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Is there evidence, for example through media investigations or prosecution reports, of a penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector? If no, is there evidence that the government is alert and prepared for this risk?

19a. Penetration of organised crime


SCORE: 50/100

Assessor Explanation

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19b. Government response


SCORE: 0/100

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Over the last few years, there have been several cases of involvement of armed forces personnel in various organized crime activities [1].
In addition to the involvement of individual military personnel in organized crime groups, there have also been concerns about the penetration of organised crime to use the military infrastructure for drugs trafficking purposes.
In 2014 a parliamentary investigation committee was established to investigate accusations made by the opposition on the implication of the Albanian armed forces and military bases in the transportation of narcotic substances [2]. The opposition boycotted the commission and did not participate in the investigation [3]. The investigation concluded that military airfields were used for trafficking narcotics in the years 2012-2013 [4]. In 2017, the opposition in the parliament raised the concern that organised crime had access to the Coastal Surveillance System. However, the claims were not substantiated and the CNS did not undertake any thorough investigation [5].

There is a government awareness of the threat posed by the organised crime which is defined also in the strategic documents. Organized crime is defined as one of the top threats to Albania in its National Security Strategy [1].
Organized crime, illegal trafficking of weapons drugs and hazardous materials are also defined as threats in the Military Strategy [2]. However, there are no specific action-plans or reports published by the MoD to inform on the outcomes of the efforts conducted in the implementation of the strategy. However, the analysis of the MoD’s monthly publication “Revista Mbrojtja” (Defence Magazine) and the weekly “Gazeta Ushtria” (Army Gazette) show that the topic of organized crime is not addressed as an issue of concern in the MoD or the armed forces official disclosures [3, 4]. The minister of defence has flatly rejected claims of penetration by organised crime [5] although evidence has shown the involvement of high ranking military officers in drugs trafficking [6].

Generally, it is very difficult to find information on the penetration of organised crime in the military and the security sector. See also the country’s last assessment (4). Some reports and articles suggest that it is likely that organised crime networks have penetrated the security services. One of the latest examples is the case of Maj Gen Abdelghani Hamel, former head of the Directorate-General for National Security (DGSN), who was dismissed in connection with a record seizure of 701kg of cocaine by the armed forces in the port of Oran (1) (3). However, it is difficult to fully assess the case. Analysts have discussed it with regards to the presidential elections next year and that it might indicate a potential power struggle between different factions (1) (2).

No information could be found that the government has publicly spoken about the possibility that organized crime has penetrated the defence sector.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Gaïd Salah said that he welcomed the efforts of the Naval Forces to intercept drugs at the port of Oran (1). Following the dismissal of Maj Gen Abdelghani Hamel, the President of the Republic and Salah ordered that Hamel’s remuneration be stopped. They were also considering to reduce him of his rank and investigate into two accounts located abroad (2).

There is an absence of effective scrutiny and poor enforcement of anti-corruption laws in the defence and security sector. There is a long-term pattern of corruption between public and private interests at all levels of power in Angola. Penetration of the defence and security sectors by organized crime is likely, however, it is under-documented (1).

Research by Rafael Marques de Morais, particularly in his book on conflict diamonds, suggests high-level corruption and links to transnational organized crime which remain likely to persist even in the wake of João Lourenço’s election (2), (3). Although there is scant evidence of direct penetration, due to the governance structure of Angola and the fact that high-level officials tend to hold or be linked to individuals holding positions in the military, there is under documentation rather than a lack of occurrence of these issues (4), (5).

The 2014 Anti-Money-Laundering Law (1) includes among others provisions on arms trafficking, as well as human trafficking and the trafficking of migrants, though the law has so far been poorly enforced. The General Inspectorate of the State Administration (IGAE), as an auxiliary service of the presidency (Legislative decree 3/17 of October 13) (2), lacks independence, as does the inspector-general of the national defence, who is subordinate to the Defence Minister (Presidential Decree 27/18 of February 6) (3). On September 15, 2017, the inspector-general of the state administration shelved all ongoing investigations opened between January 1, 2013, and August 30, 2017. President Lourenço, who took office on September 26, 2017, has encouraged anti-corruption investigations that have resulted in several senior public servants being indicted and jailed under corruption-related charges (4). So far, there is no indication of an anti-corruption move in the defence and security sector.

Angolan media reports allege that the inspector-general of the state administration who shelved all investigations since 2013 in August 2017, Joaquim Mande, was himself involved in corrupt practices (5).

In 2018, the General Inspectorate of the State Administration (IGAE), endowed with additional staff in August, has conducted anti-corruption investigations in several ministries and state-owned companies. In September, the probes resulted in indictments of, among others, former transport minister Augusto Tomás and the chair of the Eduardo dos Santos Foundation (FESA), Ismael Diogo. Other investigations resulted among others in the prosecution and jailing of José Filomeno (Zénu) dos Santos, the former president’s son and chair of the Sovereign Fund; his associate Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais; the head of the central bank, Valter Filipe da Silva, and the former treasury director of the Finance Ministry, Edson Vaz (5), (6), (7).

In Argentina, there is a moderate likelihood that the military will be involved in sectors in which organised crime operates, while control of that area is the main task of the Ministry of Security. However, some measures adopted by the government (since 2011 with North Shield and Fortin I and II, and since 2018 with North Integration) grant the possibility of acting in reinforcement of the security forces in situations of organised crime and in border control. Mejías points this out as a matter to consider due to the increase in corruption that occurs when carrying out missions for which they are not prepared and coming into contact with drug trafficking, as has already happened in different countries of the region. [1] On the other hand, the likelihood of security forces being involved is greater and there are cases in the press and in criminal proceedings where police, both federal and provincial, are involved in organised crime. The profile of Argentina according to Insight Crime indicates that this country does not have its own criminal groups with international reach, but transnational criminal organisations have long carried out various types of illegal activities in the country. [2] In academic investigations they also refer to the advances of organised crime in their facets of drug trafficking and human trafficking in Argentina. In this sense, Sampó considers that “crime has penetrated both state and private structures” that is combined with the “porosity of the borders” and “the weakness of the institutions that find serious obstacles to be present and be respected throughout the national territory.” [3] [4]

The Government is aware of the possibility that organised crime will penetrate the defence and security sector. There are mechanisms, such as Resolution 11/2011 of the Financial Information Unit regarding politically exposed persons, which states that the military and individuals of the security forces must declare their assets, but this does not cover all the risks of organised crime. The issue is also included in the anti-corruption policy. Although it does not yet exist formally, there is warning evidence in the 2019-2023 Anti-Corruption Plan, with an execution period for the year 2019, where the objectives of the defence jurisdiction are established: the development of a risk map and creation of a complaints system in the Ministry. [1] In the case of the security forces, an anti-corruption team has been enabled since 2017 that receives complaints and acts around this area. [2] There ae agreements with other countries to address the issue, such as: with Peru in 2017 agreements were signed for the prevention, investigation, and punishment of human trafficking offenses and for assistance and victim protection, in addition to another agreement on the fight against illicit drug trafficking and transnational organised crime. In 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Security of the Argentine Republic and the Ministry of Interior and Public Security of the Republic of Chile on cooperation in the prevention and investigation of the crime of human trafficking. In 2019, a memorandum was signed with Uruguay around seized assets. [3] Another of the measures in this aspect are the modifications introduced to the Criminal Code, such as Law 27,401 of 2017, which for the first time criminalises the local private legal entities independently for committing certain crimes against public administration and international bribery. [4] [5] [6]

The likelihood that organized crime penetrates the defence sector is very low. At the time the armed forces developed in Armenia in the late 80ies of the twentieth century, there was a strong will to build a strong and operational Army. This was objectively justified considering the conflict with Azerbaijan, and those responsible for defence architecture were alert in this type of issues. This is why the general definition of organized crime does not apply to the Armenian defence and security sector. There might be separate cases of criminal behaviour, but it’s never organized [1]. Before the Velvet Revolution corruption in Armenia had a systematic nature and was part of the defence sector. The spending of financial resources was not transparent and as new revelations were found after the revolution showing instances of crimes in the armed forces, especially among high-ranking officers [2]. “Overall, 182 cases of corruption were recorded in Armenia’s armed forces [in 2018] … An investigation has been launched into every case …The damage recorded in all criminal cases totals to 422,236,614 drams, a 7.3 per cent increase as compared to 2017. More than 410 million drams was restored” [3].

