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Strategic versus emergent crime groups: the case of Vietnamese cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands


  • Yvette M.M. Schoenmakers
  • Bo Bremmers
  • Edward R. Kleemans


This article addresses the nature and development of the Vietnamese involvement in cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands. The findings are based on empirical data collected from national police registrations, case studies and in-depth interviews with over 30 Dutch and international respondents. The authors describe the background characteristics of Vietnamese cannabis farmers, the structure of the predominantly mono-ethnic Vietnamese criminal groups and the international context. A situational approach to organised crime is applied to illustrate the ‘emergent’ character of the Vietnamese crime groups as opposed to a ‘strategic’ context of organised crime. The Vietnamese supervisors in the Netherlands have legal citizenship and often have ‘careers’ in cannabis-related crimes. It would appear that for a Vietnamese gardener or farmer, the path into cannabis cultivation is linked to financial debt. Besides situational factors, group characteristics, such as the migrant community, seem important in understanding the Vietnamese involvement in the Dutch cannabis market.

Suggested Citation

  • Yvette M.M. Schoenmakers & Bo Bremmers & Edward R. Kleemans, 2013. "Strategic versus emergent crime groups: the case of Vietnamese cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 321-340, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fglcxx:v:14:y:2013:i:4:p:321-340
    DOI: 10.1080/17440572.2013.822303

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