The first ever 24 hour Conference on Global Organized Crime (#OC24) took place in 10-11 November 2020 and it was an unprecedented opportunity for interaction on the topics of criminal groups, criminal networks, and organized crime. Following on its success, the second edition of OC24 took place on 1-2 December 2021.

Experts, analysts and scholars from around the world came together for the conference, and through this podcast we’re going to bring you some of the most interesting discussions.

Worldwide, 50% of detected human trafficking victims are victims of sexual exploitation. To respond to this crime, among the main aspects to be strengthened are the protection and assistance of victims. This panel will discuss how to provide better services for the rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration of sexual exploitation victims. The speakers will be an author of a non-fiction novel based on a human trafficking case, a representative from a field services NGO and an international researcher.

A talk by Gustavo Mauricio Bastien-OlveraRaquel CaspiMayra Hernandez-Figueroa and Livia Wagner

This panel will discuss how difficult it is to analyse organised crime in France.

A talk by Déborah Alimi, Jacques Follorou, Tommaso Giuriati and Fabrice Rizzoli

This panel looks ‘organized corruption’ in the Western Balkans – a symbiosis of organized crime, criminal methods and high-level corruption, which creates a crooked ecosystem that enriches and protects those with access to power. Together with experts from the region, the panel will examine how organized corruption manifests in the WB6, its impact and also discuss possible remedies.

A talk by Bojan Dobovsek, Eldan Mujanovic, Suncana Roksandic and Ugljesa (Ugi) Zvekic - University of Maribor, University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia and GI-TOC

Niger Delta oil crime is one of the most serious natural resource crimes globally, with the systematic theft, sale and illegal refining of up to 20% of Nigeria’s oil output. Illegal bunkering and artisanal refining have increased exponentially over the past decade. This paper draws on qualitative interviews with Niger Deltan citizens, and government and community experts, to examine the impact on society. While state security forces continue to treat the crime with ‘extreme prejudice’ – destroying illegal camps and transportation – Niger Deltan citizens have normalised it, justifying it as an economic, energy and employment necessity despite its health and environmental toll. This film supports two publications on Oil Crime and organised Criminal Groups in the Niger Delta, it explores the key problems and then innovative, collaborative mechanisms to break this cycle of crime and inaction. Using a combination of national government, intergovernmental organisations, and the private sector’s technology and financing capabilities we propose economic renewal in the Delta. The film is funded by the European Union.

A talk by Omolara Balogun, Robin Cartwright and Oluwole Ojewale, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Institute for Security studies

The truth about modern slavery

Apparently there are now more slaves than ever before in history. From men working in warehouses for barely any pay, to teenaged Vietnamese girls trafficked into small town nail bars, we're told that modern slavery is all around us, operating in plain sight. But is this really slavery, and is it even a new phenomenon? Why are politicians so keen to talk about trafficking and slavery today? Kenway's lauded book exposes how the idea of modern slavery operates as a political tool, undermining the real work needed to undo endemic exploitation. She is joined by UCL criminologist Dr Ella Cockbain, former director at the National Crime Agency Roy McComb and editor of the respected platform Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, Cameron Thibos.

A talk by Dr Rose Broad, Ella Cockbain, Professor David Gadd, Emily Kenway and Cameron Thibos University of Manchester, UCL, University of Manchester, Independent and openDemocracy

In this session, Donato Vozza from University of Roehampton London, will present his paper on an under-explored relationship: ‘Organized criminal groups and professional enablers: Breaking the partnership in crime in the area of taxation’, this presentation will introduce in the debate the notion of “organized tax crime”. After this intervention, Anna-Greta Pekkarinen will present the findings of her research, which examines the business models & modus operandi of labour trafficking. Aleksandras Dobryninas and Maryja Šupa will deliver a presentation on the topic of ‘Crimmigration in Lithuanian online media’, about the unprecedented wave of illicit migration through the Belarusian-Lithuanian border that Lithuania faced in 2021. The session will conclude with a presentation by Hai Thanh Luong, who will speak about Vietnamese cannabis growers building up their syndicates in Australia.

A talk by Aleksandras Dobryninas, Diorella Islas, Hai Luong, Anna-Greta Pekkarinen, Maryja Šupa and Donato Vozza

Vilnius University, Women In International Security, RMIT University, European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI), Vilnius University and University of Roehampton

This panel explores the latest findings regarding the structure of illicit crop economies in the Andean and Mexico region, and the impact of novel, non-punitive and traditional rural drug policy interventions on production and development outcomes. LeCour discusses the Mexican case where opium functions as a “political opiate”: one that allows marginalized regions to economically survive, while the State limits its social, educational, and development functions to a minimum, and focuses on armed repression and eradication. Restrepo presents an updated analysis of the social control policy and its development outcomes in Bolivia, the only country to accept coca in the rural development mix. López-Uribe examines the use of land titling in Colombia as a policy to bolster crop substitution, a cost-effective way of incentivizing agricultural diversification.