The government actively looks for signs of criminal behaviour in the defence and security sector. This sphere is sensitive, and the authorizations have always stressed the will to combat any activities that may hinder the effectiveness of the system. High-ranking officials before and after Revolution through their public speeches reiterate their will to fight against corruption, misbehaviour, and other types of omissions. Investigations were conducted on different types of crimes in the defence and security sector [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The corruption was systematic and consequently organized before the revolution. However, the new government makes substantial efforts to change the situation. In 2018, 182 cases of corruption were recorded in the armed forces. After the revolution, the damage recorded in all criminal cases totals to 422,236,614 drams, a 7.3 per cent increase as compared to 2017. More than 410 million drams was restored” [8]. According to a pre-revolution publication “the defence sector remain[ed] one of the most closed and corrupt institutions in Armenia and the public’s distrust toward it [has been] getting deeper” [9]. “Forms of corruption permeating the defence sector include[d] the embezzlement of state resources, bribery, patronage, and procurement fraud [9].

There is some concern about military personnel being members of or engaging in outlaw motorcycle gangs (known as bikie gangs in Australia), but there is little evidence of significant organised crime elements in Defence and a range of measures are in place to deal with the issue. There have been a number of incidents where bikie gangs penetrated the ranks of Defence, described as “a string of embarrassing and worrying military security lapses involving bikies in the last 10 years” [1]. For example, in 2013, a sailor associated with the Rebels bikie gang was jailed for stealing handguns from a Navy ship [2]. However, there is no evidence of systemic organised crime penetration in Defence institutions [3, 4]. Measures in place to prevent and detect organised crime are carried out by, among others, the Audit and Fraud Control Division’s Fraud Control and Investigations branch [5], which examines and plans to counter fraud, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, which writes the National Organised Crime Response Plan (though this does not appear to have been updated or the updated version has not been released publicly, the 2015-18 Plan is available [6]) and reports regularly on developments related to organised crime [3] (see also Q19B). The Australian Defence Force Investigative Service also performs a role (see Q20A).

The government is aware of the problem of organised crime in Defence, and there is strong evidence that it is working to prevent and detect this activity. In 2011, media reports revealed internal Defence documents pointing to serious deficiencies in organised crime prevention frameworks, particularly as they related to outlaw motorcycle gangs (bikie gangs). Reforms were put into place to address these shortcomings [1], and no contemporary media or Defence reports have indicated that a similar deficiency exists today [2]. In 2018, media reports relying on Defence documents and sources indicated that Military Police have set up a special unit to gather intelligence and combat bikie gang affiliation in Defence [3]. There are a number of other units and external institutions that help Defence prevent and detect organised crime. The Audit and Fraud Control Division’s Fraud Control and Investigations branch examines and plans to counter fraud, which often overlaps with corruption-related issues such as organised crime [4]. The Defence Inspector General and the military justice system investigates less serious crimes related to organised crime [5], while the external Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission facilitates intelligence sharing for serious organised crime investigations [6]. The Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre, hosted by the Australian Federal Police and including Defence participation, is also able to provide coordination and law enforcement capacity for these investigations [7]. It is unclear if the Defence Fraud Control Plan includes an anti-corruption policy and whether this refers to organised crime as a risk for Defence, since this document is no longer publicly available (see Q7A). Although organised crime does not appear to be a major risk for Defence, it is present at a low level (see Q19A). Organised crime does not appear to have been addressed by senior defence leaders in public speeches, though the Defence Inspector General spoke to the service newspapers in 2013 about the risk of organised crime recruitment [8].

According to official statements, media reports and interviewees there is some evidence of penetration of organised crime in the defence and security sector under the current administration.
The military prosecutor Khanlar Veliyev has noted the fight against corruption in the defence and security sector. According to him, in 2017, 123 criminal cases of corruption and bribery dealing with 146 people were completed and sent to relevant military courts (1). Journalists report serious violations during the tenders in the armed forces (2).
Nearly twenty former senior officers of the former National Security Ministry have been involved in the investigation. All of them are charged with the creation of a criminal gang, robbery, kidnapping and corruption. Former National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov led the criminal group (3).
In 2017, there were widespread reports of spy scandals in the army, whereby organized group were conducting espionage for Armenia. However, there is limited information shared with the public. There have been similar scandals in the security sector, especially at the law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Security and Ministry of Internal Affairs. There is an ongoing investigation of the penetration of organized crime in the Ministry of Security and more than 200 people have been detained or lost their jobs; more than 20 people were arrested.

The military prosecutor Khanlar Veliyev has noted the fight against corruption in the defence and security sector. According to him, in 2017, 123 criminal cases of corruption and bribery dealing with 146 people were completed and sent to relevant military courts (1). Journalists report serious violations during the tenders in the armed forces (2).
Nearly twenty former senior officers of the former National Security Ministry have been involved in the investigation. All of them are charged with the creation of a criminal gang, robbery, kidnapping and corruption. Former National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov led the criminal group (3).
In 2017, there were widespread reports of spy scandals in the army, whereby organized group were conducting espionage for Armenia. However, there is limited information shared with the public. There have been similar scandals in the security sector, especially at the law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Security and Ministry of Internal Affairs. There is an ongoing investigation of the penetration of organized crime in the Ministry of Security and more than 200 people have been detained or lost their jobs; more than 20 people were arrested.

Interviewees and media searches show there is no evidence that there is organized crime or criminal groups in the Bahraini defence sector. Given the size of the defence sector, it is highly unlikely these types of groups exist [1, 2, 3]. An extensive online search illustrated that organised crime is not considered a serious problem in Bahrain.

The threat of organized crime penetration is low. According to interviews with military officers and a local journalist, there is an assumption that if there were any evidence or doubt that there were these crimes within the army, higher-ranking officials would intervene, including the royal family [1, 2, 3]. Such intervention means that they would take actions and investigate it, especially criminal groups. After extensive desk research, no evidence of organized crime relating to Bahrain was found.

There is strong likelihood of penetration by organised crime into the defence and security sector. It is alleged that Bangladesh’s government has been lavishing money on the military in order to buy the loyalty of soldiers and thereby ensure that it stays in power by all possible means [1]. The influx of illicit drugs into the country is said to be the outcome of a criminal nexus within bureaucratic and financial institutions, including some powerful police and military personnel. The infamous 7-murder by military members of RAB a few years ago is a glaring example of the fact that a certain section of army officials are serving the interests of their political masters [2].

There is no evidence that the government is actively trying to address the issue of organised crime. More often than not, it only pays lip service to the issue. To offset public criticism, the government intervenes at an early stage to file a case, initiate an investigation or appoint an inquiry commission. However, some allege that these actions are tactics used to buy time and then bury the incident [1].

There is no evidence that supports penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector for the period 2016-2020. Media freedom and freedom of expression in Belgium are in the top global ranking, which means they have a lot of opportunities to follow up on any suspicions of military involvement in organised crime sectors [1]. However, no media investigations came forward during research into this topic [2]. The 2020 Statistics on Crime support this, as there is no mention of linkages between Defence and organised crime [3]. There is a very low likelihood of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates [4, 5].

A specialised unit of the federal police (DJMM; Police Judiciaire Fédérale en Milieu Militaire) is responsible for all investigations in the military context. This includes organised crime and corruption. Additionally, through constant investigations by the civilian (VSSE) and military (ADIV) intelligence services, the government is aware of any organised crime issues in the defence and security sector [1, 2], and is ready to react to this.

While Belgium has signed and ratified the anti-corruption treaties of the UN, EU, Council of Europe and OECD, the 2020 yearly GERCO report criticizes the lack of Belgian initiative to convert EU recommendations into national laws [3, 4]. As there is a very low likelihood of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates, military officials have not publicly acknowledged this risk.

