Episode 149 – The Changing International Risks of Transnational Organised Crime and Its Use of Technology with Dr Christopher Allen

Over the last few weeks we have talked about some of the facets of transnational organised crime, and today’s episode will continue to explore these international risks.  

According to the UK Government, the illicit drugs market is big business, worth an estimated £9.4 billion a year in the UK alone.  

Globally, over 236.1 million ransomware attacks occurred globally in the first half of 2022.  

The international drug trade and cybercrime are two independent but interconnected concerns that have emerged in response to the globalised aspect of the modern world. The international drug trade is the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychoactive substances across borders, facilitated by sophisticated criminal organisations that operate on a global scale. In contrast, cybercrime refers to a wide range of unlawful crimes carried out using digital means, such as hacking, identity theft, and online fraud.  

While these international risks may appear unconnected, they have some similarities, such as the employment of advanced technology, international networks, and the exploitation of vulnerabilities in global systems. Criminal organisations involved in the drug trade frequently use cyber tools to communicate, launder money, and evade law enforcement. Additionally, the dark web serves as a platform for both drug trafficking and various forms of cybercrime.  

The intertwining of these illicit activities poses complex challenges for international law enforcement and requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach to address these risks. In order to help us unpack these two vast networks of transnational organised crime, and their potential intersections, we are thrilled to be joined by Dr Christopher Allen

Dr. Chris Allen is a researcher, lecturer, consultant and commentator specialising in organised crime and how it operates.  He has significant experience in lecturing on drug trafficking, cybercrime, human trafficking and firearms trafficking, among other subjects. 

Chris is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant of the London Policing College. He is also the creator of the U BATTLE toolkit, an investigative strategy development tool that began under City of London Police in 2018 and since then has gained national and international recognition. U BATTLE uses the adapted versions of traditional business analysis techniques to improve the development of investigative strategies in order to dismantle organised crime groups. 

Furthermore, he is a member of the Society for Evidence Based Policing, the European Political Research Consortium Standing Group on Organised Crime and the International Association for the Study of Organised Crime. 

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