, some international criminal gang leaders were arrested in Lithuania, they were charged with both terrorist acts and money laundering. Large amounts of contraband goods were supplied to an organized gang in Ireland. In the frame on the deal, 10 trucks with goods worth about 3.4 million US dollars were arrested, also a separate 140 thousand pound sterling cash.
The incomes of organized crime systems are increasing widely, reinvested in legal enterprises with the aim to legalize the illegally earned money. According to the data of a special commission for financial concerns (FATF), at present, about 1.5 trillion dollars are being legalized. This could not have been possible without the active or passive participation of private banks and government civil servants.
By directing their means into the legal economy, the criminals are legalizing themselves, becoming supposedly simple law abiding citizens, but use part of their means to bribe their way among the civil servants, to support their gang circles, to pay mercenaries and other unlawful purposes.
For the criminal enterprises it is remarkably easier than for the legal businesses to develop their business services and their different activities, acquire real estates, enlarge their circle of new clients, win tenders competitions, and get contracts on all kinds of orders. With the help of crime methods, a mighty monopolized structure is created, which leads to a much bigger income to the organized crime at the time when honest businessmen, far from always, could not survive in the unequal struggle and are forced to fold their businesses or join-in with this shady or black economy.
That way the rise of organized crime into legal economy unavoidably leads to the destruction of the real market law, at the end, the consumers and the society at large bear the grant of it all.
Just a little over 20 years ago in the Soviet Union, scientists, criminologists and practitioners completely denied the existence of organized crime. It was thought that crime could only be professional, gang, recidivism, delinquent, or social as well as terrorist acts were very rare. However, after 10 years, the existence of organized crimes was generally accepted and even asserted its ‘emergence into power’.
Not so long ago it was hard to imagine that terrorists would send hijacked planes into buildings , cut off heads of hostages and show it through mass media sources, seize theaters, hospitals and schools, kill women and children and so on the forth. What is next?!
Today not only organized crime but also connected with it, international terrorism, sharply increased their influences, abilities, the geography for the acts, and they are already openly reaching for power: For power over people’s minds, over nations, governments and over the world. Unfortunately, criminal and terrorist systems have already acquired economic and financial power.
When talked about the wars of the 20th century, we felt that they have some kind of end. When we talk about crime and terrorism in the 21st century, we do not yet feel a rational limit. And generally speaking, to talk about a rational limit, in the face of the irrational nature of this phenomenon is unjustifiable.
3. The answer to social order is the private security services
At the conception of the World Anti-criminal and Anti-terrorist Forum (WAAF) one of the aims and objectives is said to be ‘the assistance of worldwide development of the cooperation of all stratums of society in the war against international crime and terrorism for the provision of effective resistance against these threats’.
As a practical instrument for achieving the aim of the unification of all the strata of the society against crime and terrorism, our organization applies the model worked out by WAAF. This, model could also be used on the international level: As practice shows, the general unifying objective notwithstanding, contradictions and even conflicting situations arise among the different components of the system.
Some of the factors, being the reason for the above-mentioned contradiction, serve what is named ‘The Bermuda triangle’: ‘Security – social rights – the right of the individual’.
Security is understood as the stable conditions of any micro or macro system (from biological to cosmic) allowing it to effectively perform its functions. In the social space, such conditions are taken care of by the complexity of technological means, legislative acts and other measures. Such complexity of measures is defined as the security systems.
What is the connection of their analogy with the Bermuda triangle?
The Bermuda triangle is a symbol of a definite dangerous space for any person in this zone of objects.
In the frame of the security systems, it is created with the aim of protecting individuals, the society and the incumbent government, de jure and de facto forms a knot of a social tension. On the out side it looks paradoxical, that the provision of the right of the individual contradicts the security of the society and vice versa, protecting the society, we infringe on the right of the individual.
