From drug trafficking to human smuggling and from cybercrime to illegal mining.

The Deep Dive podcast takes an in depth look at transnational organized crime investigations from the Global Initiative, drawing on the range of expertise from the GI Network of over 500 experts.

Part 2 - "ndrangheta Royalty Down Under"

In 2007, the Australian Federal Police received a tipoff about a container arriving at the Port of Melbourne. The container had come from Italy and was full of tins of tomatoes, inside those tins was the largest ecstasy bust in the world at that time.

The AFP had discovered an international drug trafficking criminal syndicate at work. At the centre of this was one criminal dynasty, not only were they a prominent Calabrian mafia clan back in Platì, the heart of the 'ndrangheta, but also one of the founding 'ndrangheta clans in Australia.

In this second episode Anna Sergi, author of the new book ‘Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys', talks about the growth of the 'ndrangheta in Australia through one family, who she describes as "Royalty".

Speaker(s):

Anna Sergi, Professor of Criminology at the University of Essex, member of the GI Network of Experts and author of the new book ‘Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys'.

Twitter

Additional Reading

(Book) Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys by Anna Sergi

(Book) Mafia Republic: Italy's Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present by John Dickie

Anna Sergi blog, University of Essex - A flurry of attention, then collective forgetfulness – 100 years of the ‘ndrangheta Calabrian mafia in Australia

(Podcast) The Index - episode 3 & 4 "Italy and mafia" - https://link.chtbl.com/TheIndex

The Global Organized Crime Index - Country Profile - Italy

The Global Organized Crime Index - Country Profile - Australia

Four Corners (ABC and Fairfax media) - documentary

The Age - Drug accused 'tried to nurture journo'

The Age - Mr Bigs Busted

The Age - Heartache has no end for family of Donald Mackay

The Guardian - Nine charged in raids over gangland murder of Pasquale Barbaro

BBC News - Mafia 'linked to senior Australian politicians'

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Part 1 - "The Madonna of the Mountain"

In Calabria, southern Italy there is a mountain massif called Aspromonte, "harsh mountain". The villages that hug the mountain slopes, places like San Luca, Natile and Platì are the birthplaces of the clans that make up what is collectively known as ‘Ndrangheta – one of the most powerful organized criminal syndicates in the world.

From these humble beginnings the clans have spread their tentacles around the globe and become major players in the international illicit drug trade. And one of the ways they did this was by reinvesting money from one illicit act into another - kidnapping.

Over the next few podcasts we look through the eyes of Anna Sergi, a Calabrian native herself and an expert in the 'Ndrangheta. Anna's recent book 'Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys' discusses her journey around the world looking for the 'Ndrangheta. In this first episode Anna relays stories from her childhood and memories of 'The Kidnapping Season' which took place in the Aspromonte mountains around her.

Speaker(s):

Anna Sergi, Professor of Criminology at the University of Essex, member of the GI Network of Experts and author of the new book ‘Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys.

Twitter

Additional Reading

(Book) Chasing the Mafia: 'Ndrangheta, Memories and Journeys by Anna Sergi

(Book) Mafia Republic: Italy's Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present by John Dickie

(Paper) Once upon a time in Palermo: Giovanni Falcone and the fight against Cosa Nostra

(Podcast) The Index - episode 3 & 4 "Italy and mafia" - https://link.chtbl.com/TheIndex

The Global Organized Crime Index - Country Profile - Italy

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Part 2 - "I fear for my life"

In 2019, journalist Lourdes Maldonado rose from her seat to speak to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a press conference - it was during this moment she said "I fear for my life" due to a long running legal dispute. Three years later, and just days after that case had been ruled in her favour, she was gunned down outside her home.

Officials blamed a local cartel group, but critics were not and still are not convinced by this version of events. There is little trust between officials and journalism, and when it comes to violence against journalists in Mexico, with impunity levels over 90% it is not a surprise.

This is a story about impunity, a hostile political climate, censorship, and the families left behind with those directly affected.

