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Home > Beyond the pandemic - how covid-19 will shape the serious and organised crime landscape in the EU.

Europol. (2020) Beyond the pandemic - how covid-19 will shape the serious and organised crime landscape in the EU. The Hague: Europol.

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Several factors have a significant impact on serious and organised crime during the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors shape criminal behaviour and create vulnerabilities. Based on experience gained during prior crises, it is essential to monitor these factors to anticipate developments and pick up on warning signals.

  • Online activities: more people are spending more time online throughout the day for work and leisure during the pandemic, which has increased the attack vectors and surface to launch various types of cyber-attacks, fraud schemes and other activities targeting regular users. 
  • Demand for and scarcity of certain goods, especially of healthcare products and equipment, is driving a significant portion of criminals’ activities in counterfeit and substandard goods and fraud. 
  • Payment methods: the pandemic is likely to have an impact on payment preferences beyond the duration of the pandemic. With a shift of economic activity to online platforms, cashless transactions are increasing in number, volume and frequency. 
  • Economic downturn: A potential economic downturn will fundamentally shape the serious and organised crime landscape. Economic disparity across Europe is making organised crime more socially acceptable as these groups will increasingly infiltrate economically weakened communities to portray themselves as providers of work and services.
  • Rising unemployment and reductions in legitimate investment may present greater opportunities for criminal groups, as individuals and organisations in the private and public sectors are rendered more vulnerable to compromise. Increased social tolerance for counterfeit goods and labour exploitation has the potential to result in unfair competition, higher levels of organised crime infiltration and, ultimately, illicit activity accounting for a larger share of GDP. 
Item Type
Evidence resource
Publication Type
Report
Drug Type
Alcohol or other drugs in general
Date
30 April 2020
Publisher
Europol
Corporate Creators
Europol
Place of Publication
The Hague
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