There is a broad consensus that the Internet has greatly expanded possibilities for traditional transit crimes such as wildlife trafficking. However, the extent to which the Internet is exploited by criminals to carry out these types of activities and the way in which it has changed how these crimes are carried out remains under-investigated. Based on interviews and investigative cases, this paper shows the possibilities offered by a crime script approach for understanding what kind of criminal opportunities the Internet offers for conducting wildlife trafficking and how these opportunities affect the organization of this transit crime, as concerns both the carrying out of the criminal activity and the patterns of relations in and among criminal networks. It highlights how Internet-mediated wildlife trafficking is a hybrid market that combines the traditional social and economic opportunity structure with that provided by the Internet.
There is widespread agreement that the Internet is a primary market for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, but this issue has been under-investigated by criminologists. In order to effectively control this dangerous trade, considerably more knowledge about it must be assembled. This study contributes to this domain by looking at how the Internet is used to facilitate the trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Based on interviews and investigative cases analysed through a crime script, this study pinpoints the criminal opportunities made available by the specificities of the Internet, identifies what specific phases of the trafficking activity they facilitate, investigates how such opportunities are exploited, provides updated insights into how actors involved in the online market in counterfeit pharmaceuticals behave, and offers a reflection on the main challenges that have to be met to respond to this criminal phenomenon.
Criminological research over the last couple of decades has improved our understanding of cybercrimes. However, this body of research is regarded as still theoretically thin and not fully developed; more knowledge on the actors involved, their characteristics, and modus operandi is needed. Some publications recently suggested that organised crime is or might be involved in cybercrimes, which would have important policing implications, but evidence-based research on this point is still scarce and inconclusive. This article seeks to further this path of inquiry by providing a systematic analysis of 40 cases from The Netherlands, Germany, UK, and USA where criminal networks were involved in financial cybercrimes affecting the banking sector. It also assesses whether and to what extent these criminal networks meet the definitions of organised crime and discusses the theoretical and policing implications of our findings.
Societal Impact Statement
A wide variety of plant species are threatened by illegal wildlife trade (IWT), and yet plants receive scant attention in IWT policy and research, a matter of pressing global concern. This review examines how “plant blindness” manifests within policy and research on IWT, with serious and detrimental effects for biodiversity conservation. We suggest several key points: (a) perhaps with the exception of the illegal timber market, plants are overlooked in IWT policy and research; (b) there is insufficient attention from funding agencies to the presence and persistence of illegal trade in plants; and (c) these absences are at least in part resultant from plant blindness as codified in governmental laws defining the meaning of “wildlife.”
This review investigates the ways in which “plant blindness,” first described by Wandersee and Schussler (1999, p. 82) as “the misguided anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals,” intersects with the contemporary boom in research and policy on illegal wildlife trade (IWT). We argue that plants have been largely ignored within this emerging conservation arena, with serious and detrimental effects for biodiversity conservation. With the exception of the illegal trade in timber, we show that plants are absent from much emerging scholarship, and receive scant attention by US and UK funding agencies often driving global efforts to address illegal wildlife trade, despite the high levels of threat many plants face. Our article concludes by discussing current challenges posed by plant blindness in IWT policy and research, but also suggests reasons for cautious optimism in addressing this critical issue for plant conservation.
– The purpose of this article is to provide an empirically based description of how the Internet is exploited by different types of organised crime groups (OCGs), ranging from Italian mafia-style groups to looser gangs.
– The article relies on a dataset collected from mid-2011 to mid-2013 and, specifically, on semi-structured interviews to law enforcement officials and acknowledged experts in Italy, the UK, the USA and The Netherlands; judicial transcripts; police records; and media news.
– This article provides an account of the main scope for which the Internet has been used for various criminal activities traditionally associated with the organised crime rhetoric, first and foremost, cross-border trafficking activities. This study also discusses some current legal and policy approaches to deal with OCGs operating online.
– This contribution addresses an under-investigated research field and aims to foster a reflection on the opportunity to integrate Internet crime research, and even more Internet crime investigations, into the everyday routines of criminologists, analysts and law enforcement officers.
This article presents a part of the ongoing Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project “FloraGuard: Tackling the illegal trade in endangered plants” that relies on cross-disciplinary approaches to analyze online marketplaces for the illegal trade in endangered plants, and explores strategies to develop digital resources to assist law enforcement in countering and disrupting this criminal market. This contribution focuses on how the project brought together computer science, criminology, conservation science, and law enforcement expertise to create a tool for the automatic gathering of relevant online information to be used for research, intelligence, and investigative purposes. The article also discusses the ethical standards applied and proposes the concept of “artificial intelligence (AI) review” to provide a sociotechnical solution that builds trustworthiness in the AI approaches used for this type of cross-disciplinary information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled methodology.
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