There are media reports of police officers being arrested for sharing information on police actions [1], and participation in narcotics trafficking [2].
There have been no recorded cases of penetration of organised crime into the defence system other than individual isolated cases where individuals serving in armed forces committed a criminal offence, or there were grounds for suspicion that a criminal offence was committed, for which they were prosecuted by the competent judicial authorities [3]. An example of a case includes a brigadier, who was accused of illegal mediation in the recruitment of persons to the armed forces, and the recent case of a colonel, against whom an investigation is ongoing for alleged abuse of power and authority [4, 5].

According to the government reviewer, apart from the BiH national-level strategy (1), the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Plan of the Ministry of Defence is the strategic doctrine. Along with other operational documents, it is dedicated to the fight against corruption. Altogether, these represent the basis for a planned and continuous process of monitoring risks and taking anti-corruption measures. The main strategic documents are the Policy of Integrity Building, Risk Reduction and Anti-Corruption in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of BiH (No.05-03-32-1-41-23 / 13 of December 30, 2013), and the Rulebook on Risk Assessment of Corruption in the BiH Ministry of Defence (No.05-03-32-1-41-23/16 dated 16 August 2016). The MoD and the responsible persons (parties) in the chain of command conduct procedures determining the responsibility of the perpetrators of irregularities. These follow the Law on Service and Rulebook on Military discipline in the MoD and AFBiH, from which disciplinary sanctions are imposed. Additionally, the MoJ also submits reports to the relevant prosecutor’s office, bear in mind that the allegations of irregularities were related to offences from the Criminal Code of BiH. These show that there are mechanisms in place for the processing of irregularities in the MoD. Measures are imposed and implemented to eliminate and adopt systemic solutions and sanction the perpetrators of identified irregularities. The structure of the AFBiH also includes a military police battalion, which also has authorized military police officials and investigators who have the authority and cooperate with prosecutors in conducting investigations into suspected criminal offences. Also, in case of need for additional funds not secured regularly, per the Instruction on Emergency Procurement in MoD and AFBiH of 09/2018, commanders of units of battalions and higher rank units may procure goods and services in the amount of 500-6000 KM (Logistics Command of the AF BiH) necessary for the accomplishment of the assigned missions.

The state has adopted action plans for the implementation of the Strategy for Combating Organized Crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, in the strategic plan, the risk of penetration of organised crime in the defence and security sector is not recognized [1]. According to the decision of the Council of Ministers on forming the working group, the Ministry of Defence was not a member of the working group for the production of the strategy, and it is not invited to take any steps regarding derived from the strategy itself [2].

There is no evidence of organised crime in the BDF.

Botswana has put in place the following legal framework to deal with organised crime: the proceeds of the Serious Crimes Act passed to deprive persons convicted of serious crimes of the benefits or rewards gained from such crimes, and to deal with the problems of money laundering, and matters incidental thereto or connected therewith [1]. There is also the ‘Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters’ Act, which relates to the provision and obtaining of international assistance in criminal matters [2] and the Corruption and Economic Crime Act, passed to enable the establishment of a Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and to make comprehensive provision for the prevention of corruption, and to confer power on the Directorate to investigate suspected cases of corruption and economic crime and matters connected or incidental thereto [2]. Aside from these, the Banking Act, providing for the licensing, control and regulation of banks, and for matters incidental thereto [2], whilst the Extradition Act, passed to amend the previous Act and to provide for, inter alia, the extradition of persons accused or convicted of crimes committed within the jurisdiction of other countries [2]. The main aim of these Acts is to ensure easier cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of Botswana and other regional and international law enforcement agencies [2]. There is no official statement on organised crime. Based on the legal framework, it appears as though officials are aware of the risk of organised crime, although military leaders have not shown any evidence of prioritising the issue.

There is some evidence in the media of some level of organized crime penetration into the armed forces, such as the case of the air force sergeant who flew with 39 kilos of cocaine while preparing a trip of President Bolsonaro [1]. In another case soldiers provided weapons for traffickers [2]; and a case of the transportation of drugs in military vehicles [3]. In addition to that, the increasing deployment of the military in public security operations definitely increased civil society’s concern regarding this issue [4, 5]; since this type of deployment raises the risk of contamination of the armed forces by the organized crime. Some of the attempts to reform the police forces have never really been translated into practise – such as the stillborn Unified Public Security System (SUSP) [6]. Due to the size of the military forces in Brazil and the relatively low level of systematic evidence of involvement with the organized crime, the assessor considered the risk as moderate.

The main fear of civil society is the contact of the military with organized crime during the deployment of the armed forces in public security operations. This is the case of the Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) operations and the Federal Intervention on Rio de Janeiro’s Public Security [1, 2]. However, there is no evidence of tackling public security in other ways. SUSP, was not a product of a national and federal agreement between Brazilian states, which led the program to be a stillborn initiative, as Luiz Eduardo Soares, one of the most important authors on this subject, suggests [3]. The government gave no response on this issue since the topic is not present in any documents related to deployment nor integrity [4, 5]. However, if the government did not take any action to solve this issue, there is evidence that the military itself has acknowledged this risk and adjusted its operations accordingly [6]. There are also media reports suggesting that the military clearly sees this risk [7]. However, it is not clear that the military institutions are taking internal measures to tackle the problem. in the case of the air force sergeant who flew with 39 kilos of cocaine while preparing a trip of President Bolsonaro, the Military Justice arrested three other military personnel and the sergeant’s wife, accused to be involved in the crime [8]. There is evidence of proper investigations when cases appear to the media, but there is little evidence that these problems are tackled systematically.

Following the military coup of October 16, 2014, a few soldiers of the former RSP, refusing to obey the call made by the army general chief of staff to align with the regular army, seized a military armory in the western area of Ouagadougou, the capital city, to steal arms with the goal of releasing the leader of the military coup, who was arrested and jailed at the military arrest and correction facility (MACA), inside the General Lamizana Military Camp (1). These soldiers accused of organised crime to penetrate the defence sector were arrested, sentenced and jailed (2). There is a strong likelihood that organised crime has perpetrated the Burkina Faso defence sector. As far as drugs and crime are concerned; Burkina Faso is not among the top drug consuming and crime committing countries in the world, although customs usually burns down the huge amount of drugs seized every year at the celebration of the international day against drug abuse and crime (3). Trafficking in human also takes place frequently, especially in border regions and urban areas. Women are mostly exposed to trafficking. Unfortunately, there is a strong probability that trafficking in human worsens with the rising of insecurity in the Sahel region (4). Additionally, light weapons movement and terrorism remain some of the most dangerous threats to Burkina Faso. If light weapons movement already existed in the country, terrorism remains a new phenomenon, exacerbated by recurrent attacks and kidnapping, particularly in the Sahel region (5), (6).

The government is well-informed about the possibility of infiltration of organised crime in the defence and security sector, and it is taking actions and measures to address it. The recent attack perpetrated on the Yemdi armoury by members of former RSP (1), and their prosecution and punishment highlights this (2). The government awareness on the existence of potential organised crime to readily infiltrate the defence and security sectors has risen. The new National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDSE), makes strong statements about the defence and security sector. The PNDES claims that “to promote good political and administrative governance, the goal for 2020 is to strengthen democracy, human rights, peace, justice, security, and defence, etc.” The plan goes further by saying that “the goal is to increase Burkina Faso’s score in the assessment of national policies and institutions (EPIN) from 4.1 in 2015 to 4.8 in 2020” (3).

According to both a senior officer at the Ministry of Defence and the U.S. State Department, gendarmerie officers have been involved in organised crime. These security personnel have either worked indirectly with gangs or been directly involved in organised crime [1] [2] [3]. One example is a military vehicle commanded by a Captain transporting 93 elephant tusks as well as other protected species’ meat and body parts. The contraband was on its way from the south of the country to the centre, and seems to have been part of a larger well-organised military ivory-trafficking operation based in Gabon. Five civilians and two military personnel were arrested in conjunction with the incident and the court case is ongoing. In 2016, Captain Hamadjam Hamadjida Rene, commander of the Mokolo gendarmerie, Mayo-Tsanaga Division, Far North Region, who was alleged to have played a role in a series of armed robberies, was removed from his post and sent to the Maroua Military Tribunal [3]. It was alleged during his tenure as Minister Delegate in Charge of Defence at the Presidency, Mr. Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o was involved in several fraudulent and criminal activities, including inflating the prices of two aircraft he purchased to enhance the national carrier’s fleet [4], [8]. In 2016, a wildlife guard and a local police chief were arrested in suspicion of involvement in ivory in the ancestral land of Baka [5].

