In this issue, we look at a recent case that came to light concerning an Albanian-speaking cocaine-trafficking network operating out of Ecuador.

This illustrates a trend that the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) highlighted in a July 2020 report, ‘Transnational tentacles: Global hotspots of Western Balkan organized crime’, which showed how criminal groups from the Western Balkans are active in several crime hotspots around the world. What is also interesting about this case is that the alleged kingpin was coordinating drug-trafficking operations from a prison in Ecuador.

We feature a story about the smuggling of weapons from South Eastern Europe.

Although this risk is not new, the problem has received attention recently, as guns, grenades and explosives from the region have been used in gang violence in Western Europe, and there are concerns that weapons could get into the hands of extremists and terrorists.

Gender is seldom a topic associated with organized crime.

In this issue, we look at organized crime through a gender lens in the Western Balkans to better understand the informal rules that shape different roles for men and women, and to highlight what can be done to design countermeasures to change attitudes, images and behaviours.

In the past, North Macedonia developed a reputation for cybercrime and producing fake news.

Lately, North Macedonian businesses have been on the receiving end of cyber attacks, particularly through a technique known as phishing, which is used to steal data or carry out fraud. We explain how it works and its impact.

Every month, we feature a profile of a person or organization working to strengthen resilience to organized crime and corruption.

In this issue, we talk to Dr Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac about the Balkan Criminology network and what it is doing to improve the study of organized crime in the Western Balkans and to build networks between academics, civil society, the media and criminal-justice practitioners in the region.

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