What is criminally underestimated in the world

Experts warn: the risk of organized crime is underestimated

08.02.2021 – 06:00

NDR North German Broadcasting

Hamburg (ots)

In an interview with Norddeutscher Rundfunk, the head of the Serious and Organized Crime Department at the European Police Authority Europol, Jari Liukku, warns of a growing potential for danger from organized criminals. Organized crime has "dynamized" in Europe over the past few years. "Organized criminals are now a greater threat to security in Europe than terrorism, for example." In recent years, this danger has not been dealt with with the attention that is appropriate.

In a recently published study, Europol warns that the number of acts of violence in the context of organized crime has increased. In addition, the analysis suggests that criminal gangs are less and less afraid of deadly violence. Not only criminals among themselves are affected by acts of violence, but also, for example, employees of law enforcement authorities, lawyers, journalists and dock workers who refused to work with criminals.

The problem goes well beyond acts of violence, warns Liukku. "Regardless of whether it is about human trafficking, drug trafficking, corruption, environmental crimes, money laundering or arms deals: the dangers posed by organized criminal gangs are diverse and affect society as a whole." Likku called on the European police authorities to cooperate more and exchange information with one another.

The deputy director of the Science and Politics Foundation, Günther Maihold, assumes that not least the growing drug trade has strengthened criminal gangs in Europe. Maihold advises the Federal Government and the Federal Criminal Police Office on security issues. The massive influx of proceeds from drug deals is available for new crimes, including "buying up authorities". He also noted that criminal organizations from abroad were increasingly establishing themselves in Europe in order to "open up sales markets for drugs and other goods".

The Bundestag member Irene Mihalic (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) told the NDR that it was not enough for the security policy debate to focus on "break-ins or clan criminals". One has to bear in mind that "the Italian mafia organization 'Ndrangheta with highly criminal activities, such as the trade in cocaine, is supposed to achieve an annual turnover of around 50 billion euros". This poses a serious threat to public safety. The federal and state police forces would have to be put in a position to carry out "complex structural procedures" in order to get to the people behind the criminal gangs.

The chairman of the Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, Sebastian Fiedler, said that politicians underestimated the problem, also because the extent of organized crime is not openly visible. Mafia organizations and other criminal gangs have created a kind of parallel economy. "While the civil code regulates disputes in legal markets, in the world of organized criminals it is violence and corruption." Fiedler called on the federal government to initiate a dark field study.

Today (Monday, February 8th) NDR Info publishes the radio and podcast series "Organized Crime - Research in Hidden". In it, NDR reporters report on their research in the field of organized crime. Episodes 1 to 3 ("The Big Leap") are about Mexican drug cartels that are currently pushing into Europe. Episodes 4 to 6 ("The Lebanon Connection") examine Lebanese money laundering networks and their connection to Hezbollah. The reporters take the audience on their research in the Netherlands, France, West Africa, Mexico and the Middle East. The results of the research are discussed and classified in conversation with experts.

The podcast will be played on NDR Info in the coming weeks and can be downloaded from the ARD audio library:


Broadcast dates on NDR Info:

02/12 9:03 p.m. (episodes 1 + 2)

02/14 4:04 p.m. (episodes 1 + 2)

19.02. (Episodes 3 + 4)

02/21 (Episodes 3 + 4)

02/26 (Episodes 5 + 6)

02/28 (Episodes 5 + 6)

Press contact:

Northern German Radio
Press and information
Ralf Plessmann
Tel .: 040 / 4156-2333
Mail: [email protected]

Original content by: NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk, transmitted by news aktuell