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Criminal groups from former Soviet Union and Balkans (Essay Sample)


According to Europol, criminal groups from the former Soviet
Union and Balkans are seeking to expand their interests in the EU.
What opportunities are available for such groups to exploit and how
serious is the threat posed?


Criminal groups from former Soviet Union and Balkans
The Western Europe countries are targeted by the organized crime groups because they have very wealthy people who are ready to spend, there is a very good transport and communication systems. The European nation countries come second from the United States in the market for drugs in the world. The European Union countries offer a very good market for illegal transactions making it easy for the illegal groups to operate
In the Western Europe, the native groups are known to organize themselves in groups to do most of their activities. The people in the former Soviet Union countries have formed illegal groups from the past. For these groups to be able to finance for their activities, such as military, they need a lot of money. They engage into criminal activities that have very high returns such as drug trafficking and counterfeiting (Columbus, 2003).
These organized crime groups often have the backing of very influential people which makes it very hard to counter them. For example, some groups in Serbia have links with the government officials who often protect their interests (Nutall, 2000).
The illegal groups often recruit a lot of people. This makes them have a big and vast following in the countries they operate from. Some also have international links making them able to do most of their activities with ease. For example, these groups have representative in almost all continents that control the operations in those regions.
The increased cooperation between these groups has significantly increased their profits. Some groups exchange drugs for property that is stolen, fire arms, and other drugs. This has made the economy, which is informal, to become intense. This makes the organized crime hard to be noticed by the authorities and the general public, apart from their customers.
Activities, interests, and situation of these criminal groups in this region
In the European Union countries, drug trafficking is controlled to a big deal by these criminal groups. These groups mostly deal with more than one drug in an attempt to ensure maximum returns. Some groups, such as those from Western Balkan have diversified their activities. They are moving from selling cannabis and now dealing with heroin and synthesis. Some groups of people enter into other illegal and criminal activities as well. They do this so as to finance for their drug trafficking activities. Some groups produce counterfeit Euros which they use to but these drugs, such as heroine. Others deal with stolen vehicles, which they steal from one part of Europe and sell in another part of Europe or Africa. When there are fluctuations in the market, these groups usually engage criminal activities.
These groups usually target the markets in the northern parts of Europe. This is because the prices in these places are mostly very high. Usually, cannabis cultivated in one country is often sold in other countries where they fetch more profits. In Russia, there is a large amount of synthetic drugs that are produced. They benefit from the cheap cost of manufacturing in the country, and accessibility to the Nordic countries where they are sold. This has helped increase the returns for these criminal groups. These groups also have very sophisticated ways of monitoring street values and wholesale prices of drugs, making them in a position for identification of real time market changes in market and routes used for drug trafficking.
The groups that are involved with trafficking of drugs to the European Union countries have very effective communication among themselves. They share the risks involved in different markets, which has facilitated their trade and increased returns. Victims of human trafficking mostly to be exploited sexually are given such drugs which make them comply with the demands and request of their victimizers. The people who transport cannabis to different places often use vehicles that are stolen.
The increased cooperation between these groups has significantly increased their profits. Some groups exchange drugs for property that is stolen, fire arms, and other drugs. This has made the economy, which is informal, to become intense. This makes the organized crime hard to be noticed by the authorities and the general public, apart from their customers.
To facilitate their operations, the traffickers also engage into other legitimate trading activities. They are into exporting and importing, transportation of freight and passengers, renting of vehicles, and telecommunication. The traffickers are given advice by several other specialists on maritime, pharmaceuticals, law, and finance. This shows how much these groups have sort diversification of their trade leading to flexible ways of operation (Maccoun, & reuter, 2001).
Most of these drugs are transported in containers. The business could be facilitated when the ports of Tangier in Morocco and Port Said in Egypt are completed. This is due to the close proximity of these to Europe. Despite using technology to communicate and distribute these drugs, most people search for equipments, markets, and expertise from the internet. Some groups also use sophisticated methods such as remote monitoring used to monitor their storage and production.
Despite the groups operating with high levels of ethnicity, most of them have links with other groups from around the world. This helps in managing trading and logistical operations in other continents. For example, drugs worth more than $1 million wee nabbed in Kenya, with sources being linked to Russian groups. These groups go to an extent of engaging with their rival groups in an attempt to increase their effectiveness in the market.
Below are some of the common drugs that are sold in the Euro zone;
* Heroin
Heroin enters into the Euro zone from Afghanistan via routes in Turkey and areas in Balkan. The Balkan groups coordinate transportation and link the source to the markets of these drugs.
These Balkan transport routes have shown very high levels of diversity and flexibility. Very big consignments of the drugs pass through Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania before entering western parts of Balkan. Albania, which is in Kosovo region, is very crucial locations where packaging and storing of the drugs is done. This region is widely known in the EU for vibrant drug trafficking.
The role of distribution of heroin in the Western Europe is held by the North West Criminal Hub. This is because of the close proximity it has to the target markets. They also have a well established transport, commerce and the Turkish people who live there.
All through Europe, there has been evidence that there has been a close relationship between the criminal groups and heroin routes. One is the Kosovo route which is controlled by the Balkan groups. Italian groups also control a big share o...
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