Global Organized Crime Index

The Global Organized Crime Index published today by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) provides the first-ever assessment of illicit economies in all 193 Member States of the United Nations. It shows the penetration of criminal markets, the risks and impact of organized crime, the dynamics of criminal actors, and the resilience of countries to deal with the problem.

The Index is the result of a two-year endeavour to evaluate levels of crime and resilience. Through this data, it is hoped that the Index will help inform a truly global response to the pervasive threat of transnational organized crime.

Because of its clandestine nature, however, often little is known about how organized crime operates in each country. To address this knowledge gap, the GI-TOC has developed the Global Organized Crime Index, a unique, data-driven analytical tool that evaluates 193 UN member states according to two metrics: according to their criminality on a score from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest organized crime levels), which in turn is based on their criminal markets score and criminal actors score; and according to their resilience to organized crime, from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest resilience levels).

The results of the first edition of the Global Organized Crime Index, outlined in the flagship report and the interactive Index website, paint a worrying picture of the reach, scale and impact of organized crime in 2020. Perhaps the most stark finding of the Index is that the majority of people worldwide live in countries with high levels of organized crime. The Index also shines a light on the ubiquity of some of the most insidious forms of exploitation that are perpetrated by criminal actors the world over, including individuals and networks operating from within the state apparatus. The Index also illustrates the widespread shortcomings in global levels of resilience to organized crime, from weaknesses in criminal justice systems to rampant corruption and violent crackdowns on the freedom of the press and civil society.

The Global Organized Crime Index is available following this link>>>.

 

A new report on flows of people, drugs and money in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans is a crossroads for the trafficking of many illicit commodities, and it is a geographical hub for the smuggling of migrants who are trying to enter Western Europe.

The Global initiative against transnational organised crime (GI-TOC) published a new report: “Spot Prices: Analysing flows of people, drugs and money in the Western Balkans“.

It provides a detailed overview of the prices and routes for drugs and migrants being smuggled through the Western Balkans and sheds light on the size of the profits generated and where the money is laundered.

This report contains a wealth of information gathered through field research and interviews carried out with current and former law enforcement officials, investigative journalists, researchers, local officials, migrants, drug users, and civil society representatives in the region.

There are a lot of interesting maps and visual presentations about migrant smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering. I hope you will enjoy it reading.

To read the report, follow this link>>>.

 

EU crime threat assessment

From the Europol webpage

The EU Serious and organised crime threat assessment (SOCTA) 2021 is the outcome of a detailed analysis of the threat of serious and organised crime facing the EU, providing information for practitioners, decision-makers and the wider public. As a threat assessment, the SOCTA is a forward-looking document that assesses shifts in the serious and organised crime landscape.

The SOCTA 2021 sets out current and anticipated developments across the spectrum of serious and organised crime, identifies the key criminal groups and individuals involved in criminal activities across the EU and describes the factors in the wider environment that shape serious and organised crime in the EU.

The SOCTA 2021 provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on criminal networks and their operations based on data provided to Europol by Member States and partners and data collected specifically for the SOCTA 2021. In trying to overcome the established, and limiting, conceptualisation of organised crime groups, this assessment focuses on the roles of criminals within criminal processes and outlines how a better understanding of those roles allows for a more targeted operational approach in the fight against serious and organised crime.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Close to 40% of the criminal networks active in the EU are involved in the trade in illegal drugs.
  • Around 60 % of the criminal networks active in the EU use violence as part of their criminal businesses.
  • The use of corruption and the abuse of legal business structures are key features of serious and organised crime in Europe. Two thirds of criminals use corruption on a regular basis. More than 80 % of the criminal networks use legal business structures.

A whole section of the report is dedicated to The trade in illegal drugs in the EU.

Europol is the EU’s law enforcement agency and it assists the Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. Established in 2000, Europol is at the heart of the European security architecture and offers a unique range of services. Europol is a support centre for law enforcement operations, a hub for information on criminal activities, and a focal point for law enforcement expertise. Analysis is central to Europol’s activities. To give its partners deeper insights into the crimes they are tackling, Europol produces regular assessments offering comprehensive, forward-looking analyses of crime and terrorism in the EU.

To read the report, follow this link>>>.

 

Civil Society Observatory’s Risk Bulletin

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) published Issue 5 of the Risk Bulletin produced by the Civil Society Observatory to Counter Organized Crime in South Eastern Europe.

Among other stories, you can read some related to drugs:

A renaissance of crime in Novi Pazar?

A spate of violent incidents has put Novi Pazar in southern Serbia back on the map as a hotspot of organized crime. The city, situated along key trafficking routes, once had the reputation of being the main heroin warehouse in Europe. We look at its past and present links to illicit economies.

Synthetic drugs in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans is well known as a transit region for the trafficking of drugs, like cannabis, cocaine and heroin. But, as examined in this article, there are signs that the region is also a producer of synthetic drugs, as well as a growing consumer market.

Lessons learned from cannabis legalization in North Macedonia

In March 2016, North Macedonia legalized the cultivation and export of cannabis for medicinal use. We look at lessons learned from North Macedonia’s experience over the past five years, particularly related to regulation, and the dangers of legally-grown cannabis landing on the black market.

To read full the Bulletin, follow this link>>>.

 

GI TOC is a network of more than 500 experts on organised crime drawn from law enforcement, academia, conservation, technology, media, the private sector and development agencies. It publishes research and analysis on emerging criminal threats and works to develop innovative strategies to counter organised crime globally. To receive monthly Risk Bulletin updates an read more interesting stories and analysis from the region, please sign up following this link>>>.

Bolstering resilience among civil society in the Western Balkans

The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI TOC), through their Observatory of Illicit Economies in South Eastern Europe (SEE-Obs) and the Resilience Fund, published Stronger Together: Bolstering resilience among civil society in the Western Balkans report.

As the space for civil society appears to be shrinking in the Western Balkans, this report looks at organized crime and corruption in the region from a civil society perspective. It aims to give an overview of how civil society organizations in the Western Balkans deal with issues related to organized crime and corruption and highlights their main activities and concerns.

The GI-TOC’s experience of engaging with community actors all over the world has shown that individuals and community groups are able to build their individual and collective capacity to respond to and recover from organized crime. This report shows that courageous and committed CSOs across the Western Balkans are doing the same, but would benefit from further support to help strengthen communities’ resilience.

More about the report is available from this video

To read the report, follow this link>>>.


GI TOC shall present the report at the webinar scheduled for Friday 19 Mar 2021 at 11 AM (CET). Interpretation to Albanian, Macedonian, and Bosnian-Montenegrin-Serbian will be available during the event.

This webinar will draw together insights from civil society actors from across the Western Balkans working on organized crime and corruption and identify good practices across the region. During the 90 minute discussion we will also explore how these organizations’ resilience can be strengthened and how CSOs themselves can contribute to strengthening resilience in their communities and across the region.

Registration is required: Click here to register>>>.