A talk by Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, Maria López-Uribe, David Restrepo and María Alejandra Vélez

Noria Research / Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne -, Universidad de los Andes, Los Andes University

The book (and the panel) explores the relationship between (organized) crime and music in its various forms and expressions. It includes a range of topics: from jazz and mob in Chicago, to narcocorridos in Mexico, to child trafficking in Medieval Italy, to the role of music in Serbian organized crime activities, and more.

A talk by Dina Siegel, Frank Bovenkerk, Dr. Jeffrey McIllwain and Rene van Swaaningen

Utrecht University / CIROC, Willem Pompe Institute, Utrecht University, San Diego State University and

This panel will be a discussion between criminal solicitor Philippa Southwell and former Met head on modern slavery Phil Brewer (now at Stop the Traffik) on the implications of the current British and International legislation on modern slavery and human trafficking.

A talk by Lucia Bird, Phil Brewer and Philippa Southwell

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Human Trafficking Foundation and Southwell & Partners

Stories of organised crime, gender and power in Europe shines a light on the 'discarded footnotes' of organised crime, in other words, the women. A creative graphic narrative that tells the stories of five young women involved in different forms of criminal organisations and activities in Europe thanks to the original research of Felia Allum and the unique drawings of Anna Mitchell. This book not only raises vital questions about the importance of gender when analysing organised crime but also gives a voice to these women to show that they are not purely victims but also have their own agency. It questions the dominant lens so far used to investigate, collect, prosecute and analyse organised crime that focuses solely on the men. It is time for things to change.

A talk by Felia Allum, Dr. Frederik Byrn Køhlert, Dr Kate Thomas and Brittany VandeBerg Gilmer

Polis, University of Bath, University of East Anglia, Birmingham City University and University of Alabama

The discussion will be about the role of urban growth, poor governance, political patronage, poverty and illiteracy, and the mushrooming of the gangs in the country.

A talk by Beatrix Chepkoech, Ms Joyce Kimani, Mohammed Mwinyi, Esther Njeri and Willie Oeba

Midrift Human Rights Network, GI-TOC, Youth Bila Noma.

The phenomenon of illicit mining and trading of minerals poses a challenge to the survival of contemporary Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides the environmental impacts associated with the practice, the phenomenon, induces violent conflicts in the Eastern Congo DR, and cost the country an estimated economic loss of around US$60 million per year.

In Kenya, sand mining is a crime and must be stopped immediately in Kenya. Mining unlike harvesting is irreversible and is leaving permanent scars on damaged ecosystems, deplorable lives and livelihoods, increasing inter-communal conflict, and ushering in a cartel market driven by criminals. Through violence, criminals are controlling the sand market unabetted due to weak legislation, incapacitated control measures and an ever ready and on-demand construction appetite. With lack of a formidable alternative, sand remains the only option for the advancement of human civilisation.

In Morocco, sand extraction points out at the degradation of the environment, putting vulnerable coastal ecosystems at risk. Today, all along the Moroccan coastline running between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (Western Sahara included), numerous beaches have become the prey of illegal sand extraction.

Illegal sand mining further underlines a deeply rooted socio-politico-economic wide web of illegal activities such as corruption, transnational commerce, construction safety and child labour.

Illegal sand extraction in Morocco is however a priority issue the authorities need to address. Unless the Moroccan authorities respond adequately to this multifaceted challenge.

A talk by Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Mohamed Daghar, Oluwole Ojewale and Kiran Pereira

Institute for Security Studies, Institute for Security Studies, Institute for Security studies and Sand Stories

In this session, DEA Resident Agent in Charge (RAC) David Tyree will present several investigative tools and techniques which were recently used as part of an investigation that resulted in a large seizure of suspected (laundered) drug proceeds. After this intervention, former MET police officer, Gus Jones, will weigh in on their experience with flowing illicit financial flows. The session will conclude with a presentation by Niels van der Meulen, who will present the findings of a recent project that analyzed and checked money transfer organizations on money transfer trends.

