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Europol. (2011) EU organised crime threat assessment 2011. The Hague: Europol. File no. 2530-274.

PDF (Europol 2011) - Published Version

The bi–annual report, which assesses current and expected trends in organised crime affecting the European Union, explores how a new criminal landscape is emerging, marked increasingly by highly mobile and flexible groups operating in multiple jurisdictions and criminal sectors.

"Organised crime is a multi–billion euro business in Europe and it is growing in scale. The further expansion of Internet and mobile technologies, the proliferation of illicit trafficking routes and methods as well as opportunities offered by the global economic crisis, have all contributed to the development of a more potent threat from organised crime," says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The report highlights the fact that criminal groups are increasingly multi–commodity and poly–criminal in their activities, gathering diverse portfolios of criminal business interests, improving their resilience at a time of economic austerity and strengthening their capability to identify and exploit new illicit markets. Activities such as carbon credit fraud, payment card fraud and commodity counterfeiting attract increasing interest due to a lower level of perceived risk.

The OCTA estimates for the first time that organised crime groups derived more than 1.5 billion euro from payment card fraud in the EU. While the introduction of the EMV chip standard provides a very high level of protection for payment card transactions within the EU, lack of wholesale implementation in other regions has compelled EU card issuers to retain magnetic strips. As a result, half the fraudulent withdrawals made with cloned EU payment cards are currently made outside the EU.

Strong levels of cooperation exist between different organised crime groups, more than ever before, transcending national, ethnic, and business differences. An increasingly collaborative atmosphere has also intensified the practice of barter, in which illicit commodities are exchanged rather than purchased with cash. This has made organised crime activities less visible to authorities targeting criminal assets.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Identification #
File no. 2530-274
38 p.
Corporate Creators
Place of Publication
The Hague
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
Related (external) link

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