Expert says Canadians too soft on organized crime

An expert on international organized crime says Canada has to get serious about controlling criminal organizations or risk becoming a haven for international gangsters.

Antonio Nicaso has studied and written about organized crime for twenty years. He spoke Tuesday to a conference of police chiefs in Saskatoon.

Nicaso told the chiefs Canadian prosecutors are too quick to make deals to avoid trials.

He says even after pleading guilty, crime bosses convicted in Canada face as little as one quarter the jail time they'd face in the Unite States.

However, Nicaso says while longer sentences would help, the best way to discourage organized crime is to take away seize their assetts. "If you arrest the boss he will spend 2 or 3 years in jail with no problem. But if you take the profit out of crime you will hurt him in his pocket", he said.

Nicaso said Canada is one of the few western countries that has yet to make it illegal to be a member of a criminal organization.