A talk by Tuesday Reitano, Aubrey A 'Gus' Jones, David Tyree and Niels van der Meulen

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, United States Drug Enforcement Administration and RIEC Amsterdam-Amstelland

In this session, Lucas da Silva Almeida will deliver a presentation on ‘Narco-Tweets: Transnational topologies on the crime-terror nexus’, a research that provides a first look into the relational structure and dyadic metrics of the Comando Vermelho, Terceiro Comando Puro and Amigos dos Amigos, three insurgent criminal organizations active and born in Rio de Janeiro. The data is sourced from the profiles and public posts of self-declared members on Twitter via a tuned snowball sampling. After this intervention, Khamal Patterson will present the findings of his research on ‘How great though art: how an unholy alliance of terrorists, tyrants, gangsters, and rogues uproots religious heritage’, which will examine modern religious looting by organized crime and the measures used to combat it and repatriate sacred objects. The session will conclude with Kumail Jillisger, who will address the linkages between illicit financial flows, money laundering and terrorism.

A talk by Lucas da Silva Almeida, R. V. Gundur, Kumail Jillisger and Khamal Patterson

Northeastern University, Flinders University, Acuity Knowledge Partners and The University of Mississippi, Center for Air and Space Law

Documentary maker Eduardo Giralt will present and show clips of his documentary that follow young men who work for the Mexican cartels and discuss the emerging issues with Cecilia Farfán-Méndez (University of California) and Karina Garcia Reyes (Bristol University).

A talk by Dr. Cecilia Farfán-Méndez, Karina Garcia Reyes and Eduardo Giralt

Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California San Diego, Los Plebes

Mexico has a complex history related to state institutions, organized crime and their relationship to both drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Over the past 15 years, the security policy has militarized public security interventions, providing an increasing power to the armed forces and making a state of exception, the norm. High levels of violence have caused devastating consequences, fracturing communities and reducing confidence in the state and other actors. And it shows no sign of ending. This critical policy session will review the security policies undertaken, provide analysis of the current state of affairs, identify efforts by stakeholders to address this issue, and propose necessary and urgent innovations for peace-building at a local, regional and national level.

A talk by Dawn Marie Paley, Luis Daniel Santiago Vidargas, Zara Snapp and Oswaldo Zavala

Instituto RIA, Instituto RIA and City University of New York (CUNY)

In this session, Hernan Mondani and Amir Rostami from Stockholm University will present their paper on criminal nomads, which investigates the criminal collaboration patterns of two OMCGs in Sweden with a long history of deadly hostilities. After this intervention, Lin van Schalkwyk from Ghent University and Judy-Ann Cilliers from MathMoms will deliver a presentation on the topic ‘Can belonging be nurtured as a preventative measure against gangsterism?’, which will illustrate how the search for belonging, identity, and purpose leads young people to gangs and organised crime. The session will conclude with a presentation by Andrew Cesare Miller, who will present the findings of his paper on ‘Cycles of silence: how hangs undermine justice’.

A talk by Judy-Ann Cilliers, Lin van Schalkwyk, Paul Friedberg, Andrew Miller and Amir Rostami

MathMoms, Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), Ghent University, cellebrite, United States Naval Academy and Stockholm University

The objective of this Session is to reflect on the political economy of violence in Mexico and Central America. Although it is undeniable that organized crime is part of the issue, the argument that criminal groups are the sole actor behind violence in the region is not satisfactory. We want to "bring politics back in" and to offer a more complex picture of a phenomenon that cannot be understood through a zero-sum game analysis of “crime” vs. “politics”.

A talk by Dr. Cecilia Farfán-Méndez, Markus Hochmüller, Gema Kloppe-Santamaría, Romain Le Cour Grandmaison and Sandra Ley

Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California San Diego, Pembroke College Oxford, Loyola University Chicago/Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, Noria Research / Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne - and CIDE

In the last decade, there has been a shifting international policy environment towards more people-centred and development-oriented approaches to drug policy. Since the UNGASS 2016, increased research and policy venues have shown that drug related problems could only be tackled effectively if addressed in a cross-sectoral manner and with a nuanced understanding of the root causes driving people and communities towards drugs. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic, now considered as a syndemic, has further exacerbated the interrelationships between social inclusion, health access, marginalization, and the illicit drug economy – putting under stress public responses but also encouraging more humane and inclusive strategies. At the international level, some countries have chosen to implement more inclusive and integrated strategies that go beyond strictly repressive strategies. Yet, opportunities for breaking drug policy traditional silos (security/health) are not being fully embraced at national levels. Several countries are opting for a return to policy conservatism over the risks of a holistic approach to drugs that would need to be built. This is notably the case in Francophone countries.

