Technology and Collaboration are Needed to Fight Organized Crime
Technology has made crime a global enterprise allowing groups to communicate and coordinate activities with ease. It has also opened a potentially larger pool of victims by extending the reach of criminal groups to beyond their geographic area. Although drug trafficking remains the most lucrative of criminal ventures, with 2017 estimates of $320 billion* in revenue, organized crime has used technology to further their ventures into other areas such as human trafficking.
World Finance estimates that 21 million people* were victims of human trafficking in 2017. Although the economic impact cannot be accurately assessed, the social impact of human trafficking is immeasurable with victims being exploited simply for their desire for a better life for them and their families. Complex crime types such as human trafficking require the coordinated efforts of multiple groups using communication tools and technology to not only recruit potential victims but to manage their movements across borders.
With over 5000 international crime groups from over 180 nationalities, Law Enforcement is pushed to the limit in their efforts to battle this type of organized criminal activity. Law Enforcement needs the right technology in the hands of the right people to stop organized criminal efforts and prevent more people from becoming victims.
When you consider that a single mobile phone can contain up to 8 terra bytes of data, investigators cannot keep up with the flood of digital data that may be associated with an investigation. The technology needed to fight crime is one that delivers not only access but automates the analysis of digital data to accelerate the time to evidence and deliver actionable data that can be used to expedite the resolution of investigations.
Digital information is everywhere and the days of manually sifting through the data to find the critical piece of evidence is in the past, big data solutions are used extensively in the private sector and need to be employed by Law Enforcement to match the technological expertise of criminals.
But technology alone is not enough, just as organized crime has coordinated their efforts, so must law enforcement coordinate their efforts to stamp out these types of criminal activities. Secure collaboration can paint a clearer picture of potential threats and visualize patterns within and across investigations to resolve cases and prevent future threats.
By combining technology and collaboration, agencies are taking digital evidence and turning it into Digital Intelligence. By creating actionable data that can be effectively and securely shared among departments and agencies, Law Enforcement can be effectively equipped to fight the international crime organizations that are victimizing too many.
A recent example of the coordination of technology and collaboration happened with the Polish Border Guard bringing down an international illegal crime network. With the support of Europol and a five-year investigation, the Border Guard successfully brought down a network that had already smuggled 550 people to the EU. Europol provided analytical and operations support and equipped the Polish Border Guard a mobile office and a Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED).
This allowed for real-time cross-checks against Europol’s databases as well as data extraction from the seized devices for further analysis. The result was the arrest and dismantling of a criminal network making money off the universal desire for a better life.
For over 20 years, Cellebrite has been a partner of Law Enforcement agencies all over the world in their fight against crime. Our Digital Intelligence Platform gives investigative teams the timely access they need to device and cloud data as well as the analytics tools need to automate the review process; removing the need for time-consuming human review. The result is actionable data from which Law Enforcement can accelerate the time to evidence, resolve cases, prevent future criminal activity, and create a safer world.
*Organised Crime the Economic Impact, World Finance, January 2017