Monitoring Threats by Organized Crime

Antoine Andary
5 min readFeb 17, 2020
Monitoring Threats by Organized Crime — Antoine Andary

Organized crime is a significant challenge for all governments. It is not only a challenge in its own right by undermining personal and state security, but has the potential to impact upon other critical areas of human security, be they social, political, economic or environmental.

It threatens safety, stability and development at the level of the individual, in local communities and nationally and, of course, trans-nationally. Many aspects of serious and organized crime have a global reach — for example, drug and people trafficking, fraud and money-laundering. But their activities also have a major impact on individual countries and in local communities, where the victims and perpetrators originate and where the “goods” are made, transit, taken, sold or used. The complexity of serious and organized crime is also increasing and changing with new opportunities for criminals constantly evolving, often assisted by developments in society such as globalization and advances in technology. New routes are being used and new methods of operation are regularly identified and implemented. Criminal activity is more flexible and more dynamic than before change is a constant activity for serious and organized criminals. And understanding how serious and organized crime operates is made more difficult by the covert nature of most of its activities — the criminals do not want to be caught!

But understanding the scale and impact of serious and organized crime how criminals are operating and the effect of their activities on communities and government, and identifying and implementing effective strategies to minimize their criminal activities, is absolutely essential for there to be a national response. This is a major challenge for all countries. In some countries there may be a shortage of information; more frequently there is too much information but it is disorganized or inaccessible, or not “joined up”, with individuals, departments or agencies unwittingly failing to share it with others “do we know what we know, and what we don’t know?”. In most countries there are usually several agencies with responsibility for preventing and investigating various aspects of serious and organized crime; arranging these activities to avoid duplication and ensure maximum coordination, impact and value for money can be a challenge.

The development of serious and organized crime threat assessments is, therefore, beneficial for a number of related reasons as they:

1. Enable the government to more effectively protect the state and its people from the effects of serious and organized crime.

2. Institutionalize procedures in which information on serious and organized crime can be more systematically collected, assessed and published.

3. Are a crucial government and organizational policy making and management tool to identify priorities and guide decisions as to the allocation of resources.

4. Will identify effective actions in terms of better prevention, intervention and partnerships.

5. Provide a foundation on which other information and intelligence tools (for example the requirements for future criminal intelligence collection) can be built and.

6. Make an important contribution to a higher degree of transparency and provide a forum to involve relevant stakeholders such as, for example, business groups and community leaders in debates as to how serious and organized crime can be effectively countered.

7. Provide a mechanism for promoting collaboration and cooperation across a range of public and private sector organization stakeholders.

UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME — Vienna Guidance on the preparation and use of serious and organized crime threat assessments-The SOCTA Handbook

▪️ SOCTA — Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment :

▪️ Institutional monitoring mechanisms : State and public institutions should increase their internal understanding and regularly monitor corruption pressures. Internal surveys could be designed and periodically conducted to better understand the threat of corruption. This could be done across institutions(customs, police, public administration or judiciary). It would also identify vulnerable departments, positions or regions where there are heightened risks from corruption and organized crime. There are ways that surveys can be designed not to be self-incriminating, yet still reveal the scale and nature of corruption threats etc.

▪️ Increasing internal institutional detection capacities : At present, many countries has established mechanisms to respond to corruption and organized crime cases. Nevertheless, this is reactive, rather than proactive, approach to detecting corruption. It is an approach that relies on discovery by chance, rather than on scrutinizing or using pro-active approaches, such as provocation. The use of internal corruption investigative departments leads to increased corruption detection rates. Establishing internal investigation departments across public institutions, with investigators knowing about particular corruption scheme sand culture of the institutions, is bound to have a strong preventive effect on corruption.

▪️ Develop mechanisms for increased cooperation between anti-corruption and organized crime units :

Especially policy making anti-corruption bodies, on onside, and organized and white collar crime investigators, on the other. Periodic meetings and exchanges of reports and data could increase cooperation. For instance, Euro pol’s national OCTA could be shared among all anti-corruption bodies or oversight departments in relevant public institutions. Example of this is the OSCE-supported project launched financially supported under the Swiss Regional Police Co-operation Programme.

▪️ Introducing threat assessments in state, public and private institutions : Threat assessments could be used as an effective tool for targeting and prioritizing technical assistance to counter organized crime. To date, development actors have been reluctant to pursue such forms of assistance, in part because the impact of organized crime and related forms of illicit trafficking is not well understood. To achieve this, assessments must be in a position to show the impact of organized crime on development and community security.

▪️ Increase training and raise awareness among public servants and the private sector :

Law-enforcement and the judiciary should conduct mandatory corruption-awareness training programmers that are based on real cases and institutional experience. The professional knowledge and capacities of the police officers should be regularly updated by proper training programs.

▪️ Increase the controlling mechanism of the banking sector : Banks weak control over money flows and the formalist attitude towards anti-money laundering measures are often reason for failing to uncover fraud. Moreover,banks are most vulnerable to money laundering and criminal operations when illegal business operations money transfer of the organized crime groups are in use in corruptive activates in the private sector as well.

▪️ Strengthen the integrity within the private sector : The private sector should develop mechanisms for increasing the internal control within companies. It should also strengthen public-private partnerships. The collaborative approach between law enforcement and the private sector can be effective tool for countering corruption and organized crime, especially concerning the legislation on public procurement, concessions, sponsorship and donations. Training in combating economic crimes for law enforcement officials is also useful tool for targeting and prioritizing assistance to counter corruption and organized crime. The legal enforcement of codes of conduct for employees is also highly important for effective repressing of corruptive and organized crimes within the private sector. The business community in Macedonia should also develop effective strategies for supporting the governmental and non-governmental efforts in the fight against corruption and organized crime in the country.

Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Report Todor Yalamov, Emilija Tudzarovska Gjorgjievska, Ruslan Stefanov

Suggested Video To Watch :

▪️ How Globalization Affects Transnational Crime :

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Antoine Andary

Author at Medium | Political Communication and International Affairs, Counter-Terrorism Research Fellow and Intelligence Analyst