Francophone countries face diverse sets of challenges when it comes to drugs. Engage into international drug policy debates in plural ways, several countries have also developed strong dialogue mechanisms and preferred partnerships for joint research and policy innovations. French and Canadian public actors and NGOs, for example, have developed inclusive and people-centred prevention mechanisms, implemented in cities across the Atlantic. In both countries, this strategy favoured the dissemination of strong and sustainable harm reduction strategies that improve public health incomes and public security. However, while Canada has been one of the first countries to adopt a regulatory framework for cannabis, the current public debate on drugs in France is stalling, surprisingly at the favour of strong, repressive visions. Across the Mediterranean Sea, the evolution of drug demand in Europe has also challenged communities involved in the cultivation of plants used for illicit drugs to adapt for their socio-economic survival. In Morocco, for instance, growers in the Rif had to adopt new strategies that have reconfigured the structure of cannabis culture and tested further the development of balanced policy responses. Despite increased demand for socio-economic measures, international intelligence and law enforcement cooperation prevail.

Taking the example of Francophone countries, this proposed panel seeks to understand the brakes and opportunities for opening the current drug policy thinking beyond traditional binary visions. It explores how researchers and policy actors across Francophone countries are building bridges to help rethinking the conventional interpretative grids towards a more multifaceted and empirically informed way and confronting the dilemmas illicit drug economies bring in a post-pandemic era. Building on innovative initiatives and research in Canada, France and Morocco, it aims at critically reflecting on ongoing drug policy responses and discussing the costs and yet uncertain benefits associated with more opened and multidimensional responses to drugs. It shall serve to advance novel perspectives and pluri-disciplinary approaches for future research and policy prospects.

A talk by Déborah Alimi, Karine Bertrand, Marie Jauffret-Roustide and Laurie Wdowiak

Inserm and Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Fr)

Intelligence is becoming a popular subject of study among international security scholars, the panel gathers security practitioners who have worked in intelligence analysis and who know the challenges of intelligence in counter organised crime strategies and operations. The objective of the panel is to present different perspectives of intelligence, its importance at the moment of planning strategies, the methods for intelligence analysis in national security and the challenges that specialists face in terms of methodology and implementation.

A talk by Mario Abrego, Estefania Bernal, Diorella Islas and Ana Velasco

Netflix, Women In International Security and Women In International Security

On 6 July 2021, Dutch journalist and national celebrity Peter R. de Vries was assassinated in broad daylight in the middle of Amsterdam. This killing has fueled the debate both nationally and internationally whether the Netherlands has become ‘a narco state’. Although this question can not be answered with a simple “yes or “no”, various studies have confirmed the magnitude of the drug industry in the Netherlands. After a short introduction on the current state of affairs in the Netherlands, this panel session will focus on the latest developments in the country in fighting and containing organized crime. Emphasis will be put on a new strategy that was launched in 2019 by the Dutch government to address the threats that organized crime may pose for the legitimate society in terms of economic and political infiltration. A research group from Maastricht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam is currently monitoring this strategy. The preliminary findings of this study will be discussed.

A talk by Lieselot Bisschop, Roland Moerland, Hans Nelen and Karin van Wingerde

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Maastricht University, Maastricht University, Faculty of Law and Erasmus University Rotterdam

Teun van Ruitenburg - Raising Barriers to Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in The Netherlands

In this empirical study, the author shows that the Dutch approach to outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) has made a 180-degree shift from inclusion in the 1970s to exclusion in present times. Based on interviews with 76 respondents working for different law enforcement agencies and an analysis of (internal) policy documentation, this presentation will focus on how the Dutch government since 2012 is raising barriers to OMCGs using Administrative, Civil, Fiscal and Criminal Law. In doing so, it is demonstrated that today’s efforts to fight OMCGs must not be solely explained by the attempt to reduce crime.

Christian Klement & Arjan Blokland - Preventing outlaw biker crime in the Netherlands or just changing the dark figure of crime?

In the presented study, we estimate effects of the Dutch whole-of-government approach to outlaw biker crime. We do so by applying interrupted time series analysis to crime records on 1617 OMCG members and 473 support club members. Although caveats remain, results indicate that the approach has an effect on criminal involvement, but that it depends on crime type and subsample in question. Overall crime seems unaffected, whereas organized crime is shown to decrease. We discuss whether the effects are due to behavioural changes in outlaw bikers, or whether they result from changes in police practices.

Timothy Cubitt & Anthony Morgan - Predicting high-harm offending using machine learning: An application to Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs

Despite growing recognition that certain OMCG members and their clubs are more likely to be involved in serious crime, this is not an area where risk assessment tools have been developed and validated. This study uses machine learning methods to develop a risk assessment to predict recorded high-harm offending among 2,246 OMCG members in New South Wales. Results showed the model predicted high-harm offending with a high degree of accuracy. Importantly, the tool appeared able to accurately identify offenders prior to the point of escalation, and can be used to help inform law enforcement responses.

