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Report Reveals How Much Gangs Earn

Posted January. 30, 2007 06:47,   


Reportedly, Korean organized crime members generally operate four types of businesses including night clubs, video arcades, and game rooms. The average monthly income of Gang members is about four million won.

The Korean Institute of Criminal Justice recently conducted a survey of 109 gang inmates in April 2005, and released five reports based on 29 interviews. One such report titled, “Income Source of Organized Crime,” released on January 29, included the following wage statistics. According to the results, 29.2% of the gang members surveyed said their monthly earnings total between 1 and 3 million won, 28.1% of the respondents answered from 3 to 5 million won, 22.5% of claimed 5 to 10 million won and 12.4 % of them boasted from 10 to 20 million won. About 3.4% answered that they earn less than 1 million won and 5.6% said their monthly income stands at more than 20 million won. The reported average monthly income of 4 million won is derived by dividing the total income of all respondents by the number of respondents surveyed.

Also according to the survey, in 67% of cases, crime organizations directly run night clubs, video arcades, game rooms and other gambling businesses, as compared to managing such operations indirectly which accounts for about 60.6% of cases. As a result, the gangs have certain amount of capital according to the analysis of the report. In regards to the question of an annual income of the criminal organizations, 30.0% answered between 100 million won and 300 million won.

With regard to job satisfaction levels, 67.0% surveyed checked “okay” and 12.3% checked “satisfactory” or “very satisfactory,” which shows that their job satisfaction level is generally higher than that of police officers. A job satisfaction survey on police officers in 2004 revealed 55.9% answered “okay” and 9.5% of them said “satisfactory” or “very satisfactory.”

However, 27.5% of the crime member respondents said that the incomes they get from their organizations range from 1 million won to 2 million won while 15.9% said they reap less than half a million won. One respondent said, “Once, I couldn’t afford gasoline for my car.” The report warns that “it is possible the respondents exaggerate their income level given their nature” and adds “It seems they earn half of the income themselves and are given the other half by their organizations in return for doing jobs tasked by the organizations.”

The report also says gang members prefer material gains to brotherhood, a symbol of organized crime. A gang member said in an interview, “In terms of money, gang members are not generous. When a member inherits a shop from another member, the inheritor should pay a deposit.” Other answers include, “We don’t tell our subordinates exactly how many shops we are running.” and “To run a shop, each one has to earn money on their own.”

One crime prosecutor said, “Only a few earn a lot of money and most gangs barely make ends meet. While investigating cases related to criminal organizations, it is hard to prove one’s guilt because victims and witnesses are reluctant to testify."