Big-time criminals defined

The big-time criminal doesn’t rob banks. He sits in an office and presses buttons. He takes no risks. He doesn’t disturb society’s sacred cows. Instead he devotes himself to some kind of legalized extortion, preying on private individuals.

Big-time criminals profit from everything—from poisoning nature and whole populations and then pretending to repair their ravages by inappropriate medicines; from purposely turning whole districts of cities into slums in order to pull them down and then rebuild others in their place. The new slums, of course, turn out to be far more deleterious to people’s health than the old ones had been. But above all they don’t get caught.

— From The Locked Room (1972), by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

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