A talk by Arjan Blokland, Timothy Cubitt, Christian Klement, Anthony Morgan and Teun van Ruitenburg

NSCR, Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Institute of Criminology.

Tech Against the Illegal Wildlife Trade: a session that will explore the latest developments in the field of technology and how it might be applied to combat the illegal wildlife trade, including online. The session will explore the GI-TOC’s newly created tool ‘The Cascade’ and its findings on Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM), the ethics of intervening in illicit markets and discuss how IWT is inextricably linked with the wider global crisis of climate change and pandemics. We will use the catwalk format to crowdsource and brainstorm areas of intervention for our MMFU going forwards.

A talk by Theo Clement Ph.D, Debayan Deb, Simone Haysom, Wahyu Nurbandi, Tanya Suri and Louise Taylor

Global Initiative, LENS, Inc., Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, LENS Corporation and GI-TOC

The first-ever Global Organized Crime Index provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the pervasiveness of criminal markets, the dynamics of criminal actors and of countries’ effectiveness in establishing the defence mechanisms and responses needed to ensure operational resilience to organized crime. A result of a multi-year endeavour involving over 350 experts worldwide, including the GI-TOC’s regional observatories, members of the GI Network of Experts and many other independent journalists, academics, researchers and members of civil society, the 2021 Index evaluates levels of crime and resilience in all 193 UN member states. A presentation of the tool’s structure and methodology, along with highlights of key findings will be given, followed by a short Q&A session.

A talk by Laura Adal, Kosyo Ivanov, Antônio Sampaio and Lyes Tagziria

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

ocindex.net

The Global Organized Crime Index report

Latin America has always been characterized by drug trafficking. Even though drug trafficking is still the most important manifestation of organized crime in the region, criminal organizations have expanded their business and moved overseas. This panel will discuss, on the one hand, how drug trafficking, particularly cocaine trafficking, has been changing adding new markets and routes to the traditional ones, and how criminal organizations have been exercising criminal governance in order to guarantee their domain on certain territories. On the other hand, we will discuss how other manifestations of organized crime such as human trafficking, illegal mining, environmental crimes and cybercrime has gained importance in our region.

A talk by Adriana Abdenur, Marcos Alan Ferreira, Concepción Anguita Olmedo, Mariano Bartolomé, Dr Andrea Oelsner and Carolina Sampó

Plataforma CIPÓ, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, University of San Andrés and Conicet, Argentina

Human trafficking in Europe takes many different shapes ranging from sexual exploitation forced labour, depending on the area under analysis. In this panel, authors will explore some of these forms focusing mainly on Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Specifically, the session will be split into two main sub-sessions. The first will explicitly focus on forms of labour exploitation along the supply chain of agricultural production. Here, authors will explore the phenomenon and suggest possible remedies. The second session will, instead, be exploring the links between modern slavery and organized crime in Italy and Spain. A Q&A session will follow the presentations.

A talk by Sara Mariella Lambertini, Silvia Rodriguez-Lopez, Ruggero Scaturro and Giada Volpato

University of Naples Federico II, University of A Coruna, GI-TOC

In this session, Nicholas Gilmour will deliver a presentation on how global approaches to preventing and detecting money laundering have over complicated anti-money laundering strategies over the last few decades. Mirko Nazzari will then discuss the outcomes of a study that uncovers recurrent patterns in the behavior of money launderers by using quantitative content analysis to gain insights on investments in business sectors. Following this intervention, Jo-Anne Kramer will present her article ‘Money laundering as business: the covert networks of professional money launderers’ which investigates how professional money launderers structure and operate their business. Crispin Yuen will discuss the topic of financial intelligence and how it can be used as a unifying force against trade-based money laundering, particularly in relation to illicit flows stemming from organized crime groups and terrorist networks. The session will conclude with a presentation by Dirk Robertson, who will explore how organized criminals have adapted to changing markets, trading platforms, and distribution infrastructures that have been decimated by the pandemic.

A talk by Dr Nicholas Gilmour, Mr Dirk Robertson, Crispin Yuen, Jo-Anne Kramer and Mirko Nazzari

Southampton Solent Univsiety, Automic Group, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and Transcrime - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

In this session, Willis Okumu will deliver a presentation on the trafficking of sandalwood in Kenya, which examines the networks of state and non-state actors that facilitate the illicit trade of the East-African sandalwood tree–resulting in significant environmental harm and deforestation within community forests in Northern Kenya. Juneseo Hwang will then present on the topic of waste crime, examining how dissident paramilitaries and organized criminal gangs have infiltrated legal businesses in post-Agreement Northern Ireland by focusing on the example of the illegal Mobuoy Dump. The session will conclude with a presentation by Meredith Gore about place-network investigations of sea cucumber trafficking in Mexico.