Speakers:

Marcela Turati Muñoz, Mexico, is a reporter for the magazine Proceso, where she reports about human rights, social development, and the impact of drug violence and its victims. She is also the co-founder of Quinto Elemento Lab.

Miguel Ángel León Carmona - a Mexican Journalist in Veracruz.

Griselda Triana, Author of The Forgotten Ones: Relatives of murdered and disappeared journalists in Mexico and wife of Javier Valdez.

Siria Gastélum Félix, Resilience Director at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Leopoldo Maldonado - Regional Director, Office for Mexico and Central America, Article 19.

Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico Representative / Representante en México, The Committee to Protect Journalists.

Part 1 - "It’s a message of terror, to stop asking questions"

Mexico is known as one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist on the planet, and 2022 is on record to be the deadliest yet. José Luis Gamboa Arenas, a journalist from Veracruz became the first to be killed this year, the body of Luis Enrique Ramírez Ramos, a Sinaloan journalist was found in Culiacán on May 5th taking to total to nine.

So how has Mexico got to the point where so many journalists and media workers are being attacked and killed? This is a story of bravery in the face of surveillance, intimidation and violence, extreme corruption, organized crime, shockingly high levels of impunity, censorship and a hostile political climate.

Update: May 11th 2022 - Two more journalists were murdered in Veracruz as they sat in a car - Yessenia Mollinedo and Sheila Garcia. The total now has risen to 11.

Speakers:

Marcela Turati Muñoz, Mexico, is a reporter for the magazine Proceso, where she reports about human rights, social development, and the impact of drug violence and its victims. She is also the co-founder of Quinto Elemento Lab.

Miguel Ángel León Carmona - a Mexican Journalist in Veracruz.

Griselda Triana, Author of The Forgotten Ones: Relatives of murdered and disappeared journalists in Mexico and wife of Javier Valdez.

Siria Gastélum Félix, Resilience Director at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Leopoldo Maldonado - Regional Director, Office for Mexico and Central America, Article 19.

Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico Representative / Representante en México, The Committee to Protect Journalists.

Additional Reading

Murder of journalists in Mexico a threat to democracy (GITOC)

The forgotten ones: Relatives of murdered and disappeared journalists in Mexico (GITOC)

Marcela Turati on the chilling implications of Mexico’s probe into her reporting (Committee to Protect Journalists)

Veracruz: journalists and the state of fear (Reporters Without Borders)

Mexico Archives (Article19)

The Pegasus Project (Forbidden Stories)

Mexico: 'worst governor in history' sentenced to nine years for corruption - Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal association and money laundering (The Guardian).

As the net begins to close on Otoniel, life on the run is hard. Deep in the jungles of Úraba, he never stays in a single place for more than two nights, he no longer communicates using phones and he stays away from urban centres for fear of capture. But he still runs the largest organized criminal group in Colombia.

One by one, other senior members of Clan del Golfo are picked off. But Otoniel continues to evade law enforcement in a constant game of cat and mouse.

But now, Operation Agamemnon is in full swing with Search Bloc, the Colombian army and international partners hunting Otoniel - and when he is finally captured it's reported that he said "You beat me".

This is part 3 of Clan del Golfo: The Fall of Otoniel.

Speakers:

Angela Olaya, the Co-founder and Senior Researcher at the Conflict Responses Foundation in Colombia.

Toby Muse, Foreign Correspondent, documentary filmmaker and author of the book Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels.

