Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rising trends in Greek Organized Crime sector, by Ioannis Michaletos

A synoptically overview of the rising trends of organized crime in Greece with regional implications, along with the state structures combating those. 


-  Emergence of imported radical, fringe and niche groups, most notably motorcycle clubs dealing with protections rackets, cocaine distribution and sex trafficking. Transnational links in development as far as Canada and USA. 

- Amalgamation of Middle Eastern groups specialized in human smuggling-illegal immigration 

- Convergence of political radicals and domestic terrorists with existing organized criminal groups-joint operations especially in the sector of armed robberies

- Expansion of cyber, electronic and telecommunication organized illicit schemes and of regional nature of collaboration

- Use of Greece and in particular ports, not only as a transit zone for contraband commodities such as tobacco and counterfeits but also as hubs of actions (Turkish groups, Albanian, Chinese) and assumingly as headquarters in EU level (Georgians)

- Gradual spread of organized criminal structures also in the countryside and afar from major urban centers

- Loan sharking and usurer structures expanding, coupled with elaborate money laundering schemes

- Convergence of Greek and Albanian organized crime structures, especially in the field of hired contract killers from the latter

- Stronger collaboration in an extensive reach of organized illegal activities between Greek and Turkish networks. Predominance in illegal immigration, tobacco smuggling, counterfeit products and narcotics

Countermeasures in term of state structure

The Greek state is coming in terms with a significant increase of organized crime in the country, which appears to be of international nature and linked to powerful local and foreign elements, encompassing an extensive spectrum of illegal activities. 

The following are the key state security structures that combat the phenomena as described above


- Organized Crime Police security sub-directory:

1st unit: Intelligence and strategy unit that collects and analyzes relevant information and conducts the operations.

2nd unit: Corroboration and categorization unit that verifies information and coordinates activities

3rd unit: Specialized sex trafficking unit that combats the whole range of that illicit sector, including minors protection

4th unit: Witness protection unit 

Presently the aforementioned sub-directory will be transformed into an all-encompassing "Service for the combat of organized, financial and electronic crime", equipped with new resources and personnel, as well as, financing.

- National intelligence service:

Collecting and disseminating intelligence of organized crime activities in close collaboration with the Police and Coast Guard through dedicated unit. 

- Coast Guard

State security directory and anti-narcotics units dealing with organized crime, specialized in the maritime sector


- Anti-terrorist directory of Police, dealing with domestic and international terrorism but with multiple cases where blurred lines with organized criminal networks exist.

- Directory for state security of Police, dealing with threats against the state order, but with multiple cases where state structures are affected by organized criminal activities

- Directory of Internal affairs of Police, dealing with corruption in the state, consequently reaching cases dealing with organized crime activities