As a matter of fact, we can talk about the coming of an era of full control for every person, in which it would be possible to go through the clothes inside the body, into blood and genetic systems, in the black box, not to talk of biological parameters, private lives and connections. On the agenda is the introduction of biometric passports, not to mention detailed study of personalities before getting a visa and at the airports, in government buildings and at the headquarters of large businesses, where one already feels decent discomfort due to security procedures. The subject of the information does not know often when, who and how the information on him is dealt with.
After the 11th of September, new national anti–terrorist laws and the amendment of existing laws were adopted and this gave the armed structures more full rights, which till recently, was an unsurpassable barrier of ‘holy untouchable private lives’ standing against them. In the structures of the representing authority, under the conditions of the multifaceted threat of personal and social security, drafting plans for a law which protects the private lives of the inhabitants from unwanted invasion is loosing priority, departmental lawful deeds are becoming more cruel.
With the instrument of the law, are law enforcement and special services, which accomplish their function of the provision of security, most often in a limit of time in extreme situations.
The operative activities of special services flow mainly in the same corridors, in which an individual has to take a decision on the correspondence or the exceeding of the limits of necessary defense in the face of sudden threats on his life. Operative activities, by definition, is difficult to be combined with judicial procedures, the realization of it requires different time measurements. To get a legal sanction on-line on the accomplishment of special deeds on the basis of urgent operative information is quite illusionary or just unrealistic, this is why the operative cooperation of like structures is popular. Here, the main contradiction consists of the generality of the characters of judicial norms and the situational initiative of the operational activities of special services, which is little concerned with its totalitarian procedures. The special services of democratic nations have worked-out a way for themselves, on this issue, to go round judicial bottlenecks. But how about the protected rights of those ‘who are committed to the struggle against terrorist acts’, those who work under fire, liberating hostages, investigating dangerous criminals and bandits? Being subjects of security, they do not need less but perhaps more defense of their rights.
To a greater level, these conditions could be attributed to the rights of workers in the area of private security structures, who do not have any kind of guarantee of rights by the government, though, as a matter of fact, they carry out the same functions of the provision of law and order and the defense of the lawful interests of their clients.
The need for security
In the conditions, where every man could not feel safe neither at home nor at work, nor going about his business, when the government could not provide protection from criminal encroachments for its citizens, people try to find support and safety within the social groups or communities, they consciously or spontaneously look for opportunities to protect themselves by themselves or by all possible alternative means. The emergence of private security structures and their development can be considered as a reaction to a social order: necessity is the mother of invention.
In recent years, in questions concerning the prevention of breaking the law and law enforcement, many countries are oriented, not only on the traditional police forces but also on private detective bureaus and the services of commercial and industrial security, co-workers who are broadening the scope of their services in the economic sphere, providing the safeguarding and security properties, the collection of evidences on civil and criminal cases, participating national and international scientific work at conferences and investigation centers on the issue of the struggle against crime. This tendency is basically explained by the financial attraction for many government agencies of transmission, some of which is of second-class law enforcement function to the private structures and possibly, in connection with these, to a definite level, minimizes the state budget expenses on the police.
To revalue the abilities of Private Security Structures (PSS) in the counteraction against organized crime and more so, terrorism, would have been wrong. Nevertheless, such possibilities exist.
PSS and the fight against crime:
A) A PSS practitioner could be a potential object of attack. It is well known that professionals who work in the area of private security structures perish tragically in the course of performing their duties.
B) In reality, they could help in the prevention and putting an end to of concrete unlawful acts. We know a lot of examples of successful cooperation between the PSS and the law enforcement agencies in the discovery of crime.
C) Able to take part in the investigations, strengthening and the gathering of evidence on committed and intended crimes. The private security officers maintain order and prevent crimes in government institutions, airports as well as shopping complexes, banks, theme parks and many other places.
D) The strategic and tactical performance of the PSS includes:
- Informative, organizational, administrative methods – oriented on counteractions against criminal intentions and moods.
- The introduction of special management methods and politics in commercial structures bearing the increase in criminal and terrorist threats in mind;
- The development of recommendations on the tactics of security services and the behavior of the personnel of business structures in criminal situations.
