Organized Crime - Introduction main image

Investigating Organized Crime: A New GIJN Guide

In concert with GIJC21’s panel on the “New Organized Crime,” GIJN has released a comprehensive, multi-part reporting guide to investigating organized crime around the world, looking at nine key areas: criminal finance, narcotics, arms trade, environmental crime, forced disappearances, cybercrime, mafia states, human trafficking, and art and antiquities. 

Political Kidnapping and Forced Disappearances

Disappearing people benefits the perpetrators in several ways: it considerably complicates any investigation, the person — dead or alive — remains hidden most of the time, and it can be mixed or confused with other crimes, such as kidnapping, child abduction, human trafficking, forced recruitment, murder, or desecration of a human corpse. 

AK-47 weapons cache, arms trading

Investigating Arms Trafficking

National laws that govern arms dealing are uneven, contradictory, influenced by corrupted leadership, and rife with loopholes. Other barriers to exposing the weapons trade range from maritime and aviation secrecy concealing the transportation of arms; corporate entities that shield dealers and operators; the role of neighboring countries as conduits, and a barter system that allows one illicit commodity, such as ivory, to be exchanged for another.

Environmental Crimes - caution tape

Investigating Environmental Crimes and Climate Change

Networks of business interests, government officials, and criminal groups run illegal operations that harm the environment in multiple ways. They drive worldwide illegal trafficking in wildlife and seafood, timber, minerals, hazardous waste, and toxic chemicals. Such environmental crimes are sometimes connected with other criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

A Journalist’s Guide to Investigating Drug Trafficking

Covering drug trafficking is inherently difficult and can be dangerous. Information is also scant. In most cases, it is best to begin by getting the best data possible. However, in all cases, proceed with caution: data on drug trafficking, especially drug seizures, gives you only a small part of the picture and can even distort reality in some cases.

UNODC Report on Transnational Crime

Investigating Mafia States and Kleptocracies: A Q&A with OCCRP’s Drew Sullivan

GIJN’s forthcoming guide to investigating organized crime features a chapter on what we call mafia states – countries that essentially operate as a criminal cartel and run the affairs of state much as a crime syndicate runs rackets. To explore this topic, we asked GIJN’s executive director David Kaplan to interview Drew Sullivan, co-founder and editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

How to Investigate Money Laundering

The criminal blueprint and its elements need to be understood to efficiently follow the money and stop criminals from doing business as usual. Criminals, both the ones just starting out as well as those who are already well established, have regional and global infrastructure that is continuously built and maintained by what the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) team calls the “criminal services industry.” Here’s OCCRP’s Paul Radu on how it works and how to untangle it.