Jorge Mantilla, the Director of Conflict Dynamics and Organized Violence, Ideas for Peace Foundation and a member of the GI network

Related Links:

Toby Muse - Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels

Insight Crime - Dairo Antonio Usuga "Otoniel" Profile

teleSUR - A Look into 'Clan del Golfo,' Colombia's Largest Paramilitary Group

el Colombiano - Siete líneas guiarán al Ejército nacional

Los Informantes - Las chicas del clan: alias ¿Otoniel? y su red de prostitución de menores

el Heraldo - “Somos hombres de Dios”, el mensaje de alias Otoniel al Papa

Reuters - Colombian police capture sister of Clan del Golfo leader Otoniel

El Tiempo - Cayó alias Otoniel, el narcotraficante más buscado del país | El Tiempo

Semana - Presidente Iván Duque entrega detalles de la captura de alias Otoniel

The Guardian - Colombia’s most-wanted drug lord, Otoniel, captured in jungle hideout

BBC - Colombia's most wanted drug lord Otoniel captured

Insight Crime -The Urabeños After Otoniel - What Becomes of Colombia's Largest Criminal Threat?

At the end of part 1, Otoniel we left him in sole charge of Clan del Golfo, the biggest organized crime group in Colombia.

In part 2 "Don't text or call me", we look through the eyes of a man who goes by the alias "Messi", who was involved in cocaine trafficking and money laundering for Clan del Golfo. We'll see how he used real-estate, cars, watches, front companies and government contracts to clean the drug money...as well through football, music and livestock!

And finally we'll delve into the murky world of illegal gold mining and the way Clan del Golfo use violence, intimidation and even assassination to get extortion payments from the workers.

Speakers:

Daniel Rico, Researcher at Ideas for Peace Foundation and Director of C-Analysis in Colombia and member of GI Network

Luis Fernando Trejos Rosero, Profesor investigador del Departamento de Ciencia Política y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad del Norte, Colombia

Jorge Mantilla, the Director of Conflict Dynamics and Organized Violence, Ideas for Peace Foundation and a member of the GI network

Toby Muse, Foreign Correspondent, documentary filmmaker and author of the book Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels.

Marcena Hunter, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Ana Paula Oliveira, Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime & Global Assassinations Monitor.

Related Links:

(Paper) Cocaine Pipeline to Europe

(Paper) Transnational Tentacles

Toronto Star - Death, extortion stalk workers at Canadian mine in Colombia

Miami Herald - Dirty gold is the new cocaine in Colombia — and it’s just as bloody

Global Financial Integrity - The Gold Standard: Addressing Illicit Financial Flows in the Colombian Gold Sector through Greater Transparency

Toby Muse - Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels

Insight Crime - Dairo Antonio Usuga "Otoniel" Profile

El Tiempo - La historia secreta de ‘Messi’, el capo de los $ 4 billones

Semana - Alias Messi: fotos y videos de las extravagantes propiedades del narcotraficante y su espectacular vehículo

Colombia Reports - Urabeños shut down Gran Colombia Gold operations after killing mining leader

Insight Crime - Colombia Drug Trafficking Money Laundered Through Modified Gold

Full Reading List to be provided soon.



In late 2021, the leader of Clan del Golfo (The Urabeños) Dairo Antonio Úsuga, aka "Otoniel", was captured by the Colombian police. President Iván Duque said that the arrest was only matched by the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s.

Over the course of two episodes we look at the birth of Clan del Golfo out of the ashes of the right-wing paramilitary movement in Colombia. We'll explore their involvement in illicit markets such as drug trafficking, illegal mining, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and how they use extreme violence and targeted assassinations to spread fear.

So who is Otoniel? Well, a prominent drug trafficker, Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, after being captured by Colombian police, warned them that about Otoniel, repeatedly saying..."He's an animal".

Speakers:

Angela Olaya, the Co-founder and Senior Researcher at the Conflict Responses Foundation in Colombia.

Toby Muse, Foreign Correspondent, documentary filmmaker and author of the book Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels.