It is claimed that “the state only invested in security to contain and then, in the 2000s, suppress the growing phenomenon of highway robbery – yet without destroying the smuggling networks that have benefitted from corruption among customs officers and the security forces.” [6]. Furthermore, VOA Africa reports, in 2018 “The military says it discovered a large cache of illegal weapons in a warehouse in Awae, near the capital. Cameroon’s military raided the warehouse April 30 after locals reported suspicious movements to and from it….officials suspect the weapons came overland from neighbouring countries, in particular Nigeria. However local residents wonder how they got past police and gendarme posts around Awae” [7] – the phrase ‘local residents’ seems to be suggesting that the local police/gendarmerie were complicit in this criminal activity, but had no evidence to corroborate the locals’ suspicions.

According to a report at, “The Minist[er] of Defense, Beti Assomo[,] now starts like a missile to hunt down the corrupt. [‘]We must keep the honor of the Cameroonian army,[‘] he said” [1]. This was in connection with the two non-commissioned officers of the national gendarmerie filmed openly in Douala in the middle of corrupt activities. They were discharged from their duties, transferred, faced a disciplinary council, then were brought before a military tribunal. In fact, there are few examples of defence and security forces being tried for involvement in criminal activities [1] [2] [3], but the government’s actions have been unclear and inconsistent in fighting corruption or organised crimes in the defence and security sectors. The Code of Military Justice lists the types of crimes and offences for which the Code has jurisdiction (articles 8, 53 through 57). Though it does not specifically mention organised crime, in the list, article 8 (I) states “all other offences related to those referred to above”, which would include organised crime and corruption [4]. This just means that issues of corruption or organised crime in the defence and security sectors have not been specifically included in the anti-corruption policy within the defence and security sectors, and that they fall under the general criminal code and have only been superficially publicly addressed by military leaders [1].

According to the U.S.’s Human Rights Report for 2016, “On August 26, Captain Hamadjam Hamadjida Rene, commander of the Mokolo gendarmerie, Mayo-Tsanaga Division, Far North Region, was allegedly remanded in custody at the Kaele prison on a warrant issued by the government commissioner at the Maroua military tribunal. Captain Hamadjam allegedly played a role in a series of armed robberies targeting traders. He was relieved of his duties and immediately replaced” [2].

Also repored in the Journal Du Cameroon, “On January 31, the former Defence boss alongside his wife and some of his close collaborators were barred from travelling out of Cameroon pending the completion of an investigation. Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o was once again at the Special Criminal Court on Tuesday where he was grilled for hours before judges decided to keep him in custody late at night. He was detained alongside three of his close aides, Colonel Joel Mboutou, former defence attaché at the Cameroon Embassy in Morocco, Victor Emmanuel Menye, Asssistant General Manager of SCB bank and Maxime Mbangue, ex-adviser at the Ministry of Defence. He is accused of embezzling state funds by overpricing the cost of military equipment acquired from French company MagForce when he was Defence Minister. Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o’s wife is expected to appear before the Special Criminal Court today where she will be grilled by investigators” [5].

In 2018, the Department of National Defence (DND) issued a general order banning members from associating with ‘outlaw’ motorcycle gangs, as well as with any group promoting discrimination, in part as a reaction to connections between active duty personnel and veterans, and motorcycle gangs, as well as with white supremacist groups. [1] However, the 2014 report on connections between the CAF and biker gangs found up to 80 active duty Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members belonged to veteran-based motorcycle clubs, some of which were associated with outlawed gangs considered to be organised crime groups. This represents a minuscule number of CAF members involved with any motorcycle clubs, and there is no specificity as to what proportion might realistically be linked to ‘outlaw’ groups. A November 2018 report identified “at least thirty” members of hate groups active in the CAF. Out of a total of about 70,000 active duty members, and a larger number of veterans, these numbers do not represent penetration by gangs or organised extremist movements. [2] A 2017 study of organised crime in Canada mentioned the military only to note that many motorcycle clubs, including those involved with crime, had members with military backgrounds. [4] While a handful of individuals who were or are members of the CAF may be involved with criminal groups, there is no basis for believing there is military involvement in organised crime in Canada in any kind of systematic sense. [3]

A number of agencies exist both internally and externally to the CAF to investigate and take action against criminal activity within the CAF. These agencies are largely responsible for the dramatic drop in crime related to biker gangs since the late 1990s and early 2000s, when weapons were believed to have been stolen from a Canadian Forces Base in Quebec by the Hells Angels. [1] The Military Police (MP), under the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, are responsible for enforcing rules and laws, including laws against criminal activity and corruption, within the military. Within the MP is a unit created by Defence Administrative Order and Directive 8002-2, the Canadian Forces National Counter-Intelligence Unit, which has a mandate to monitor threats to the CAF and its personnel, property, and mission from a range of sources, including organised crime, whether external or internal to the CAF. [2] The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada (CISC) is an interagency organisation built around a core of RCMP with liaison officers to national, provincial, local, and domain specific law enforcement and intelligence services, including the CAF Military Police. While most CISC reports are for internal use only, their public statement on trends in threats to public safety makes no mention of the military. [3] The media reports that inadequate action is taken with regard to cases of extremist conduct in the military, dealt with behind closed doors, where accused officers agree to leave the ranks. [4]

During Chile’s military dictatorship, there was an “opacity” that served to cover corruption within the military sector [1, 2], with cases of incipient penetration of organised operations of money laundering and crime within the security and armed forces (La Cutufa case). Since the transition to democracy, military involvement in sectors linked to organised crime has not been as common as in other countries in the region [3]. Particularly, the armed forces have not been linked to drug cartels or terrorist associations. However, recent revelations seem to suggest the existence of specific illegal transactions with organised crime. For instance, in his address to the institution in November 2018, the Commander in Chief of the Army, Ricardo Martínez, referred to information about military officers who had acquired weapons through legal means, sell them to organised crime, only to declared the arms lost after that [4]. However, cases are isolated and do not reflect the type of networks that operate in other armed forces in Latin America. All in all, there are moderate risks, which could be amplified due to the lack of solid external controls and adequate transparency in the sector.

The awareness of the government concerning the possibility of organised crime in defence and security has translated into an increase of control in cases of money laundering and the funding of terrorism, but few initiatives attempt to monitor organised criminal activity in the sector. In 2015, new legislation updated existent mechanisms for prevention, detection, control, investigation, and accusation of activities related to money laundering and the funding of terrorism. Based on guidelines developed by the Ministry of Finance [1], the Department of Armed Forces reviewed its internal procedures and incorporated tools for the prevention and detection of these crimes. It elaborated a handbook for the prevention of administrative crimes, money laundering, and funding of terrorism, and it delineated a policy for designing a preventive system within the defence sector [2]. However, there is an absence of a specific policy for the possibility of the penetration of drug trafficking networks and terrorism.

Up to the late 1990s, entire PLA units were involved in organised crime-style operations, such as smuggling, drug trafficking and prostitution. [1] Since then, however, evidence of penetration or of the involvement of PLA personnel in organized crime activities is scant. General Liu Yuan, an important whistleblower that exposed extensive corruption in the CMC’s General Logistics Department, revealed that top ranking generals were behaving as mafia bosses and were involved in extortion, the selling of promotions and the use of military equipment (mainly construction) and assets for personal gain. [2] Although these cases do not qualify as organised crime penetration, they demonstrate that similar networks of corruption can be created in the PLA.

