The Informer

The Informer blog provides a platform for academics, policymakers and practitioners to discuss their work and research and to share their opinions on organised crime.

We collaborate with the European Consortium for Political Research’s Standing Group on Organised Crime (ECPR-SGOC), one of the standing groups of the ECPR. The editorial board includes representatives from the University of Bath, Oxford University, the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Sao Paulo, Sofia University and Flinders University.


Targeting Enablers of Transnational Crime: Insights from Operation Ironside

29 Jul, 2021
Ben Scott

Operation Ironside, a global operation led by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), came to a resolution in June 2021. Across Australia, 4,000 police executed search warrants and made arrests, capping a two-year investigation which was undoubtedly the most significant in Australian law enforcement history. Ironside struck a…

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Locked in Limbo: Child Statelessness and Human Trafficking in the Non-Government Controlled Areas of Ukraine

1 Jun, 2021
Olena Prokopyshyna

The ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine has birthed novel human rights challenges. Since 2014, the country has been engaged in one of the longest-standing conflicts in Europe. This unrest has led to the establishment of internal-borders and national checkpoints, obstructing citizens freedom of movement. These barriers are purportedly designed to safeguard…

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The Unexpected Route

19 May, 2021
Martin Verrier

In February 2021, as a result of an operation involving the decryption of Sky ECC, a communications system used by organised crime organisations, customs authorities in northern Europe collectively seized the largest cocaine shipment ever recorded. German officials seized a total of 16 tonnes of cocaine disguised in wall filler at the port of…

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Gangs and the Unattached Youth in Jamaica

15 Mar, 2021
Shenaé Jonas

Jamaica’s criminal trajectory has long stimulated the curiosity of criminologists and policy makers, and now, we are beginning to see how pervasive the crime-politics nexus is and the ways in which it gave rise to criminal gangs in the country. In Kingston, the construction of a public housing complex and…

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From Calabria to the Roof of the World: The Maxi Trial and the Village

8 Mar, 2021
Dr Anna Sergi

It must have been July 27th, 2012 or at the latest 2013, in Limbadi, a small town in the Vibonese province in Calabria, that on this day every year celebrates the patron Saint. When the Saint exits the church, I am sure that many – including myself – are wondering…

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Organised Crime, Women, and the Post-Pandemic Landscape for Latin America

2 Mar, 2021
Carolina Sampó

To date, female actors within organised crime structures have remained invisible. With the exception of well-known women who have inherited illicit businesses and operations from their jailed or deceased male family members – such as Mexicans Clara Elena Laborín Archuleta, wife of Héctor Beltrán Leyva (arrested in 2014), or Enedina Arellano Félix,…

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Who or What are ‘Police’? A Speculation on Why Organised ‘Crime’ Succeeds

22 Feb, 2021
Mark Nuttall

Police are not police and the law is not the law everywhere, one must be reminded, as I strolled through the hallowed centrepiece of Interpol’s Lyonnais HQ, having transposed myself from Singapore to assist in the presentation of a global gathering of law enforcement and others. This was quite a few years after leaving…

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Disrupting Serious and Organised Crime: What Role for UK Sanctions?

18 Dec, 2020
Cathy Haenlein

As the UK establishes its post-Brexit independent sanctions regime, the potential to use sanctions against serious and organised crime has attracted growing attention. To add value, any move in this direction requires a clear strategy as to how sanctions would complement existing law enforcement tools. Recent months have seen the…

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Italy, Covid-19 and the Development of Mafias

17 Dec, 2020
Martina Bedetti

Following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, Italy was one of the first countries to implement extreme measures in an attempt to contain the drastic impact of the pandemic. With the domestic health system on the verge of collapse, restrictions to movement were imposed across the…

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Is the UK Engaging Meaningfully with Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan?

16 Dec, 2020
Dr Philip A. Berry

In recent evidence to a House of Lords committee examining United Kingdom (UK) policy in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Baroness Goldie warned that the Afghan narcotics trade, which accounts for approximately 85 per cent of global heroin, poses ‘a key threat to our national security interests.’ The threat, she argued, was multifaceted: ‘95 per…

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