The organizational-legal problems of the PSS
In the Baltic countries, the activities of the PSS, till date, have become a formidable factor, which is able to provide security for individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, the normative-legal base of these activities, even in our region, is in different levels of development.
Thus, there is no law in Lithuania, which regulates the activities of private detectives. In Estonia, a law on the private detective activities also does not exist. The services of private eyes are seen as a business structure in the category of legal consultations.
Latvia is the most advanced in these matters in the region. Since1998, we have a binding ‘law on the activities of security guards’, and from 2002, the ‘law on detective activities’ was adopted. To our honor, our Federation actively participated in the working out of the above mentioned legal projects.
Detective security business carries a very specific character. Offering such services, which are in decent demand by commercial structures, is usually legitimate as well as semi-legal or criminal. That is to say that services that offer to protect clients could be legal PSS, so also those who work without any legal grounds, or those who has ties with criminal groups.
The business of most commercial structures, as users of such services, could also be legal or illegal. It is not always known, whether the client is a law-abiding and what purposes he bears in mind. Even in the PSS, which works strictly on legal grounds, there is always an increasing risk of stepping over the law, especially if the client represents the shady sector.
It is necessary to take into account the following factors, which influence the development of the private security services:
1) The presence of a number of differentiating points between the government law- enforcement agencies and the PSS.
2) The growing high competition of legal PSS: between themselves; with the illegal structures of similar services ( which are not legally registered); with police service men , who are privately engaged in such practice; and with criminal groups, which offer protection services, tax evasion and the settling of conflicts.
3) The question over the connection between the PSS and crime, ‘money laundering through the PSS’, the development of PSS by means of ‘the common purse’ (that is what the ‘black treasury’ of organized crime is called).
In some cases, for this reason, the activities of the PSS was blocked or prohibited in the course of getting organizational-legal means, but the very incidence of such a fact deprives the firm of license. In such a situation, such organizations, as a matter of fact, becomes illegal, but continues to offer such services, only without the corresponding contracts, license and the paying of taxes.
In Latvia, in the opinion of some government officials, the level of the criminalization in the PSS is very high and is getting up to 70%. But in our opinion, it is not higher than in the official agencies of law enforcement. The fact is that such facts very rarely come to light and the evaluation may be given according to the subjective opinion of a civil servant, who might also be corrupt.
4) Poor attention and support on the side of the state institutions. For many years, we steadily have to show that PSS could be much more useful for providing law and order, crime prevention and terrorism watch; that PSS need closer cooperation with the law enforcement agencies. For instance, we have developed and submit to the appropriate officials the multi-level proposal of substantial improvements of cooperation between PSS and law enforcement. With the same goals we organize various conferences and meetings where we invite officials from different government bodies. But unfortunately, a lot of our incentives, results of investigations, operative information, especially concerning international swindlers, appears to be unclaimed by the part of government agencies. Even more, for the time being, practically nothing has been done to improve the cooperation.
Therefore, instead of attracting the private security structures to their side, and not push away people potentially loyal in legal and political relationships, the government is forced to spend a remarkable means essentially on the elimination of the consequences of insufficient preventive measures.
The result of such politics is well known: even the special services and the cooperate department of the law enforcement agencies, not feeling the support of those above, the leadership, the State, the government, not feeling their own social importance, they quickly fall, go into degradation and begin to hunt for easy takes and practice eye-service.
But then, the lack of attention to the PSS on the side of government law enforcement institutions is a defining reason for the exodus of qualified professionals into crime.
The financing of PSS.
The level of the abilities and the factual positions of the subjects of Private Security Services differs a lot. The important issue is on what assets one or another firm exists.
1) One of the sources of the financing of the PSS is money acquired as a result of illegal activities.
For example, detective and security firms are established on shady money, special equipment, vehicles are acquired; highly-paid staff are gathered; assets for the paying off the services of corrupt civil servants are set aside; and finally, long term programs on drifting into legal business and into government institutions are drafted. All these are the alarming realities of today.