Jorge Mantilla, the Director of Conflict Dynamics and Organized Violence, Ideas for Peace Foundation and a member of the GI network

Related Links:

Toby Muse - Kilo: Life and Death inside the secret world of the cocaine cartels

Insight Crime - Dairo Antonio Usuga "Otoniel" Profile

Colombia Reports - Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) / Gulf Clan

Insight Crime - AUC Profile

Mapping Militants, CISAC, Stanford

El Semana - Daniel "El Loco" Barrera arrested

Paramilitaries’ Heirs: The New Face of Violence in Colombia - Human Rights Watch

The Last Man Standing? The Rise of the Urabenos - Jeremy McDermott

Reuters - Virgins recruited as sex slaves for Colombian drug lords - reports

Full Reading List to be provided soon.



An assassination is like a stone being dropped into the middle of a still pond – the splash is the violent act itself – the ripples are the repercussions, that spread far and wide – fear, intimidation, silencing, corruption, erosion of trust, environmental damage, illicit firearms, impunity and retaliation – after all, violence begets violence – the damage to society is far-reaching, way beyond the shock of that initial killing.

In November 2021, the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime launched the Global Assassination Monitor - the first ever global database on contract killings.

Speakers

Ana-Paula Oliveira, Analyst, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Nina Kaysser, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Presenter

Jack Meegan-Vickers

Additional material

The Global Assassination Monitor

(Paper) Killing in Silence: New research uncovers sheer magnitude of assassinations linked to organized crime

Assassination Witness Project

(Podcast) Faces of Assassination (Also available across podcast platforms)

(Book pdf) Faces of Assassination book

(Paper) The rule of the gun: Hits and assassinations in South Africa, 2000-2017

(Paper) Murder by Contract: Targeted killings in eastern and southern Africa

(Paper) How to silence the guns? Southern Africa's illegal firearms markets

(Paper) Making a killing: What assassinations reveal about the Montenegrin drug war

(Article) Mozambique’s quiet assassination epidemic

(Podcast) Too Many Enemies (Narrative podcast exploring the assassination crisis in South Africa)

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In this episode we look at the criminal involvement in the plastic waste industry.

The lucrative global market in plastic waste is expected to be reach over $50 billion US Dollars by 2022. From Mafia groups to poly-crime networks, the temptation for organised criminal groups and bad actors to get a slice of this market is too hard to resist - and so corners are cut, laws are ignored, and irreversible damage is done.

Alongside this, some waste management companies are used as Fronts to conceal other illicit activities like human trafficking, drug trafficking, prostitution, and various financial crimes like money laundering, tax evasion, mis-invoicing.

Paper: Plastic for Profit: Tracing illicit plastic waste flows, supply chains and actors

Speakers

Virginia Comolli, Research Manager, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Yuyun Ismawati, Special Advisor at the Nexus3 Foundation

Willie Wilson, Vice Chair and Private Sector Engagement Lead, INTERPOL Pollution Crime Working Group

Sedat Gündoğdu, Marine Biologist at Cukurova University in Turkey

Reading

Plastic for Profit: Tracing illicit plastic waste flows, supply chains and actors, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC)

Money Laundering from Environmental Crime, Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

INTERPOL report alerts to sharp rise in plastic waste crime, INTERPOL

Plastic Waste Management and Burden in Indonesia, Nexus3 Foundation

Global Shell Game: Fate of re-exports of seized illegal imports of waste from the USA to Indonesia, Nexus3 Foundation

Why is UK recycling being dumped by Turkish roadsides?, BBC News

Biffa fined £1.5 million for 'reckless' export breach, gov.uk

UK waste firm fined £1.5m for exporting household waste, The Guardian

Three victims of trafficking and modern slavery to sue Biffa: The claimants were moved from Poland to the UK and placed in work with waste firm, The Guardian

In this episode we tell the story of a region, the "Seven Sisters", otherwise known as the Indian Northeast and one town in particular, Moreh, and the relationship with neighbouring Myanmar.

Moreh sits just on the Indian side of the border and has become a hub for multiple illicit flows that pass through - timber, gold, firearms, wildlife, counterfeits, people, and illicit drugs.

The Indian Northeast is undeveloped and has suffered multiple insurgencies over the decades. Often forgotten by governments who have eyes squarely focused on the giant neighbour to the North, China, and the geostrategic games taking place between the world's two most populous nations.

