The mafia and cyber criminals have benefited from Covid

Published on 23/06/2020
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While drug trafficking fell sharply during the lockdown, criminal organizations managed to exploit other activities and are now likely to find new ways to launder their money during the economic crisis.

Bertrand Monnet, EDHEC professor, research director and current holder of the chair in the management of criminal risk, was invited to speak on France Inter by Fabienne Sintes on Monday 22 June.

Governments are concerned that the coronavirus crisis has enabled the mafia to reinforce their presence on the ground. Replacing the authorities, criminal organizations began to distribute food and safety equipment in Mexico, Brazil and even Italy.

These networks are exploiting a new way to penetrate the real economy via the crisis, intervening to assist many businesses by lending dirty money.

Drugs have continued to circulate, albeit with some difficulty. Many countries in Asia and Africa as well as Europe recorded a drastic drop in the number of drug seizures.

Organised criminal networks adapted. In the healthcare sector, trafficking rose sharply, with some fraudulent companies selling millions of faulty masks. Swindlers put together scams that exploited the confusion surrounding the urgent need for medical equipment.

Cybercrime gathered pace. With the lockdown measures, many unassuming consumers were encouraged to make online purchases. They made ideal targets for phishing, emails designed to extract the bank details of users. The widespread take-up of teleworking made it easier for hackers to infiltrate the private data of businesses.

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