Welcome to the first issue of the Risk Bulletin produced by the Civil Society Observatory to Counter Organized Crime in South Eastern Europe, part of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). This new monthly publication, modelled on similar risk bulletins produced by the GI-TOC’s other regional observatories, will cover issues related to organized crime, illicit finance and corruption in the Western Balkans region.

This first edition focuses on a broad range of issues, including cannabis cultivation in Albania and how there appears to be a shift by Albanians to indoor cannabis growing in Western Europe; the impact of COVID-19 and the securitization of borders on the smuggling of migrants through the Western Balkans; the impact on the Kotor gang war of the pandemic and a new government in Montenegro; and the phenomenon of cash transfers in the Western Balkans. We also feature an interview with an investigative journalist on the challenges and risks of exposing corruption and organized crime in Montenegro.

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