Underpinning it all is the uncertainty of the brutal military coup in Myanmar in February this year.

Speakers

Prem Mahadevan, Senior Fellow at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Thin Lei Win, Burmese journalist, living and working in Europe

Dr Ajai Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management

Nicholas Farrelly, Professor and Head of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania in Australia

This podcast is based on the paper: Crossing the Line: Geopolitics and Criminality on the India-Myanmar border.

Research

What On Earth? podcast - Episode 12 - Myanmar: ‘Anybody investing in the natural resource sector is, in essence, supporting the military’. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

Myanmar's tainted timber and the military coup, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

Jade and Conflict, Global Witness

The hunt for Asia’s El Chapo, Reuters

How Myanmar coup fuelled rise in illegal drugs trade, The Financial Times

Indian wildlife amidst the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis of poaching and illegal wildlife trade, TRAFFIC

This is a story of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, complex corporate structures, human trafficking, arms smuggling, corruption and the capture of state institutions.

In this collaborative episode with Africa and the Global Illicit Economy, we travel to the rich fishing grounds off Puntland in Somalia and a fleet of vessels known as the "Somali 7", before looking into a politically connected company that has an uncanny ability to operate either outside or just on the fringes of the law.

This podcast is based on the report Fishy Business: Illegal Fishing in Somalia and the capture of state institutions.

Presenter: Lindy Mtongana

Speakers:

Jay Bahadur, Researcher and Investigator at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Dr. Katharine Petrich, visiting assistant professor incoming at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California

Ian Urbina, Investigative Journalist and author of The Outlaw Ocean.

Austin Brush, Senior Analyst at C4ADS

Additional Reading

Jay Bahadur, GITOC - Fishy Business: Illegal Fishing in Somalia and the capture of state institutions

Ian Urbina - The Outlaw Ocean.

In the wake of the 2012 'Cocaine Coup' in Guinea-Bissau the illegal logging trade exploded, largely driven by huge demand for rosewood logs in China - a species protected under international law.

By 2014, such was the extent of this illicit trade, civil society pressured the new government to introduce a five-year moratorium on timber exports.

Now, in 2021, as the government seems poised to lift the moratorium, there is fear that there could be a resurgence in illegal logging causing irreparable damage to the environment.

Guests

Obento Branco Catami (Regional Delegate for Forestry and Wildlife in the Cacheu region).

Ude Fati (Economist, Head of Voz di Paz)

Fodé Mané (University of Bissau) 

Tânia Gomes (President of the Association of Friends of Guinea-Bissau)

Lucia Bird Ruiz-Benitez de Lugo, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Reading

Deep-rooted interests: Licensing illicit logging in Guinea Bissau

Authorized Plunder in Guinea-Bissau - Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Breaking the vicious cycle: Cocaine politics in Guinea-Bissau

The Seidi Bá cocaine trial: A smokescreen for impunity?

Presenter: Jack Meegan-Vickers

On March 24th 2021, Islamist insurgents carried out an attack on the coastal town of Palma in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. The days of fighting, looting, massacres, private military contractors, and dramatic rescues led to thousands more people fleeing to escape the violence.

The attack took place just a few kilometres from Total’s $20 billion-dollar natural gas project on the Afungi peninsula and in the same province as the huge ruby fields of Montepuez.

Last year the Global Initiative asked how this ongoing insurgency is impacting the illicit flows that travel through the region – after the attack at Palma, we have decided to revisit this subject.

This is a collaborative episode between Africa and the Global Illicit Economy and Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime.

