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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nigerian criminal organizations and networks are unique in both their ubiquity and the diverse nature of their activities. Criminals from Nigeria and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere in West Africa are active in every country with criminal opportunities to be exploited. The author looks at the political, social, and economic contexts from which Nigerian criminal organizations emerged (and which continues to sustain them today), seeks to explain how they established a global presence, and explores the range of organizational structures they adopt and their various activities. The author argues that the success of Nigerian organized crime can be understood in terms of a mix of the incentives and pressures for criminal activity, the availability of opportunities, and the resources or capacity to exploit these opportunities, at both the national level and the global level. He concludes that the impediments to the continued growth of organized crime are weak, as the trends facilitating expansion remain powerful.

Keywords: Nigerian organized crime, Nigeria, West Africa, corruption, drug trafficking, fraud

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