A talk by Yuliya Zabyelina, Dr. Meredith Gore, Juneseo Hwang and Willis Okumu

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, University of Maryland, Queen's University Belfast

In this session, Janaina Maldonado will present the latest findings on ongoing research on the transnational market of illicit vehicles to and from Brazil. Ana Carolina Bragança will discuss how environmental organized crime in the Amazon Region contaminates apparently legal supply chains, from gold to timber and beef. Carolina Grillo will present ground-breaking research on territorial disputes between criminal groups in Rio de Janeiro, whose findings triggered relevant institutional measures, including a Supreme Court-mandated ban on violent police operations in the city. Finally, GI-TOC research network member Gabriel Feltran will debate the links between the illicit markets presented by the panellists and other forms of organized crimes in Brazil.

A talk by Gabriel Feltran, Carolina Grillo, Ana Carolina Haliuc Bragança, Janaina Maldonado and Luiz Guilherme Paiva

UFSCar, Fluminense Federal University, Ministério Público Federal (Federal Prosecution Service - Brazil), German Institute for Global and Area Studies/Universität Hamburg and Centre for the Analysis of Liberty and Authoritarianism

Coalitions between drug cartels and terrorists endanger not only failed or weak states but pose extensive security threats for the entire world. What is designated as ‘narcoterrorism’, is increasingly connected to the narcotics-producing regions of the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle. This panel session will be dedicated to exploring the overlap between organized crime groups and terrorist groups focusing on current dynamics in the South Asian region. The panelists will discuss drug trends like an expanding market for amphetamine-type stimulants and the interaction of terrorist groups in the region with the local as well as the global drug supply.

A talk by Celine Burke, Lisa Dudek, Anne-Therese Heckendorff and Aaron Magunna

European Foundation for South Asian Studies, Non-profit organization/think tank and European Foundation for South Asian Studies

This is a complete panel session on the presence and activities of the Italian mafias in Europe. Francesco Calderoni, Professor of Criminology, Transcrime Catholic University of Milan will present the topic The Italian mafias abroad: evidence from Italian anti-mafia agencies reports 2000-2016, followed by Anna Sergi, Professor of Criminology University of Essex & Alice Rizzuti, Research Associate, University of Hull, who will host Mafiaround-Europe: reflections from the CRIME project on mafia mobility and law enforcement cooperation in Europe. This session will conclude with a presentation by Zora Hauser, Research Fellow, University of Oxford on “How Crime gets Legal: the ‘Ndrangheta in the German Economy”.

A talk by Professor Anna Sergi, Francesco Calderoni, Zora Hauser and Alice Rizzuti

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime, University of Oxford and University of Hull

In this session, Amandine Sourd will discuss the limitations surrounding the production of statistical data on victims and perpetrators of human trafficking through administrative and civil society sources, which underpins the need for diversifying data to find further insights into criminal phenomena. Following this intervention, Alexis Gerbeaux will present the outcomes of a study that explored the evolution of the number and profile of drug use and trafficking offenders. This session will conclude with a presentation by Zoé Gallos who will discuss the rising notoriety of ransomware attacks and trends within the phenomena that continue to shape police procedural responses in France.

A talk by Helena Farrand Carrapico, Zoé Gallos, Alexis Gerbeaux and Amandine Sourd

Northumbria University, French Home Office, SSMSI/Ministry of Interior

In this session, Daan van Uhm will deliver a presentation on the topic of Chinese organized crime groups involved in illegal wildlife trade in the borderlands of the Golden Triangle, discussing the representation of these groups by looking at the diversification of these crime groups into wildlife crimes, and the outsourcing of activities to local opportunistic crime groups in neighboring Laos and Myanmar. After this intervention, Andrea Stefanus will present the findings of his research on regulatory and enforcement challenges of transnational organised IUU fishing crimes, focusing on the criminalisation of IUU fishing committed by organized crime groups, as international fisheries instruments do not provide for regulatory and enforcement solution. The session will conclude with a presentation by Aitor Ibáñez Alonso and Israel Alvarado Martínez, which will examine how and why Mexican organized crime groups, in particular drug cartels, have shifted their operations from drug trafficking to trafficking in specific parts of the illegal trade in totoaba maw as a diversification process, influenced by the social context in which these groups operate.