Presenter: Lindy Mtongana

Speakers:

Prof. Adriano Nuvunga – Director of the CDD Mozambique

Zenaida Machado – Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Alastair Nelson – Senior Fellow, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Johann Smith – Independent Security Analyst in Mozambique

Colonel Lionel Dyck – CEO of the of Dyck Advisory Group (DAG)

Reading:

Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa – Risk Bulletin Issue. 17

A Triangle of Vulnerability: Changing patterns of illicit trafficking off the Swahili coast

Podcast: Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime – Insurgency and illicit trade in Northern Mozambique

'Criminals and Terrorists': Framing Mozambique's Insurgency - OCCRP

Hundreds Missing After Mozambique Attack: Government Should Provide More Information About Situation in Palma

Amnesty International: Mozambique: Civilians killed as war crimes committed by armed group, government forces, and private military contractors.

Producer: Jack Meegan-Vickers

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

A look at how a self-interested political and military elite used profits from illicit markets to fuel their own ambitions at the expense of the wider population. This is a story of corruption, dirty money, cocaine and illegal logging.

This is Part one of a two-part special on Guinea-Bissau, the small West African nation. In this episode we will chart the course of Guinea-Bissau from Independence to the present day through the eyes of civil society organisations, who step in to fill the void left by an absent state. 

Guests

Augusto Mário (Pres. GNB Human Rights League)

Ude Fati (Economist, Head of Voz di Paz)

Fodé Mané (University of Bissau) 

Rui Landim (Political Analyst)

Augusta Henriques (founder of Tiniguena, civil society activist) 

Reading

Breaking the vicious cycle: Cocaine politics in Guinea-Bissau

The Seidi Bá cocaine trial: A smokescreen for impunity?

Mission not accomplished?: UNIOGBIS closes amid uncertainty in Guinea-Bissau

CPJ - Guinea-Bissau editor António Aly Silva abducted and beaten

Presenter: Jack Meegan-Vickers

In June 2020, EncroChat users received a flurry of panicked messages from the company claiming its encrypted network had been hacked by "government entities". What unravelled was one of the biggest hacks by law enforcement in history, who claimed many of its users are alleged organized criminals in Europe.

The hack was said to have revealed a litany of criminal behaviour - drug deals and shipments, money laundering and arms trafficking, corrupt police officers, a planning of a murder and even the discovery of a torture chamber, hidden within a shipping container.

But was the hack even legal? And what are the implications for the encrypted communications that many of us use everyday?

This podcast was based on the reporting of Joseph Cox at Motherboard, VICE News.

Guests:

Joseph Cox, Senior Staff Writer at Motherboard, VICE News.

Jake Moore, Cyber Security Specialist at ESET.

Edouard Klein, Intelligence-Driven Cybersecurity, Sekoia.fr

Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Reading:

How Police Secretly Took Over a Global Phone Network for Organized Crime, Motherboard

Encrochat Investigation Finds Corrupt Cops Leaking Information to Criminals, Motherboard

Encrypted Phone Network Says It's Shutting Down After Police Hack, Motherboard

Europol, Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) 2020

Al Jazeera, Opinion: The EncroChat police hacking sets a dangerous precedent

ComputerWeekly.com - Berlin court finds EncroChat intercept evidence cannot be used in criminal trials

ComputerWeekly.com - Secrecy around EncroChat cryptophone hack breaches French constitution, court hears

Presenter: Jack Meegan-Vickers

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

With more people working from home than ever before due to the pandemic,. But another parallel pandemic is taking place, that of online child sexual abuse material which has taken a sharp rise around the world.

In this podcast, we’re discussing Child Online Sexual Abuse (CSAM), COVID and technology.

Presenter(s): Lucia Bird Ruiz-Benitez de Lugo and Jack Meegan-Vickers.

Speakers:

Fernando Ruiz, Head of Operations at the European Cybercrime Centre, set up by Europol to co-ordinate crossborder investigations into cybercrime.

Amela Efendic is the director of the European Resource Centre for the Prevention of Trafficking and head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Office for the International Forum for Solidarity-Emmaus.

Judie Kaberia is a fellow of the 2020 Resilience Fund of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.

GI Research Paper: Transformative Technologies: How digital is changing the landscape of organized crime.

