Organized crime groups threatening state authority in Europe: INTERPOL
Paris, May 8 (EFE).- INTERPOL warned on Monday that as drug trafficking reaches “historic levels,” organized crime networks are increasingly posing “a direct threat to state authority” in many European countries.
The International Criminal Police Organization raised the alarm during its ongoing 50th European Regional Conference in Ohrid, north Macedonia which kicked off on Monday and is set to last until May 10.
The conference is being attended by more than 140 participants from 53 countries of Europe and elsewhere, to discuss common criminal threats ranging from drug trafficking to cybercrimes.
“There is evidence that levels of violence related to these criminal networks is also increasing” the France based organization said in the opening statement from the conference.
“Organized crime is a top concern,” INTERPOL President Ahmed Naser al-Raisi warned at the event.
“These transnational crimes not only threaten the safety and security of the region, but also have a spillover effect on the rest of the world,” he added.
As a result, the organization called for “strengthening international police cooperation to counter the rapidly escalating threat posed by organized crime networks.”
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said that drug trafficking and consumption had witnessed a sharp spike in the last five years, with Europe being “one of the main transit and destination markets.”
“We continue to see record seizures at European borders and ports, and a corresponding rise in violent crime, corruption and money laundering of unprecedented scale,” he warned.
The global scale of many organized crime networks, often spanning multiple continents, means that international cooperation through INTERPOL is often the only means for police in Europe and other regions to “bring fugitives to justice or gather crucial intelligence” the international security body said.
Beyond drug trafficking and money laundering, INTERPOL’s findings show that cyber or cyber-enabled crimes also top the list of concerns for police forces in Europe.
A matter of special concern was that “76 per cent of police respondents from Europe expect online child sexual exploitation and abuse to increase or increase significantly in the next three to five years,” the statement revealed.
The conference is being held in North Macedonia as the country this year celebrates its 30th anniversary as a member of INTERPOL. EFE