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ORGANIZED CRIME FUELS ILLEGAL IVORY SURGE IN AFRICA

Asian-run organized crime syndicates based in Africa are being implicated in the increase in illegal trade in elephant ivory, according to a new study by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network of WWF and IUCN-The World Conservation Union. Download the report here.

GOOD COPS, BAD MOBS? EU POLICIES TO FIGHT TRANS-NATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME IN THE WESTERN BALKANS

When European Union leaders declared in June 1999 that the countries of the Western Balkans were all “potential” EU members, it seemed that the long road to future accession would soon be open to them. But the region is still plagued by the legacy of the past, including trans-national organised crime. This Issue Paper (pdf) from 2005 by Lucia Montanaro-Jankovski examines all the different facets of this problem, assesses the EU’s response, and advocates a more comprehensive and coherent approach. Only this, it is argued, will enable the Union to tackle criminal networks at home and abroad effectively, while also improving the Western Balkan countries’ ‘image’ – and, therefore, their chances of joining the EU in the future.

MAFIAS SABOTAGE STOCKHOLM ECONOMY

A new report has concluded that organized crime is putting the brakes on growth in the Stockholm region.

The report was commissioned by Marie Eriksson, who manages a gender equality project at Stockholm’s county administrative board. Its findings are the result of a collaborative effort between police in Stockholm and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (SIDA) Baltic unit. “Organized crime can distort competition and have a negative bearing on the business climate and investment opportunities,” said Ericsson in a statement.

ANNUAL REPORT ON ORGANISED CRIME IN GREECE FOR THE YEAR 2004

The socio-economic and political changes that took place mainly in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans favoured, inter alia, the development of criminal action undertaken by criminal Organisations (Greek and foreign) in Greece. The continuous political and economic instability in the above mentioned countries with the sequential development of illegal markets in conjunction with the greatest commercial and other mobility across the borders and the use of new technologies
(especially the communication) had as a result the internationalisation of the organised crime and the extension of action by the criminal organisations in all Balkan Countries.

The above situation should be recorded and studied systematically, so that to develop the more appropriate tools in order to deal with it. In order to better understand every field of criminal activity, it is necessary to have a thorough examination of the phenomenon and criminal organisations so as to make sure that analysis reflects, as far as possible, its real dimensions.
This report attempts basically to register the phenomenon by focusing on crimes and criminal groups that cause the most serious problems, as they have been identified at European level and specified at National level. It follows the organised crime
analysis directives, agreed upon by the EU Member States, as the expert analysts of the M-S have recently amended them.

THE CONVERGENCE OF CRIME AND TERROR: LAW ENFORCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND PERILS

The growing post-Cold War terrorist involvement in criminal enterprises has provided more opportunity for the government to prosecute suspected terrorists. From a law enforcement perspective, it is critical to minimize the advantage that terrorists gain from involvement in criminal activity and maximize the opportunity to prosecute them for the full range of illegal activities in which they engage. With this paradigm in mind, this paper explores five areas of criminal enterprise where there has been known terrorist involvement: drug trafficking, financial scams, cyber-crime, illegal money transfers, and immigration violations.

THE LINKS BETWEEN ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORISM IN EURASIAN NUCLEAR SMUGGLING

At a 2005 Kennan Institute talk, Louise Shelley, Director, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, American University, and former Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute; and Robert Orttung, Associate Research Professor, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, American University, and former Title VIII-Supported Short-Term Scholar, Kennan Institute, argued that there is a fatal flaw in most U.S. programs designed to safeguard nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union. Such programs, according to Shelley, focus exclusively on the technical aspects—such as locks and security systems—of safeguarding nuclear materials. Although these technical safeguards are important, Shelley contended that we need to pay more attention to the complex criminal and terrorist networks that have the desire and ability to gain access to nuclear materials. You can also watch the video of this event.

THE THREAT POSED BY THE CONVERGENCE OF ORGANIZED CRIME, DRUGS TRAFFICKING AND TERRORISM.

Written Testimony of Ralf Mutschke Assistant Director, Criminal Intelligence Directorate International Criminal Police Organization – Interpol General Secretariat before a hearing of the US Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime in 2000.

Structural links between political terrorism and traditional criminal activity, such as drugs trafficking, armed robbery or extortion have come increasingly to the attention of law enforcement authorities, security agencies and political decision makers. There is a fairly accepted view in the international community that in recent years, direct state sponsorship has declined, therefore terrorists increasingly have to resort to other means of financing, including criminal activities, in order to raise funds. These activities have traditionally been drug trafficking, extortion/collection of “revolutionary taxes”, armed robbery, and kidnappings. The involvement of such groups as the PKK, LTTE, and GIA in these activities has been established.

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