- "I want people to see me. I'm a crime lord. I can't do business if people can't find me."
- ―Marn Hierogryph
A crime lord was the local or planetary boss of a criminal organization. Crime lords would often surround themselves with lackeys, mercenaries, or bodyguards for protection. Crime lords who oversaw smuggling were known as "smuggling czars." "Crime lord" is a gender-neutral term and can be applied to either a male or a female.
The goal of most crime lords was to make money. They would achieve this by participating in any illegal activity that generated income, like extortion, gambling, loan sharking, kidnapping, spice cultivation and distribution, and slave trading. The Squib Slythor ran a salvaging ring on the Outer Rim Territories world of Korad.
Some crime lords preferred to only participate in certain, more "honest" activities such as gambling, loan-sharking, and smuggling because these activities did not harm people as much as extortion or kidnapping. In these activities, the crime lords didn't use cruelty and violence as means of achieving a given goal. Some crime lords even worked with other crime lords to maximize profits.
Most successful crime lords had many police, security, and government officials on their payroll in order to operate efficiently. Gangsters also regularly entered into the service of crime lords, though usually these goons and thugs working for a crime lord were not paid nearly as well as the crime lord himself.
Hutt crime lords
The Hutts were famous for their ruthlessness and success in the underworld. Many Hutts would ransack innocent ships for their cargo. As masters of the criminal underworld, they would steal, cheat, and murder without hesitation, often hiring smugglers such as Han Solo to transport illegal spice, weapons, or slaves. Gamorreans and Weequay were commonly employed by Hutts. Hutts tended to ensconce themselves in fortresses, often on remote planets, such as Jabba's Palace on Tatooine. These fortresses were filled with mercenaries, bounty hunters, and innumerable other sycophants. Heading a ruthless criminal organization meant extreme competition and complex intrigues. Hutts that got involved with such activity were often killed or arrested. Only the most cunning, like Jabba and Borvo, stayed at the top of the food chain. Some Hutts, like Jabba, had such an influence that they actually controlled entire planets.
Along with Gamorreans and Weequay, Nikto and other ruthless species looking to break into the criminal underworld were common visitors to Hutt palaces. It was well known that no one requested an audience with a Hutt without having something to offer. The Hutts associated with bounty hunters frequently, such as the infamous Boba Fett.