Christian Herrmann

Hochschule des Bundes

A Gangster’s Paradise? Transnational Organised Crime in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain illegal business practices, such as the trade in counterfeit medi­cal products, have been experiencing a boom. Other typical sources of income for organised crime (OC) temporarily dried up due to lockdowns, travel restrictions and border closures. With the changing infection dynamics and increasingly loca­lised countermeasures, the situation has demanded constant adaptation from many businesses – and criminal organisa­tions are no exception. The effects of the pandemic on OC are not only shortlived, however: the economic, social and political consequences can also impact OC in the medium term. In addition to shifts in illegal (drug) markets, the po­tential for criminal exploitation could increase as a result of the health crisis and the influence of criminal groups on the state and society could grow. Some of these developments are already visible. The associated risks require increased scrutiny by political decision-makers and law enforcement agencies and more targeted international cooperation.

S. 51-61