About: Organised Crime

FBI-planted app nets hundreds in ‘staggering’ global crime sting

Police arrested more than 800 people worldwide in a huge global sting involving encrypted phones that were secretly planted by the FBI, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday (8 June).
Global Europe 08-06-2021

Global crackdown on organised crime after high-tech US-Australia sting

US and Australian authorities hacked into an app used by criminals to read millions of encrypted messages, leading to hundreds of arrests of suspected organised crime figures in 18 countries, Australian officials said on Tuesday (8 June).

Commission calls for online ‘battering rams’ to break encryption

The EU executive will help countries work on encryption-breaking for when law enforcement has legal access to the information as part of a strategy to fight organised crime presented on Wednesday (14 April).

Covid, cocaine take Europe to ‘breaking point’, says Europol

The coronavirus pandemic could fuel organised crime for years to come in Europe, a continent already at "breaking point" from an unprecedented flood of cocaine, the EU's policing agency warned Monday (12 April).

European police pounce after cracking encrypted phone network

Police said Wednesday (10 March) they had arrested at least 80 people and carried out hundreds of raids in two European countries after shutting down an encrypted phone network used by organised crime groups.

Bulgarian fraudsters use fake Stallone passport as ad

A Bulgarian criminal gang used a fake passport in the name of the Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone to advertise its counterfeiting services to potential clients, prosecutors said Friday (29 January).

Belgium seizes record 11.5 tonnes of cocaine

Belgian police seized 11.5 tonnes of pure cocaine hidden in a scrap metal container in the country's single biggest-ever haul, prosecutors said on Thursday (5 November).

Cyprus scraps ‘golden passport’ scheme after journalistic investigation

Cyprus said on Tuesday (13 October) it will scrap its controversial "golden passports" scheme for foreign investors next month over alleged abuses uncovered in a television programme.
Health 28-09-2020

EU teams up with South-East Asia to fight counterfeit medicines

Launched on social media in September, the #YourHealthIsPriceless campaign aims to raise awareness of the harms that counterfeit pharmaceutical and healthcare products can cause.
Azerbaijan 14-05-2020

Azeri official points at ‘mafia’ as obstacle to solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

In an exclusive interview, a high official of Azerbaijan pointed at mafia-type relations between the unrecognized authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and the government in Armenia as an obstacle for solving the long-lasting conflict. Hikmat Hajiev, head of the foreign affairs department...
Europe's East 07-04-2020

EU, UN join forces to help Eastern neighbours fight organised crime

The EU and the UN's Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) yesterday (6 April) launched a programme to help Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - claw back assets linked to organised crime.

At EU summit, Bulgaria’s Borissov fends off accusations of money laundering

The Spanish newspaper elPeriodico published on Friday (21 February) an investigative report stating that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is being investigated by the Catalan police for alleged involvement in money laundering and organised crime. Borissov has denied any wrongdoing.

European police bust gang looting artifacts in Italy

European police have busted an international crime gang involved in trafficking tens of thousands of Greek archaeological artefacts looted from illegal excavations in Italy, law enforcement agencies said Monday (18 November).
Enlargement 04-03-2019

Thousands in Montenegro rally against President Djukanovic

Thousands protested in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica on Saturday (2 February), the fourth such rally in as many weeks, demanding that President Milo Djukanović and his government resign over alleged corruption, cronyism and abuse of office.
Enlargement 19-02-2019

Albania’s opposition MPs to resign in protest

Albania's centre-right opposition said Monday (18 February) its MPs would resign from parliament, the latest in a series of dramatic protests against Prime Minister Edi Rama, who they accuse of corruption.

EU urges crackdown on ‘golden visas and passports’

The European Union urged member countries on Wednesday (23 January) to crack down on schemes granting "golden visas and passports" to foreign investors, warning they can bring corruption and money laundering in their wake.

Deputy PM, minister and MEP named in Bulgaria’s cash-for-passport scam

EXCLUSIVE: A deputy prime minister, a minister and a Bulgarian MEP are allegedly responsible for illegally selling Bulgarian passports to foreigners, according to claims made by a whistleblower who provided a bundle of documents that appeared to confirm the accusation.
Enlargement 26-10-2018

Albania bans sports betting, restricts casinos in bid to tackle organised crime

Albania's parliament on Thursday (25 October) passed a law banning a large sports betting industry and restricting casinos in a bid to clamp down on organised crime.

Cyprus to cap its ‘golden visa’ program

Stung by criticism it has been selling European Union passports for cash, Cyprus has tightened vetting procedures in a scheme that grants Cypriot citizenship to investors, the finance minister said yesterday (22 May).
EU-China 24-04-2018

OLAF suspects VAT fraud at China’s new gateway to Europe

European Union and Italian authorities are investigating suspected wide-scale tax fraud by Chinese criminal gangs importing goods via Greece’s largest port of Piraeus, a trade gateway between China and Europe, officials said.

Wave of murders darkens the start of Bulgaria’s EU presidency

Three grave crimes have cast a shadow over the start of the Bulgarian EU presidency and have highlighted the enormous deficiencies in the country's law enforcement, dating back to before it became a member of the EU.
Elections 09-01-2018

Top businessman shot dead in Bulgaria

A top Bulgarian businessman was killed in broad daylight in the capital Sofia yesterday (8 January), police said, highlighting the country's persistent problem with organised crime only days after the country took over the EU presidency.
Enlargement 05-10-2017

EU enlargement: Tear down mental walls in the Balkans

Last week the European Commission dealt another blow to the Western Balkans by promising an accession strategy for Montenegro and Serbia while neglecting the other four Balkan countries, Hashim Thaçi, the president of Kosovo, writes in an exclusive op-ed for EURACTIV.

Europol urges action after record number of money laundering tip-offs

The head of Europol is calling for tighter controls after an analysis found money laundering goes mostly without investigation, despite banks alerting police to record numbers of suspicious transactions.