Organaized Crime


Organized crime is a concept in common parlance associated primarily with drug or criminal crime and is colloquially reduced to the popular word “mafia.” Meanwhile, activities unrelated to criminal nature, including strictly economic activities, are often considered by Polish law enforcement agencies as an organized criminal group or association aimed at committing a crime or fiscal crime.

As a rule, a criminal group or association is considered to be a group of at least three members, among whom there must be a specific division of roles and tasks and an internal structure. It must be headed by at least one leader. The purpose of the existence of the group or association must be aimed at committing a crime. The condition for such a charge does not have to be the commission of a crime, but the mere acceptance of the group’s or association’s choice of a criminal goal in the form of breaking criminal laws. The difference between a criminal group and a criminal association lies mainly in the criterion of the degree of internal organization and the method of admission of members. An association with the purpose of committing a crime or fiscal crime is characterized by greater formalization, internal structuring and permanence.

Organized crime is regulated in Article 258 § 1-4 of the Polish Criminal Code and is punishable by 3 months to 10 years of imprisonment. Stricter liability is provided for activity in a group of an armed or terrorist nature, while directing a group or association of such nature under Polish legislation constitutes a felony, for which the minimum penalty is 3 years’ imprisonment. Under Polish law, the commission of any act within the framework of organized crime will be included in the legal qualification of such an act by supplementing it with Article 65 § 1 of the Polish Criminal Code, and is associated with more severe criminal liability

For years, Poland and the countries of the European Union have been intensifying their activities aimed at combating manifestations of organized crime by increasing budgetary resources for the purchase of means to detect this type of crime, as well as through the tools created for efficient operational activities, an example of which is the European multidisciplinary platform EMPACT. In recent years, the concept of organized crime has been increasingly linked to the concept of economic crime, and consequently it affects some representatives of the business world. In the current legal system in Poland, the mere suspicion of acting as part of an organized criminal group causes significant legal inconveniences in the form of the application of detention on remand or other harsh preventive measures and coercion.

The scope of KKZ’s services related to handling organized crime cases includes:

  • representation in criminal and criminal-economic proceedings concerning organized crime at the preparatory and judicial proceedings stage based on a carefully prepared litigation strategy;
  • cooperation with Polish law enforcement agencies and foreign institutions;
  • representation of clients in the procedure related to the European Arrest Warrant and in extradition proceedings;
  • cases involving a letter of safe conduct;
  • representation in penal enforcement proceedings;
  • legal assistance in revoking and modifying the application of property security and preventive measures, including detention on remand;
  • taking procedural measures aimed at consensual termination of criminal proceedings;
  • representation and protection of crime victims related to organized crime.

Our offer is addressed to:

  • persons suspected or accused of involvement in organized crime;
  • persons applying for a letter of safe conduct;
  • persons against whom an EAW has been issued or extradition proceedings have been initiated;
  • entities harmed by organized crime.

How can
we help you?

the experts

Maciej Zaborowski

Advocate, Managing Partner

Paweł Gołębiewski

Attorney-at-law, Head of International Criminal Law Practice