The CCP is aware of the possibility of organised crime penetration, as PLA units in the past have been involved in various illicit activities. Characteristically, the PLA in the 1980s has been described as “an empire of smuggling, drugs, and prostitution”. [1] The CCP has since prohibited the PLA’s involvement in any business activity and has implemented many anticorruption campaigns in the military which also target links with organised crime, with the most recent one launched by XI Jinping in 2013. [2]

After the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Government, various social organisations including CINEP have denounced the persistent ties between the military and paramilitaries––claims that have been supported by the paramilitaries themselves, who state that they work together with the army for the territorial control of the former territories occupied by the FARC. The most notorious events are related to the increase in attacks against the population, the victimisation of social leaders and human rights defenders, and the persecution of leftist political leaders. INDEPAZ reported the murder of 566 social leaders and human rights defenders between 1 January 2016 and 10 January 2019. [1, 2, 3] For CINEP, the links between the security forces and illegal armed groups have existed in Colombia for over 50 years and on many occasions these relationships have been legalised through administrative and legal channels. This is the case of the generation of laws that regulated private security companies, or the generation of Convivir in the 1990s in which private security cooperatives were linked to the official security strategy of the public forces, later considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. [4] There is no longer talk of paramilitary groups, but rather of criminal gangs linked to the drug trafficking business and to project businesses of transnational companies such as the cultivation of large extensions of African palm in the Antioquia and Chocoano Urabá areas. According to Father Gabriel Giraldo of CINEP, the government presents these groups as criminal gangs without political ideology, which allows them to hide their identity and detach themselves from the relationship that they have had with the public force in the development of dirty. [5] Faced with the accusations of links between the paramilitaries and the Army, in 2016 General Germán Rojas, Commander of the 17th Brigade, said that the allegations about links between the Public Force with paramilitary groups in Urabá were not true, and also stated that there are no paramilitary groups, but rather criminal gangs such as the Úsuga clan that seek control of drug trafficking routes in the area. [6] However, evidence of these links has been found, such as the case of General Alejo Rito del Río in relation to paramilitarism, and Nicasio Martínez and Mario Montoya in relation to ‘false positives’ (falsos positivos, the practice of unlawful killings of civilians to look like lawful killings). These allegations are also confirmed with the sentencing by the Special Justice for Peace (JEP) of General Jaime Humberto Uscátegui to 37 years in prison for the 1997 Mapiripán massacre in Meta, [5] in which a group of paramilitaries from the Peasant Self-Defence Forces of Córdoba and Urabá, with the support of the National Army, killed 49 people. [7]

The Colombian government is aware of the relationship or ties that organised crime and paramilitary groups have had with Armed Forces. These relations have been exposed through the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which until 2018 had hosted 1,914 uniformed officers, including 5 Generals and 20 Colonels, who had signed letters of commitment to count all the serious events that occurred during the armed conflict. [1] Among the most famous cases is former Army Commander Mario Montoya Uribe, a General charged by the Prosecutor’s Office in March 2016 for “false positives” (the false claim that civilians killed were in fact guerrillas killed in combat between 2006 and 2007). There are also links between active or retired members of the Armed Forces with organised crime, such as retired General Humberto Guatibonza, who participated in the formation of an illegal espionage network, which sought public information and illegally accessed telephone communications of individual victims, obtaining classified information from politicians, companies, members of the Public Force, couples, and judicial and prosecution officials for the purposes of sale to interested third parties. [2] In this case, the supervisory authorities such as Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office are mandated to carry out actions of judicial and criminal sanction. There have been allegations in the foreign press, such as in the New York Times on 18 August 2019 of the use of ‘false positives’ by the Colombian Army, calling for an increase in the number of casualties in combat. [3] However, it is not possible to show that this evidence has impacted official or institutional policy. . In fact, the ongoing nature of these accusations and reports shows that the issue remains largely unresolved. For example, the promotion of a high ranking member in the Armed Forces by President Duque [4], in spite of his involvement in a scandal and alleged ties to paramilitaries and criminal groups is highly indicative of this [5].

Even though there is no evidence through media investigations or judicial reports that organized crime has penetrated the defence sector, the problem with illicit trafficking rings operated by former rebel leaders has triggered soldier mutinies as recently as 2017, thus threatening the country’s political stability.

The government response has been to filter out high-ranking officers above age 55 via early retirement schemes introduced by the 2016-2020 Loi de Programmation Militaire (LPM). The Council of Ministers decided to accelerate the early retirement schemes as a result of the soldier uprisings of January and May 2017. The goal is to reduce the armed forces by 4,000 officers by 2020 (1). “These early retirements are part of a major plan to restructure the Ivorian armed forces launched in 2016. The first wave comes seven months after the recent soldier mutinies that have shaken the country. The goal is to facilitate the departure of more than 4,000 soldiers by 2020 in order to reduce the army’s current strength to 23,000, and to rejuvenate and professionalize it” (1).

The government has also resorted to sending some particularly problematic COMZONES abroad to be retrained. In an article from July 23, 2018, Jeune Afrique profiled Issaka Ouattara (alias Wattao, with about 1,500 troops under his command), who was sent to Morocco’s Royal Military Academy in Meknes in 2018 to earn a certificate in security studies. This was an obvious government attempt to neutralize the former rebel leader, who is said to have strong ties with Guillaume Soro, NA President since January 2017. The Wattao case can be used as evidence of how policymakers are dealing with this problem (2).
“For the second time in less than three years, Wattao has been sent to Morocco, where, in the calm of the prestigious Royal Military Academy in Meknes, he is doing a six-month internship and from where he will return in late May with a degree in security and defense policy. Is it a punitive measure to keep him far away or a rewarding opportunity for training? A bit of both” (2).

The government is aware of the illicit trafficking rings of former rebel leaders, now reintegrated into the armed forces, pose a threat to political stability. However, other than the introduction of early retirement schemes for those older than 55 and the retraining of several high-ranking officials, the government response has been inconsistent. Additionally, MoD authorities are reticent to address this issue publicly.

In an interview with Le Monde on September 4, 2018, political analyst Gilles Olakounlé Yabi said the government response toward former rebel leaders has been weak. Yabi stated that President Ouattara has allowed the COMZONES to operate with impunity for the sake of national reconciliation. This lack of action, he added, could lead to another episode of violence and civil unrest in 2020, when Côte d’Ivoire again holds presidential elections. (1) “In Côte d’Ivoire, the powers that emerged following the country’s armed conflict (2002-2011) opted for an opaque, partial and biased treatment of justice issues for the victims of hundreds of murders and other crimes during the post-election crisis and the many episodes of violence that preceded it. The political choice that was made in early August by President Alassane Ouattara is that of impunity for all in the name of reconciliation. The idea is to consolidate peace by rehabilitating the main actors at the fulcrum of the conflict except, of course, the unlucky ones who did not survive. The political negotiations between former allies, adversaries, even enemies, continue to make headlines in Abidjan. This could carry on through 2020, the year in which the battle for power could again lead to the use of violence” (1).

There are also tensions between President Alassane Ouattara and NA President Guillaume Soro (and former rebel leader himself of Forces Nouvelles, FN) regarding the COMZONES and their spheres of influence. This further dilutes government efforts to resolve the problem. On 27 July 2018, Afrique Sur 7 reported that the upcoming presidential election of 2020 will see a further division emerge among the COMZONES, with some warlords choosing to remain loyal to President Ouattara and others such as Wattao and Koné Messamba siding with NA President Soro (2).

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service is tasked with identifying threats against the activities and infrastructure of the Defence, both nationally and internationally. This specifically includes any crimes aimed at the Defence agencies or its employees, which in turn includes the category of organised crime [1]. Research shows no indications of the penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector [2, 3].

By way of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service’s intelligence briefings and publications, the government must be said to be aware of the threat/possibility of organised crime in the defence sector. The DDIS is specifically tasked with identifying threats of organised crime [1, 2]. As organised crime in the defence sector is not an issue (see Q19A), there is no found evidence of government action plans or the like. The current government has a focus on countering the threat from terror, gang violence and organised transnational crime, which has resulted in several policy initiatives [3]. This indicates that the government is prepared to take action on such an issue, should it occur.

