In terms of the two salient characteristics of loan-sharking, the first being extremely high rates in relation to market norms is certainly true although whether the rates are really so high in relation to risk, no one can say a priori.
It operates in violation of regulations, using underground networks, with payments in cash, and on the basis largely of free-market exchange
As to the second, the use of violence or its threat to ensure repayment, it makes the trade approximate a predatory practice like extortion. In reality actual violence seems rare even criminals who borrow generally repay, for www.rksloans.com/installment-loans-tn they never know when they might need the services of the loan shark again. Most anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that underground pledges of property are often the collateral, and where none exists, fears of a bad credit rating in the underground economy, or the reputation for having breached a trust, can be sufficient to guarantee payment. To the very limited extent violence or the threat thereof is used, it rarely reaches extreme forms, unless someone clearly had the means to pay and deliberately flaunts their “dead-beat” status. However, there do seem to be more examples of incidents where the violence is against property arson might be used to assure, through the resulting insurance money, that a borrower can repay.
On balance, loan-sharking seems more likely to fit the market-based than the predatory or commercial categories. Yet it is a curious kind of offence in which the borders between sharp business practice and actual crime are hazy, where there are constantly changing norms and institutions, where concern over the phenomenon flourishes and fades for reasons that are unclear, and where the matter might best be treated strictly as a regulatory (and fiscal) rather than criminal code concern. Only in the event that violence or its threat are used does there seem a clear case for the traditional criminal justice system to take much heed, and there are plenty of statutes under which to proceed against the perpetrator of those acts without having to use the arbitrary and arcane offence of usury.
3.5 CFC Smuggling
This crime grew out of Canadas adherence to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the most comprehensive multinational environmental convention ever signed, to phase out the production and use of ozone-layer depleting CFCs and similar chemicals used particularly in refrigerants and automobile air conditioners. The Protocol called for wealthy industrial countries to implement a rapid phase-out, while developing countries were permitted to actually increase their production and use for a time, before also beginning a programmed elimination. As a result Canada agreed that, after January 1 st , 1996, its supply of new CFCs would cease, and that subsequently the only domestic lawful supply would come from reclaimed and recycled sources. It passed an amendment to its Environment Protection Act by which unauthorized imports of CFCs would be a strict liability offence with penal consequences.
In Canada to date there seems to have been only one case R. v. Haas in the Alberta Provincial Court Criminal Division in 1993. The accused were found to have crossed the border with CFCs in full knowledge of applicable law pertaining to the chemicals they were, after all, in the refrigeration business. The court also ruled that the defendants had been unable to prove due diligence, qualifying them for a guilty verdict under strict liability. However, because of uncertainty over the description of the goods, their location and condition, the accused were acquitted.
While Canada introduced a phased withdrawal and import ban, the U.S.A. introduced an import duty, an excise tax at the point of first sale that rises every year which also applies to recycled material, restrictions on the uses to which imports could be put, and a floor tax on existing stocks, all combined with a ban on further domestic production. The result was a sixfold increase in domestic price. The result, as well, was to produce a burgeoning black market one estimate puts it at 30,000 tons a year at its peak that some suggest threatened the very foundations of the Montreal Protocol. Granted the problem is self-limiting no automobile built after 1994 uses CFCs in its air conditioning system and there are substitutes which are actually cheaper for other refrigerant uses. Nonetheless, there is still an enormous number of used cars in the USA; they are often exported to other countries; and the ozone problem is so urgent any continued CFC use is worrisome.