A talk by Daan van Uhm, Aitor Ibáñez Alonso and Andrea Stefanus

Utrecht University

Mediation is an alternative mechanism for dispute settlement, commonly used when enforcement is ineffective. It has been increasingly seen as an effective means to prevent, manage and resolve disputes in both conflict and non-conflicted environments, including, for example, in the prevention of inter and intra-gang violence. However, with the growing complexity of contemporary conflicts, many questions arise regarding this method and the role of the mediator in conducting such processes. How to guarantee a comprehensive support to mediators and to their processes, making them the most effective one to prevent violence? How to ensure the role of women as leaders of the mediation? What way governments, civil society and international community can support these efforts? The session aims to present an overview about lessons learned on mediation processes and discuss those questions.

A talk by Felipe Botero, Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Juan Camilo Cock, Óscar Escobar and Benjamin Smith

GI-TOC, Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC), Fundación Alvaralice, Municipality of Palmira,Colombia and Centre for Humanitarian Diaolgue

In this session, Mathew Charles will present the findings of a study that explores organized crime and youth involvement in Colombia’s northern Cauca region—identifying criminal recruitment strategies and three major levels of trafficking routes along community, city, and country lines in Colombia. Leo Lin will then discuss the findings of a comparative case study that examines the trafficking of women and girls in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Laos) through a feminist human security perspective. After this intervention, Maria Zuppello will discuss a recent study that sheds light on Latin America's underrecognized crime-terror nexus by explaining how criminal and terrorist actors are using innovative methods to evade detection, smuggle drugs, and use the proceeds to fund Islamic extremism through halal meat certification in Brazil. The session will conclude with a presentation by Taciana Santos de Souza, who will discuss the outcomes of a study which analyzed 170 cases of drug trafficking in São Paulo, Brazil and found that drug repression policies—as well as increased numbers of arrests for drug trafficking—actually favored organized crime.

A talk by Mathew Charles, Taciana Santos de Souza, Leo Lin and Maria Zuppello

Universidad del Rosario, University of Campinas,

Transnational organised crime at sea is a growing international concern. These ‘blue crimes’, including piracy, smuggling, and environmental crimes such as illegal fishing, challenge maritime security law enforcement practitioners and ask new questions of academics and researchers. By their very nature, such crimes cross boundaries. They implicate different geographical spaces, including both land and sea; they take place across national borders and jurisdictional lines; they challenge existing (often terra-centric) regional constructs; and they evidence important intersections and linkages across and between different criminal activities and networks. In consequence, the study of blue crime is not easily confined to neat disciplinary silos. It requires insight, work and dialogue across and between multiple relevant disciplines: criminology and green criminology, international relations and security studies, law, development studies, and political geography amongst others. But how can such work take place productively? What pitfalls does it face? And what contribution can it make to the fight against transnational organised crime at sea?

This panel brings together a multi-disciplinary group of experts to consider these questions. In so doing, it outlines the contours of a new blue criminology, considers the scope and promise of such an approach, and reflect on what a blue criminological research agenda might look like going forward.

Professor Tim Edmunds, Dr. Mercedes Rosello, Professor Anna Sergi, Professor Nigel South & Dr. Scott Edwards University of Bristol, Leeds Beckett University, University of Essex & University of Bristol

24hr Conference on Global Organized Crime

This session will look at environmental crimes and how they are usually treated as the poor relation of organised crime types: under-resourced, treated as an afterthought and more likely to be the responsibility of agriculture departments than police forces. Despite many environmental crimes being accepted as a form of serious, transnational, organised crime, they are universally treated as a low priority, struggling for recognition against other crime types. Yet this crime group, which includes wildlife trafficking, pollution crimes, and illicit deforestation, pose an immeasurable risk to life on earth - far greater than any other crime type. We argue why all nations must treat environmental crimes as a global priority.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

This panel will look at the links between various types of crimes conducted by organised groups in the maritime environment, notably in three regions that show the potential evolution of such crimes as well as potential responses in Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa and Gulf of Mexico.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

This session will discuss the topic of gangsterism in South Africa, with a key focus on Cape Town and the Western Cape. The panel will also shed light on the national anti-gang strategy and how it aims to address the issue of gangsterism in the Western Cape.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

In this session, Roland Moerland will present his research on doping in elite cycling. Next, Toine Spapens will discuss criminal investments in local football clubs. Hans Nelen will present on how the representation of professional football players by agents and brokers is associated with criminal activities.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