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

In this podcast, Jack is looking at the latest Global Initative Against Transnational Organized Crime report called 'Under the Shadow: Illicit Economies in Iran', which looks at how the illicit economy has become intertwined within the licit economy of the Iranian State.

Speakers

Alexander Soderholm, an international drug policy field researcher with a focus on Iran and the Middle East.

Katherine Bauer, a Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former US Treasury official.

Naysan Rafati, the Senior Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group

Sign up to the AssassinationWitness campaign here.

In the Northern Triangle countries of Central America - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, extortion is so pervasive that it has been called “A way of life”.

The growth in extortion in the region was defined by the expansion of street gangs MS13 and Barrio 18. They have a stranglehold on the countries in which they operate, extorting rich and poor and even international corporations.

The revenue from extortion has provided gangs in the region with a solid economic operating base, and at the same time allowed them to diversify into other criminal enterprises – they are now transnational organized criminal groups.

Presenter: Jack Meegan-Vickers

Speakers:

1.      Guillermo Vazquez del Mercado Almada, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

2.      Evelyn Espinosa, Research Adviser at Diálogos

3.      Pamela Ruiz, Consultant at the Coalition for Resilience Project and member of the GI Network of Experts.

4.      Professor Lucia Dammert, University of Santiago, Chile and member of the GI Network of Experts.

GI Extortion Project

Paper: A Criminal Culture: Extortion in Central America

Other content available at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime website.

Transnational Tentacles: Global Hotspots of Balkan Organized Crime.

The Western Balkans is well understood now as an important transit point for the smuggling of drugs, arms and people. But what has been less understood is how over the past few decades, criminal groups within the Western Balkans region and the global diaspora have carved out a place within the very highest echelons of the criminal world.

Paper: Transnational Tentacles: Global Hotspots of Balkan Organized Crime.

Guests:

Walter Kemp, Senior Fellow at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Fatjona Mejdini, Field Network Coordinator, Balkans at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Susana Morán, investigative journalist in Ecuador specialising in organized crime

Mandy Wiener, journalist, broadcaster and author of Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed

People and Forests at Risk: Organized Crime, trafficking in persons and deforestation in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The highland ranges of the Sierra Madre are cool and temperate forests – with several species of Oak, conifers and a number of pines, and logging is permitted here. But excessive legal and illegal logging is contributing to rapid deforestation.

Organized criminal groups have established their position within the illegal logging trade, with them comes violence, corruption, kidnapping, extortion, displacement of indigenous communities and persecution of environmental and human-rights defenders.

Presenters: Livia Wagner and Jack Meegan-Vickers

Guests:

Diana Siller, co-author of the paper and Director of JADE (Environmental Justice and human rights in Mexico)

Julia Urrunaga, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international NGO who investigate forest and environmental crimes.

Sound Effects: Freesfx

How will the ongoing violent Islamist insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region of Northern Mozambique overlap with the organized criminal networks that operate in the area. How has the corruption within the Mozambican state contributed to the growth of the insurgency?

Presenter: Lindy Mtongana

Guests:

Professor Adriano Nuvunga, Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development and a leading civil society activist in Mozambique

Simone Haysom, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, researching the role of foreign organised crime groups in Africa.

Alastair Nelson, Senior Analyst who Coordinates the GI’s Resilience Fund work in Mozambique

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Destruction or Theft? Between 2014 and 2017, the Islamic State group occupied territory in Iraq. At it's height it controlled almost a third of the country and over 4,500 historical sites.

Alongside the dramatic pictures of the destruction of artefacts and irreplaceable ancient sites like Nimrud, others have claimed that this destruction was largely carried out to conceal extensive looting of valuable artefacts.

Presenters: Laura Adal and Jack Meegan-Vickers

Guests:

Colin P. Clarke, Senior Research Fellow at The Soufan Center and Assistant Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Christina Schori Liang, Head of Terrorism and PVE at GCSP.

Katie A. Paul, Co-Director of the ATHAR Project