The Japanese Yakuza, the Camorra from Naples and Mexico's Los Zetas as well as The Brothers' Circle, based mainly in the former Soviet Union, were among those slapped with economic sanctions, the White House said.
US President Barack Obama signed an executive order setting out 56 priority actions aimed at smashing transnational criminal organizations by breaking their economic power and protecting the financial system.
The order froze all property belonging to those groups designated as transnational criminal organizations, and barred American citizens from engaging in any business with them.
'Organized crime is no longer a local or regional problem; it has become a danger to international stability,' Obama wrote in a letter to Congress outlining his new order.
'Significant transnational criminal organizations have become increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States and their activities have reached such scope and gravity that they destabilize the international system.'"