This is the very reason why, in the first part of my report, I paid so much attention to the criminal tendencies of our region. Often , the outwardly imposing, and well-advertised security and detective firms exist on criminal grants, they do their work by applying dumping politics, unscrupulous competitions, clearly illegal and criminal methods. It is important for respectable clients, who do their business in our region, not to fall into the hands of such criminalized companies.
Other sources of financing of detective and security businesses are:
2) Foreign investments, the active entering of international corporations and financial-industrial groups into the business.
3) The financing by banks, insurance companies, trade networks and other local commercial structures.
4) Self-financing, as a result of the provision of services in the sphere of security. Especially for those, self-financing firms, it is rather difficult to survive at the present market conditions.
In the tough competition, the price and profit margins shrink. This is the reality. The pressure of consumers on the market has become stronger. Some clients are trying to reduce their expenditures, including the cost of security. Naturally, this leads to the decrease of the profitability of our business as a whole, PSS is forced to work with minimal profit. The problem aggravates with the fact that clients very often do not see the difference between the qualities of the cheap and the more expensive services, believing that ridiculously cheap costs could also guarantee quality. Very often such approach turns out with essential losses.
So, the working out of some standard of security quality might be the way to solve this problem. The client shall become motivated that for a good price he could get quality services according to the standards.
From government security to people’s security
1) For the time being the war on terrorism is issue Number 1, moreover, organized crime is close connected with terrorist networks.
In the report of the independent experts’ institute Worldwatch the following issue is considered: Is it right to focus attention on the security of the government instead of that of the people? The conception of ‘the general security’ which is formed in that report, says: - For one government to be in security, his opponents must have to also feel secure. A lot of the sources of conflicts today are not resolved by military ‘solutions’ and military support no matter how much more technologically advanced they may be. It could, in fact, prove to be counterproductive.
There is a transformation of the roles of the government at present, which are in line with globalization. National governments are partly relinquishing their monopoly, in other to realize government authority, including such tasks as the provision of security, in which they have appeared to be insufficient or unprepared to stand against the growing economic, social, criminal and terrorist challenges. Probably in the 21st century, there will be a review of how the very concept of security is understood, the expediency attached to the guarantee of security. But then, countries, which do not have clear external aggressors, could radically reduce equipping themselves militarily and indulge more on long-term solutions to social issues and the struggle against crime. I see Latvia as one of such countries.
2) PSS, which have become a reality in our time, represent an essential element in the provision of societal security along side with the governmental law enforcement agencies although they yet are not enough desired and understood by the government. It is essentially important not to push PSS away, but to engage them in the common activities regarding the law and order enforcement.
So, objectively there arises the necessity for the government and non-government security structures to put forces together, the distribution of concrete rights and assignments between the participants in the preventive measures in the struggle with crime and terrorism. In other words, it is necessary to create an organized-legal regulation, which defines the competences and responsibilities of the government and the private security structures, and also the order of the procedures of their cooperative work in all the strategic and tactical issues.
Unfortunately, in our region this doesn’t exist. And your theoretic and practical experiences in such cooperative work would have been extraordinarily useful to us.
3) Under the conditions of the globalization of crime, the issue of the creation of a complex system of security at regional and national levels, at the international headquarters, for example, of the ASIS, WAAF and other authoritative organizations of such nature is clearly high on the agenda .
The response to the globalization of crime and terrorism must become a global counteractive measures against the 21st century awful challenges. For the counteraction against this real evil on the planet, all the positive powers of society, not minding national interests, political and other preferences, must combine their forces in seeking collaborators, supporters and partners in order to affectively accomplish the preventive measures at all levels, including cooperative work with the relative international, government and private organizations. In line with this, professionals from the private security structures of most different countries have to take a worthy place and play their important role with their real abilities. You and we have one common enemy, which is the criminal and terrorist networks. And all hands must be on deck round the world, to fight this common enemy.
References: In the report the information was used from the open sources, mass media, law enforcement statistics, material of LDDDF and SBS.