There is a moderate likelihood that a group of armed forces could organize criminal groups easily. There is widespread corruption within the armed forces, especially in border units where they are bribed and assist in smuggling and trafficking of weapons, drugs, and humans (1), (2), (3). Recently, there have been many cases of bribery brought against senior officers in civilian positions such as General Nader al-Said the head of the al-Dokki municipality (4), and General Alaa Fahmy, the director of the state-owned holding company for food industries, among others (5). However, although some of these actions were coordinated and involved several officers, and might not be very rare, there is no evidence that together they constitute something that would qualify as organized crime. Human trafficking has also been rampant in Sinai where there is heavy armed forces presence, but there is no evidence that the military or security personnel have been involved in it (3).

According to our sources, the government is aware of organized crime in the armed forces, they try to investigate these issues. However, there are no clear and consistent policy and inclusion of anti-corruption commission, or ACA to work against members of the armed forces who are active in service (1), (2), (3). The government, particularly the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), has made some anti-corruption raids on senior officials over the last few years. However, these raids have only included former military/police officers in civilian positions and almost no one in service (4), (5). The ACA is one of the anti-corruption agencies that is the least independent of the executive as it follows the prime minister, who is technically the head of the executive and has immense powers almost surpassing the power of the head of the ACA. Moreover, it has been an old tradition for the ACA to be led by former military generals (6),(7). Also, as discussed in previous questions and sub-indicators, the CAA is very restricted in having any supervisory power over the defence institutions. Military officers are further protected from civilian oversight by giving military courts the exclusive right to try military personnel for crimes committed on duty as stipulated by Article 204 of the Constitution (8). As for the judiciary, it is very rare for military officers (especially those in service) to appear before civilian courts and are usually tried before secret military courts.

In accordance with the Penal Code, [1] a criminal organisation is a permanent organisation consisting of at least three individuals who share the distribution of tasks. There have been criminal investigations of individual cases where people acted in their own interest, but these cases do not represent permanent criminal behaviour as the definition stipulates. [2,3] The annual reports of recent years produced by the Estonian Internal Security Service [4] do not provide any indication of organised crime in the defence sector, nor does the Prosecutor’s Office Yearbook for 2016, [5] which only provides one example of a bribery case.
Europol’s European Union Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2017 (SOCTA 2017) did not mention any organised crime cases in Estonia’s defence sector. [6] Finally, based on e-mail correspondence with Estonia’s Prosecutor’s Office, there have not been any organised crime cases identified in the Estonia’s defence sector. [7]

The Minister of Justice recently stated in front of the Riigikogu [1] that police departments and the Prosecutor’s Office have been successful in combating and preventing organised crime. Several heads of different criminal groups have been sentenced to prison. However, he does not describe the situation specifically in the defence sector. The Anti-Corruption Strategy 2013-2020 of the Ministry of Justice [2] sets out, as one of the goals, to tackle corruption that is a threat to the country’s security. It stipulates that one of the focus areas will be looking at large scale procurements in the defence sector, which is the most critical sector as most revenues in the defence sector go through procurement.
The Basics of Estonia’s Security Policy describes [3] corruption and organised crime as something that harms the country’s reputation. According to this policy, fighting international organised crime will be a focus. However, there is no mention of organised crime in Estonia’s defence sector. Overall, organised crime as a topic is covered, but only superficially, by the government when it comes to the defence sector. As there haven’t actually been any organised crime cases found in the defence sector, addressing an inexistent issue only briefly can be considered sufficient.

There is no evidence from media sources of prenetration of organised crime in the defence sector. The only cases that could be found were an instance in the police force (which is not relevant to this indicator). [1] Desk research also brought up a case where the Defense Forces supported the police in an operation relating to money laundering however, again, this is not relevant to this indicator. [2] There have been no reports on this issue produced by the Defence Forces or government.

The military leaders rarely publicly discuss the topic of organised crime in Finland. There is a common belief that the organisation is able to resist penetration attempts by organised crime by operating according to the law and following its internal policies, including crime investigation within the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces joined the national anti-corruption network in January 2020, which is a step forward. [1] In Finland, there is no particular legislation to counter organised crime and being a member of a criminal organisation is not a criminalised, but according to the Criminal Code being a member of a criminal organisation can harden the punishment given for a crime. [2]

The Ministry of Defence had its representative in the cross-sectoral coordination group set up by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior to advance cooperation between the branches of government in countering organised crime. [3] Collaboration for countering organised crime is lead by the Police whereas the Defence Forces support the activities. [4] The Police, the Customs and the Border Guard are the main investigative authorities which work is supported by the investigators of the Defence Forces when needed.

After thorough research into media investigations and prosecution reports, no evidence was found of any recent military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates. The most recent example is from 2010, when a member of the intelligence services was involved in arms trafficking [1]. This was mentioned in the 2015 GDI assessment [2].

The government seems to be aware of the possibility of penetration of organised crime into all sectors of politics and the economy. It regularly reinforces and updates its anti-corruption and anti-organised crime legislation, though the two have separate legal frameworks.
The law Sapin 2 of 2016, which created the French Anti-corruption Agency (AFA), is the latest legal framework tackling corruption.
A new “Law reinforcing the fight against organised crime, terrorism and their financing, and improving the efficiency and guarantees of criminal procedure” was passed in June 2016, updating the Perben II law of 2004. This new law amends some articles of the Defence Code to fight arms smuggling, for instance. [1] But neither of these laws has a specific focus on the penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector. No mention was found of organised crime in the Defence Code.

DRSD is the internal intelligence service of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. It is dedicated to repelling all activities likely to weaken the defence capablility, namely “terrorism, espionnage, sabotage, subversion, organised crime”. [2]

In general, the security sector (police, gendarmerie) seems to be more aware of the risk of penetration by organised crime (drug trafficking or money laundering through IGPN investigations [3] [4]), than the defence sector.

Overall, no clear and consistent policy in terms of dealing with organised crime in the defence and security sector seems to exist.

Specific evidence of penetration by organised crime (OC) into the defence and security sector could not be found. However, there is very low likelihood of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates. According to investigations carried out by Unit R III 2 ES, the penetration and infiltration of the defence department by organised crime is not identifiable and is currently impossible [1,2,3]. In Germany, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), along with other German police forces of the Federation and the Federal states and in cooperation with foreign security agencies, contribute to maintaining internal security with regard to organised crime. Acting in a constitutional manner, the BKA in particular provides services to citizens and to the state as a matter of social responsibility [4]. The BKA is Germany’s central agency for police intelligence, communications, research and training. It is responsible for criminal prosecution in cases of international organised crime, specific cases of terrorism and the protection of the members of Germany’s constitutional bodies. It is represented in 50 countries and in a wide range of law enforcement organisations, including the INTERPOL General Secretariat [5].

German law does not include a specific provision for ‘organised crime’ and neither the Police Crime Statistics (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik – PKS) nor the Conviction Statistics provide specific figures about the extent of organised crime. It is therefore very difficult to obtain any confirmed information about organised crime. However, in cooperation with the agencies involved in gathering the data for the Federal OC Situation Report, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA – Federal Criminal Police Office) aims to improve the methods for ensuring consistent quality in the collection and evaluation of data on OC investigations. For instance, the Federal Organised Crime Situation Report provides information on the fight against OC in Germany and aims to outline developments and focal points in the field of OC, inform law enforcement authorities throughout Germany of new trends, provide information for police leadership, demonstrate areas for action, propose response measures to address the latter and advise anti-crime policy [6].

It should be noted that recent years have seen numerous investigations into the presence of right-wing extremists in Germany’s armed forces. A recent report found that 50 soldiers were suspected of involvement in right-wing extremist activities [7]. An older example relates to the military intelligence agency (MAD) trying to recruit the former soldier and right-wing terrorist Uwe Mundlos as an informant. During his time in the Bundeswehr, Mundlos was noticed as an extremist and was promoted twice despite the knowledge of his extremist attitudes, which military judges dismissed as a private matter [8]. Though political extremism and organised crime are not the same issue, there is substantial evidence of links between the two and the existence of a nexus between extremist groups and organised criminal networks [9].

