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Enduring Italians, Ambitious Albanians – How Cocaine is Changing Europe’s Criminal Landscape

By Chris Dalby, InSight Crime, 21 September 2021 InSight Crime — Ever greater quantities of cocaine are making their way across the Atlantic and are being sold at ever greater prices across Europe. A new Europol report reveals how this has changed the way organized crime operates… Read More

Global Interpol-Led Anti-Trafficking Operation Arrests 286

By Emily Tan, OCCRP, 28th July 2021 OCCRP — An Interpol operation involving 47 countries worldwide rounded up 286 people suspected of being members of human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal groups and rescued 430 victims, according to a statement released on Monday. Police… Read More

Greek Captagon Bust Leads to a Criminal Gang and the Port at the Heart of Syria’s Booming New Drug Trade

By Ahmed Eid Ashour, Sameh Ellaboudy, Maher Shaeri and Cecilia Anesi, OCCRP, 16 June 2021 OCCRP — On the evening of December 2, 2018, the cargo ship Noka set sail from the Syrian port of Latakia, bound for eastern Libya. The vessel was packed with goods sent… Read More
16th June 2021
A new report by Transparency International, published on Tuesday, says that almost a third of European Union citizens “think corruption is getting worse in their country and almost half say their government is doing a bad job at tackling corruption”. In the countries surveyed by Transparency International in Central and… Read More
27th May 2021
That anonymous shell companies are the vehicle of choice for the corrupt and criminals is no longer a secret. New cases of cross-border corruption and money laundering are reported almost on a weekly basis, where perpetrators often hide behind secretive corporate structures. The European Union has been lauded for its… Read More
25th May 2021
A gun-toting Greek billionaire, Ivan Savvidi, is making a mockery of EU sanctions on Russia, but no one in Athens or Brussels seems to care, posing the question: Is the EU regime a paper tiger? The sanctions were imposed in 2014 over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They banned EU nationals… Read More
11th May 2021
The migrant-smuggling business in Western Balkan countries is worth at least 50 million euros a year, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime NGO said in a report published on Monday. The report assesses the money being made by smugglers in the three key smuggling zones in the Western… Read More
19th March 2021
The European Union has frozen plans to blacklist more senior executives at Turkey’s state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), four diplomats said, in the clearest sign that a diplomatic offensive by Ankara this year is bearing fruit. EU leaders in December had proposed asset freezes and travel bans over Turkey’s “unauthorised… Read More
18th February 2021
Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin has ordered the Frankfurt branch of Greek lender Piraeus Bank to take measures to prevent money laundering and terror financing. BaFin disclosed the order on Wednesday, which was made on Jan. 13. The statement offered no further detail. Piraeus Bank is one of Greece’s four largest… Read More
4th February 2021
Spanish police working with the U.S. Secret Service have shut down a criminal network that pocketed more than 12 million euros ($14.41 million) via a credit card fraud that extended across more than 15 countries, authorities said on Wednesday. More than 100 alleged members of the network were arrested in… Read More
4th February 2021
The U.S. has gone to court to seize 2 million barrels of oil that it claims came from Iran, as Joe Biden’s administration shows little sign of taking a softer line on Tehran. The Department of Justice filed a case in a U.S. district court, seeking to seize the cargo… Read More
8th December 2020
EU foreign ministers will evaluate grounds for sanctions against Turkey over a Mediterranean gas dispute on Monday before the bloc’s leaders decide whether to make good on their threat to impose punitive measures. Ministers will not take decisions at their meeting on Monday, leaving that to Thursday’s summit of EU… Read More
1st December 2020
By Will Neal, OCCRP, 30 November 2020 OCCRP — OCCRP spoke with the head of the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office about the challenges in fighting the widespread  — but often-ignored — criminal scheme. “No one’s interested in value-added tax. It’s just not sexy enough.” There’s an edge of… Read More