Corrupt transport workers are reportedly a key link in Ireland and Britain’s criminal networks


Corrupt transport workers are at the center of several forms of serious and organized crime in and between Ireland and the UK.

That’s according to a report commissioned by the British Embassy in Dublin, which examined links between organized crime in the two countries.

The Exploring Serious and Organized Crime across Ireland and the UK: Towards a Shared Understanding of a Shared Threat report provides a strategic, qualitative assessment of serious and organized crime as it operates within and between Ireland and the UK.

One of the key findings of the study published today is that “organized crime groups and networks treat the island of Ireland as a virtual single market for illegal goods and services, while at the same time using the different jurisdictions and police jurisdictions to their advantage”. .

The report was commissioned after 39 Vietnamese people suffocated to death in an airtight shipping container smuggled to Essex, England, as part of an international criminal enterprise organized in Ireland in 2019.

“There remain gaps in understanding of human trafficking within and between the UK and Ireland,” the report warns.

“Common understanding of human trafficking on the island of Ireland is hampered by differing protocols for the collection and analysis of key data,” she adds.

There are also fears that gangs in Ireland and Britain will try to take advantage of the terrible war in Ukraine.

“Organized crime groups in Ireland and the UK are usually quick to react and take advantage of global crises, conflicts or major political or economic changes. These shocks include trade shifts following Britain’s exit from the EU, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan,” the report said.

“The war in Ukraine is likely to have an even more profound impact on crime in Ireland, Britain and the wider region, including through the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable refugees, attempts to use the humanitarian crisis as an opportunity for cyber-enabled fraud, and – in the longer term – a significantly larger pool of weapons entering the European criminal marketplace for firearms.

A major cyberattack on the HSE last year caused months of system disruption and was widely blamed on a criminal organization based in Eastern Europe.

This type of crime was also addressed in the report. “Despite recent multinational successes against criminally dedicated secure communications platforms, encryption poses a serious, ongoing challenge for law enforcement in the UK, Ireland and beyond,” it said.

A cyber attack on the Rehab Group this week follows several high profile cyber breaches including one that crippled the HSE last year and more recently attacks on the National University of Ireland Galway and the RDS.

At the launch event this morning, the report’s author, Senior Research Fellow at the Azure Forum, Alexander Chance said: “Ireland and the UK share a common interest in tackling the serious and organized crime that operates within and between the two countries. and which negatively impact their citizens, communities and economies in a variety of ways, often causing particular harm to the most vulnerable in society.

“Despite extensive operational cooperation between Irish and UK law enforcement agencies over the last few years, there has been no systematic attempt to map and assess the existing, publicly available knowledge base on these common threats across the two islands. This report helps close this understanding gap by providing a qualitative strategic level assessment of serious and organized crime in and between Ireland and the UK.”

British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston said: “The scourge of organized crime harms our communities and undermines our economies. UK and Irish law enforcement and customs have a long history of working together to tackle common challenges such as drug and human trafficking. This report offers valuable insights into the nature of organized crime, trends and knowledge gaps. It will be an important catalyst for further cooperation and action.” Corrupt transport workers are reportedly a key link in Ireland and Britain’s criminal networks

Fry Electronics Team

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