The government seems aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector (see 19A above), but its response is unclear [1,2]. For instance, after the scandal surrounding the theft of ammunition by the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), a unit of the Bundeswehr, the government and military response was slow. The law stipulates that superiors must report criminal offences to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but instead, the military initiated an amnesty campaign, allowing soldiers to return stolen ammunition and hand grenades without any repercussions, much to the fury of the public and politicians, who saw this as a cover-up and an example of impunity [3].

There is no evidence of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates (1), (2), (3), (4), (5). However, there is a record of individuals within the defence institutions participating in criminal activities in the past (5). Drug trafficking is a major issue in Ghana, which is an important country of origin, transit, and departure in West Africa concerning drugs (6).

The Ghanaian government has not demonstrated any proactive measures to deal with potential threats from organised crime, because of the assumption that the Ghanaian armed forces are well disciplined and they have the resilience to deal with such infiltrations (1), (2).

However, the government is aware of the threat of organised crime across the country and acted by establishing the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in 2010 (3). The office investigates, with the authority of the Attorney-General, and prosecutes financial or economic crimes, money-laundering, human trafficking, cyber activity, and other serious offences. While the mandate and powers of EOCO are broad, its investigations have been criticised for being politically-driven (4).

Ghana also established the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) which started operations in January 2010 (5). The FIC is mandated to receive suspicious transaction reports, and disseminate financial intelligence and other information related to money laundering and terrorist financing. The risks related to organised crime are included in the NACAP, which identifies two activities to address the issue in strategic objective 4: activity 1 (“Ratify and domesticate international conventions relating to corruption, money laundering and transnational organised crime”) and activity 30 (“Strengthen the national coordination capacity in combating transnational corruption and organised crime”) (6).

There is no evidence of organised crime in the defence sector [1]. Greek or foreign criminal groups have not been able to penetrate the armed forces. There is a low likelihood of this being possible, given that Greece is a NATO member with a very professionalised military.

There is not enough information to score this indicator. Despite Greece having no history of organised crime involvement in the defence and security sector [1], there is a lack of information to ascertain government’s possible response/ action in case of organised crime in the sector.

The Organised Crime Division of the Hungarian National Police is responsible for combatting organised crime in Hungary. Since the scandals of the ‘oil mafia’ in the 90s, there has been no proof that organised crime has penetrated the security sector. While the security services closely control the militaL75:L76ry [1], recent cases suggest that limited attention is paid to companies trading with arm surpluses bought from the military [2]. However the real problem is not the penetration of organised crime into the defence sector, but the lack of legislation, capability and oversight in sectors related to defence industry and management of the export of surplus items.

Military leaders never addressed this problem. The particular case mentioned [1] was not commented on by the ministry, but several pro-government presses attacked the author and claimed he is working for US intelligence services [2, 3]. That is linked with the nature of the government-controlled media. The Interior Ministry is closely cooperating with every international body to limit the presence of any organised crime group on the territory of Hungary. However, the Hungarian government generally addresses organised crime in line with EU regulations and other international agreements and do not have a particular emphasis on the defence sector in this regard [4, 5].

India has a history of organised crime in the country. As early as 1984, the New York Times reported organised crime was a growth industry in India. The crime syndicates mainly operated in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and were involved in smuggling, extortion and local drug trafficking [1]. Since then, their operations have expanded [2].

There is penetration or collusion of organised crime syndicates with police. There are many regions in India where the nexus between police and organised crime is acute. However, there is no conclusive evidence of the penetration of organised crime into the defence sector at an institutional level. Though there are periodical reports of members of defence forces being implicated in criminal activities, these are isolated cases where involvement is at the individual level and not likely to be institutionalised [3][4][5][6].

There is no evidence to suggest that the government recognises the need to prepare for the risk of organised crime penetrating the defence sector [1][2][3].

There is no evidence that leads to the conclusion that the Ministry of Defence and the TNI are being penetrated by organised crime. However, a number of cases have surfaced of individual TNI personnel involvement in the narcotics and drug trafficking network. In 2016, for example, the Bandung Military Court sentenced a member of the TNI, who held the rank of Corporal, to life imprisonment for his involvement in the sale of narcotics [1]. In a similar case, another TNI member who held the rank of Second Corporal was also arrested by the police for possession of large amounts of drugs [2]. If we observe these trends, we can assume that there are more cases of TNI member involvement in drug possession and distribution than are reported by the media.

The involvement of the TNI in the narcotics and drug trafficking network has been causing concern in the government and among the public. The penalty of dismissal is not only imposed on members of the TNI who have committed crimes but also on commanders of units whose members have been proven guilty [1,2]. In addition, the government hopes that policies aimed at improving the welfare of TNI soldiers will reduce incentives for TNI soldiers to engage in illegal business, including drug trafficking [3]. Meanwhile, although the risk and potential of corruption in the Ministry of Defence and the TNI has come to the attention of the public and the government, it has never been framed as a threat posed by organised crime. The improvement of anti-corruption policies within the Ministry of Defence and the TNI therefore is not positioned within efforts to eradicate organised crime.

There is a strong likelihood that organised crime has penetrated the sector, and there is confirmation from the US government, which is currently strongly opposed to the Iranian government, that it has done so. According to the United States, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Qods Force – responsible for Iran’s overseas operations – is involved in money laundering and counterfeiting activities [1, 2]. There is no public knowledge of prosecutions in Iran related to the penetration of organised crime in the defence sector. However, the government, while not yet prepared for the risk, appears to be more alert to the risk.

Iran’s current foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has recently stated that money laundering exists in Iran. “Widespread money laundering in Iran is a fact,” Zarif announced during an interview with Khabar Online. In the interview, Zarif said there were people who were exchanging trillions of tomans in Iran, and who fought against anti-money laundering legislation behind the scenes. In one case, one of them laundered 30 billion tomans, around $72 million, he said, “so they have the financial means to spend an amount equal to the budget of the Foreign Ministry for a single deceitful propaganda campaign.” “The whole budget of the Foreign Ministry is 1.1 trillion tomans [close to $262 million] and this is less than the budget of a number of cultural entities that are connected to some powerful organs. We cannot compete with their propaganda campaigns.” Zarif did not accuse any particular government entity but reiterated his statements about the amount of money being transferred illegally and without transparency [3]. Following the statement, he almost immediately came under attack by the media close to the Revolutionary Guards and a number of members of the parliament. According to Al-Monitor, many took Zarif’s remarks as directed toward such powerful entities as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a handful of other bodies reporting directly to the supreme leader and not the president [4]. Some members of the government responded by calling Zarif’s remarks “undeniable reality” [5]. There is also some evidence of the IRGC’s involvement in drug trafficking [6, 7].

The current administration is aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector, but its actions have for the moment not yet been confirmed by all of the political and military agencies within the establishment. There is a huge debate taking place between different factions in Iran, as to whether it should pass a series of legislative measures, related to organised crime, anti-terrorism financing, and anti-money laundering. In total, there are four pieces of legislation, which are commonly known as the FATF laws. Iran has passed one piece of legislation, but the other three pieces although passed through the Parliament were rejected by the Guardian Council (a conservative body which has veto power on legislation), and now sit with the Expediency Council which has the final say. If given the okay by the Expediency Council, Iran would accede to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and the International Convention on Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), but for the moment, the fate of the bills remain uncertain [1, 2].
Military leaders fail to publicly address the possibility of organised crime in the defence sector. Former IRGC officials who now serve in the political establishment have spoken out against the bills, as have the far-right media close to the IRGC. They see the bills as a concession to the West, as self-imposed sanctions where Iran would have to stop its support of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and as humiliating measures [3, 4]. There is a lot of debate taking place in Iran on the issue related to organised crime, and if Iran succeeds in getting the legislation through the political establishment, the next step will be to bring the military on board and to acknowledge its potential role in the problem.

Organized crime is a problem and is not restricted to the latest Iraqi administration (1), (2). Before the ascent of the PMF, organised crime had infiltrated police ranks, carrying out extortion, trafficking, oil and drug smuggling among many other crimes (3). Iranian-backed militias, whose affiliates are afforded seats in parliament and inside security and defence institutions, continue to lead extortion campaigns in areas formerly under ISG control (2). In December 2014, then-PM Abadi called for greater security initiatives to combat organised crime in Basra, describing the threat of organised crime as “more dangerous than that posed by Islamic State” (4). Other reports note that groups answerable to the commander-in-chief do not always remain under government control (5). As summarised by one source “disparate quasi-state armed actors and political factions … compete with one another and establish supportive constituencies” underlining the need for the GoI to “re-establish capacity and professionalism among security forces and administrators”.