This policy-focused session sees four practitioners from law enforcement backgrounds, discuss the broad issues of trying to combat money laundering, and recovering criminal wealth against a backdrop of inadequate international crime control policies. Jonathan Benton (Intelligent Sanctuary Ltd) will first address the “bigger picture” of asset recovery, focusing on large, cross-border asset recoveries and the technology required to carry out such operations. Richard Gould (Illicit Finance Consulting Ltd) will then discuss the need to classify money laundering as a predicate crime, and the impact this would have on investigations at both the international and national levels. Following this, Alan Johnstone (Financial Investigations Division, Jamaica) will talk about the inadequacies of international anti-money laundering laws when applied to small island developing states such as Jamaica, where there is a high debt burden and weak economic, political and law enforcement structures. Finally, Tim Connolly (HMRC), will circle back to the “bigger picture” and the role of international organised crime groups and how they manipulate VAT scams.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

In this session, Srdjan Vujovic will present his findings on unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in Bosnia. Veronika Nagy will explore how suspects of terrorism and organised crime are increasingly subjected to social sorting through mobile surveillance within and out of Europe. Lucia will discuss trends in responses to human smuggling, including criminalisation approaches, focussing on Africa and drawing on her recent research titled 'Human smuggling in Africa: The creation of a new criminalised economy?’. Sasa Djordjevic will speak about Organised crime and migration in the Western Balkans Six at the time of crises’.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

In this session, Jorge Mantilla's presentation will analyze street-level peacebuilding in the inner city at the frontline of the ongoing urban war on drugs in Colombia. Next, Dr. Diorella Islas will discuss who controls cocaine trafficking to Europe. Furthermore, Williams Gilberto Jiménez-García , Wilson Arenas-Valencia and Natalia Bohórquez Bedoya will present their findings on the relationship between drug trafficking and social disadvantage, focusing on homicides in Colombian cities.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

The panel will discuss the research conducted by a research team to understand the criminal networks and supply chains for the antiques looted from the Middle East. Analysis of websites, social media and the dark web were examined after extensive web scraping to understand the dynamics of the illicit art market and online auction platforms. This panel examines diverse actors, routes and methods of sales as well as the means that military, law enforcement and legal systems are used to address and investigate and disrupt this trade with limited success.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

The research focuses on the operations of illicit actors in the cyberworld, in both the open web and dark web, and the supply chains and payment systems for online drug sales, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Research conducted on these supply chains reveals the wide availability of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and the convergences of these websites with those for opioids and counterfeit equipment and vaccines during the pandemic. This research has just been funded by a five-year NSF grant that builds on the results that will be discussed.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

Emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and supply chain security offers both challenges, and opportunities in terms of prevention of transnational organized crime. In this research note catwalk session we will present the different ways on how this technology can help institutions to have better tools to combat organized crime and how these technologies can help us overcome the challenges presented in digital environment for citizen security and the prevention and detection of crime.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

As the first study in Central European countries, this book explains the ability of Vietnamese shadow businessmen and criminal delinquents as one part of the Czech Republic (CR) criminal underworld after the collapse of Soviet Union in 1989. Utilizing several primary data’s resources via in-depth interviews with law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and Vietnamese diaspora, the authors have deeply analyzed the nature of the structure and modus operandi of Vietnamese organized crime (VOC), focusing on two individual components, ‘the respected man and criminal boss’. The authors confirmed the VOC in the CR is ‘mainly based on their traditional “village mentality” and emigrants exploitation strategies.’ 

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

This session will discuss the worsening of police violence in recent years in Brazil, even as national homicide numbers have been consistently declining. This is a particularly important discussion in the context of President Jair Bolsonaro’s rhetoric of aggressive use of force against suspected criminals. The panel will also discuss the continued threat of organised crime and the relatively newer threat of militias (vigilante groups linked to former or off-duty Military Police officers) in cities.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

This presentation focuses on COVID-19’s impacts on organized crime in Vietnam. All three presenters will discuss the trends and patterns of OC in Vietnam in the COVID-19 outbreak, including 1) cyber-related crimes; 2) human trafficking; and 3) wildlife trafficking. They are Vietnamese OC experts with postgraduate degrees from Flinders University, Macquarie University, and Waseda University.

For more information click here.

24 Hour Conference on Global Organized Crime

In this session, Francesco Calderoni will present his findings on the criminal careers of Italian mafia offenders. Gian Maria Campedelli will add to this session by discussing the life-course criminal trajectories of mafia members. Next, Cecilia Meneghini will shed light onto the criminal careers of mafia members prior to recruitment into organized crime.

For more information click here.

The first ever 24 hour Conference on Global Organized Crime took place in November 2020 and it was an unprecedented opportunity for interaction on the topics of criminal groups, criminal networks, and organized crime.

This podcast will bring you some of the most exciting talks and discussions from those at the forefront of research into organized crime around the world.