Logo: ORGANISED CRIME 
PORTFOLIO

Project

Objectives of project Organised Crime Portfolio (OCP)

Project Organised Crime Portfolio (OCP) (HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/FINEC/400000222) aims to study the investments of organised crime (OC) in European Union Member States (EU MS), analyse the infiltration of OC groups and assess the impact on legitimate markets.

In particular, the project has two objectives:

  1. To assess the availability of data in 7 selected EU MS (Italy, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland), including statistics on confiscated assets, and identify which of these data can be collected to analyse the investments of OC.

  2. To give an exploratory assessment of the investments of organised crime, using the available data: By focusing on the origin, magnitude, uses and types of investments of illicit proceeds, the research provides information on:
    • The main drivers behind the investment choices of organised crime groups;
    • The amount of criminal finances reinvested in criminal activities versus legal activities;
    • The assets, markets and sectors of OC investments.

This project will:

  • Provide the EU Commission with instruments to encourage the production and collection of harmonized data across Europe;
  • Expand the databases of Financial Intelligence Units (FIU), Asset Recovery Offices (ARO), Law enforcement agencies (LEA) to trace criminal assets and develop horizontal methods and tools to strategically prevent and fight crime.
The promotion of cooperation and exchange of best practices among EU ARO, FIU, LEA, is in accordance with the Stockholm Programme 2010-2014, Council Decision 2007/845/JHA and Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA.

The problems addressed by project OCP

1. The need to collect and harmonize data

This project addresses the problem of data availability within the EU MS databases. There are few data on confiscated assets (e.g. real estate, bank accounts, companies etc), Suspicious Transaction Reports, money laundering and infiltrations in public procurements. According with EU FIU, ARO and LEA, the improvement of the base of data and information and the enhancement of investigative abilities in the confiscation of proceeds of crime and recovery criminal assets is necessary.

In addition, the EU MS included in this study do not always use the same standardization of data or level of detail and therefore the collection of comparable data may be difficult. For this reason, the integration and harmonization of data is crucial to improve the prevention strategies of law enforcement and existing policies, the exchange of information and operational cooperation, both at the national and international level.

2. The need to understand the magnitude of OC investments

The fight against money laundering and the confiscation of criminal assets are among the priorities of the Stockholm Programme of the Council of the EU. Understanding the magnitude of the financial resources available to OC is crucial to address these priorities and to prevent infiltration within the EU.

However, there are only few studies on the flow of income generated by crime and on how it is invested in legitimate assets and the impact on local, national and international economies.

Most of them are carried out at national level. Transcrime produced a study in 2013 on the investments of OC in Italy (www.investimentioc.it), but it is necessary to widen the analysis to other EU MS and to the EU as a whole. Project OCP is the first study with this aim. It provides the first measures of OC investments in Europe and it serves to improve both:

  • The prevention against OC infiltration, by identifying the sectors and assets most at risk of OC investments;
  • The confiscation of OC assets, by providing a better knowledge of OC investments.

How project OCP addresses the problem

Project OCP gathers information from the databases of different EU countries and develops statistical, economic and financial analyses, forensic accounting studies, spatial analysis and qualitative analysis.

The activities of the OCP project aim to:

  • Estimate OC proceeds and wealth;
  • Analyze the drivers of OC investment choices;
  • Understand how OC proceeds are used;
  • Analyze the infiltrations of OC in the legitimate economy.

Furthermore, the activities provide:

  • A horizontal analysis of the above results for the analysed EU MS;
  • An estimate of the impact of OC investments on the economy of selected EU MS.

Who will be the stakeholders and the end-users of project OCP

Project OCP provides crucial information to a number of intermediaries and other categories of stakeholders, including:

  • Financial Intelligence Units (FIU);
  • Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA);
  • Asset Recovery Offices (ARO).

Moreover, the integration of data from different sources facilitates the acquisition and exchange of information for asset tracing purposes (requested by Council Decision 2007/845/JHA). The network sets up by the project promotes cooperation and mutual understanding among EU LEA, ARO, FIU aimed at overcoming legal, technical and operational problems regarding data exchange (Stockholm Programme 2010-2014 and Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA).

Finally, the knowledge produced by Project OCP is useful to private stakeholders in the improvement of security and sustainability of transnational investments within the EU.

What is the added value of project OCP

This study leads to a better understanding of criminal sources of finance, promotes the confiscation and recovery of proceeds of crime and supports better policies at the national and EU level. It provides critical information about the types of data on proceeds of crime, confiscated assets and other financial crimes, identifying gaps and recommendations to overcome legal, technical and operational problems relating to data exchange.