COVID-19 and organized crime

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About this talk

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacts on all aspects of the society, economy and politics - and organized crime is among those affected globally. This panel discusses different aspects of how criminal groups have adapted during the pandemic including the look into the most common modi operandi used by organized criminals in the theft of medicines and medical devices. This trend is amplified by the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine although it has long been a component of the illicit trade in pharmaceutical products. In Italy, which was among the first countries severely-hit by the pandemic, the structures, activities and operations of mafia groups and organized crime groups (OCGs) have also been impacted, particularly their economic activities and trafficking operations. Similarly in Ghana, OCGs have shifted their market focus and re-routed illicit networks, in compliance with the changing landscape. They are also more likely to take advantage of the prolonged economic downturn in the country where there are growing concerns for serious organized crime and deepening issues of terrorism.

Mr. Stephen Asare Abankwah

Economist, Finance Professional, Policy Analyst and Climate Change Negotiator

Marco Dugato

Senior Researcher at Transcrime & Adjunct Professor of Methods and Techniques for Criminological Research at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

King Carl Tornam Duho, ACMA CGMA CA

IMF Youth Fellow ll Economist ll Finance Professional ll Policy Analyst

Anna Laskai

Corporate crime, organizational criminology, corruption in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. Interest in anti-money laundering research.

Lorenzo Vertemati

Studied International Studies in the Hague, the Netherlands at Leiden University. These studies focused on Africa. Then undertook the Erasmus+ program for the International Master in Security, Intelligence, and Strategic Studies (IMSISS) between Glasgow (University of Glasgow), Dublin (Dublin City University), and Prague (Charles University). There, he became interested in criminal groups and the interrelationship between security and society. His Masters' dissertation focuses on the effects of Covid-19 on OCGs in Italy.


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