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. 

2021 Global Organized Crime Index

Document of the Day: Global Organized Crime Index

State-embedded actors are the most dominant criminal actor type in the world. The degree to which criminality permeates state institutions varies, from low-level corruption to full state capture, but across the spectrum this involvement has implications for countries’ capacity to respond to organized crime.

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.