Former PM Abadi has spoken about criminals “attempting to exploit the security forces”. In successive years, hostage-taking has remained pervasive (4). Foreigners, activists and dissenters are attractive targets to low-ranking gang members who kidnap and give them to organised crime syndicates for profit (4). This is not helped by the limited police, defence or state-backed security forces. This has created a self-perpetuating problem whereby law enforcement agencies are inhibited by low enforcement capacity issues. A major case was the looting of Beiji, where militias stole strategic economic assets. International and local Observers reported that equipment was resold to “Iraqi and Iranian businesses” (6), which later allegedly attempted to sell looted parts (7). An act of self-sabotage, one reporter summarised is “no better emblem of the Iraqi state destroying itself … $12 bn to replace” (8). Another source states that “PMF looting” extends to “fertilizer and power plants, a railroad station, water purification stations, and private and public property” (9). Wikileaks stated “Shi’a militias have turned the Baiji refinery — once Iraq’s largest — into a heap of scrap metal by looting it thoroughly”.

Organised crime is intimately connected with heavily armed paramilitary groups that are within the PMF and with the decentralisation of power and arms nationwide. The state has encountered difficulties in seeking to coordinate its efforts in its battle against organised crime, lacking a national strategy, or independent force well equipped, with a clean record, able to clean up organised crime. Paramilitary forces have amassed a double-edged reputation, threatening even the state should it stand in their way (1). While “crime rates are difficult to quantify” (2) in the absence of reliable statistical data, monthly incidents are reported from the sale of underage women, drug trafficking to hostage-taking. Recently reports from Deutsche Welle on the arrest of an Iraqi gang member known in Europe as Salam 313, who is suspected of facilitating the entry of illegal narcotics and weapons (3). Some of those targeted in the police raid are said to have supported militias, tied to the Sadrist trend, back in Iraq using profits generated from such activities (3).

There is moderate likelihood of penetration by organised crime into the defence and security sector. Yet, there is no evidence of a direct link between the defence and security sector and organised crime. There are some examples of organised crime, however, there is no sufficient proof that it is related to the defence sector. For instance, the Jerusalem Post wrote in 2017: “One notorious example of alleged criminal penetration occurred in Israel in 2003, when Inbal Gavrieli was elected to the Knesset for the Likud party. In a 2009 cable leaked by Wikileaks, the US ambassador to Israel wrote, “The election of Inbal Gavrieli to the Knesset in 2003 as a member of Likud raised concerns about organized crime influence in the party’s Central Committee. Gavrieli is the daughter of a suspected crime boss, and she attempted to use her parliamentary immunity to block investigations into her father’s business” (1). However, there are individuals in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) who have tried to steal weapons from the army in order to sell them. This phenomenon happens several times in the past and the IDF believes that these weapons are being sold for organised crime groups (2). Unfortunately, we could not find more information about organised crime in the lower ranks of the defence sector e.g. gangs operating within these institutions, drug crime, money-laundering, corrupt practices or illegal arms dealing. However, there are some reports that revealed some information on the “Israeli mafia”, but they are not necessarily related to the defense sector (1).

The government seems to be aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector, however its actions are not clear or consistent. There isn’t any official policy against it and military leaders do not address this specific issue publicly. It might be included in the anti-corruption policy, but only superficially. There is only deterrence against those who chose to steal weapons and the punishments are severe (e.g. 9.5 years in prison and a fine of 70000 shekel (ca. $ 20000) (1). There are some reports available such as the Israel Crime and Safety Report (2019), however, there are no reports related to corruption (2).

In Italy there are ongoing prosecutions on an alleged negotiation between part of the intelligence and police service and the Mafia (trattativa Stato-Mafia). Although prosecution is not yet complete, there is a possibility of collusion [1]. Moreover, in 2019 two Carabinieri (carabinieri are both a police and armed force) have been arrested for having released information on the ongoing investigations on the fugitive Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro [2].

The state is aware of the possible penetration of organised crime in the state structures and in the defence and security sector. In carrying out anti-mafia operations, Carabinieri, Police, Penitentiary police and the financial police work for the anti-mafia investigative division [1]. Moreover, legislative decree 6 September 2011, n. 159 [2] delineates preventive measures and provisions on anti-mafia documentation. In particular, art.107.1.c foresees a “periodic review of the results achieved” and the adoption, where necessary, “of appropriate measures to remove deficiencies and malfunctions and to ascertain responsibility and non-compliance” of the personnel. On the website of the Ministry of Interior it is possible to access the unique national anti-mafia database, that has been created in order to increase effectiveness of the current measures [3]. Military leaders have publicly acknowledged the clear risk on this issue in defence institutions [4]

No media reports nor any other evidence could be found of a penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector in Japan. No such reports were found in the mainstream newspapers Asahi Shimbun, [1] and Yomiuri Shimbun. [2] This suggests a very low likelihood of military invovlment in sectors in which organised crime operates.

A few government institutions have a responsibility for responding to organised crime in Japan. Such crime falls primarily within the responsibilities of the police, and the National Police Agency has a manual on its webpage, approved in 2014, on how to deal with organised crime (組織犯罪対策要綱) that focuses on domestic crime syndicates (暴力団), illegal drugs and small arms. [1] If such penetration into the SDF were to take place, the police would deal with it in cooperation with the Military Police. [2] The Public Security Intelligence Agency, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for collecting intelligence on domestic and foreign organisations that could conduct acts of terror and other subversive acts. [3] The Cabinet (government) has established the Headquarters for Promoting Response to International Organised Crime and International Terrorism (国際組織犯罪等・国際テロ対策推進本部), which is led by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (内閣官房長官) with the Chief of the National Public Safety Commission (国家公安委員会委員長) acting as the deputy. The Senior Vice-Minister for Defence is a member of the Headquarters. [4] The Headquarters focused on measures to prevent terrorism during the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 and the prevention of terrorist attacks to Japan’s nuclear plants. [5] According to the Guidance for Bids and Contracts issued by the Joint Staff in April 2019, the contractors for MOD procurements are required to sign a document stating that the company neither has personnel who is a member of organised crime nor will it behave as if it is an organised crime syndicates (annex 44). Should it be revealed that the contractor have ties to organised crime, the MOD can terminate the contract (annex 45). [6] These measures prevent penetration of organised crime into the non-governmental components of the defence and security sector.

There is a low likelihood that organised crime can penetrate the JAF or security sectors. There are stringent rules, checks, and controls that take place before joining security apparatuses or the armed forces. In 2016, there were media reports about Jordanian Intelligence Directorate personnel selling weapons, shipped into Jordan for Syrian rebels, on the black market [1, 2]. However, that matter was not dealt with as organised crime. Even though no decisive evidence confirms that there is organised crime within the defence sector, it is very likely that organised crime might penetrate the defence sector [3].

As there is no evidence or acknowledgement of the existence of organised crime penetrating the defence sector, the Government does not actively try to tackle the issue. However, Government officials often state their determination to counter organised crime in general. In April 2018, the Office of the Public Persecutor General along with IRZ held a seminar on fighting organised crime in Amman, addressing issues related to the fight against terrorism, money laundering and human trafficking [1]. Additionally, Jordan ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crimes [2], although with a reservation on Article 35 of the Convention. In relation to the accusations of defence personnel selling arms meant to enter Syria via the black market in 2016 [3], no official statement was issued by the Government and no further investigation followed. The Government of Jordan has not shown any active attempt to tackle issues around the penetration of organised crimes into the defence sector.

There is evidence of penetration of organised crime into the defence and the security sector. There have been past reports that have linked some KDF officials involvement in illicit trade. The reports had indicated that KDF was complicit in facilitating the illegal sale of charcoal and sugar that is controlled by organised criminal groups in Somalia. [1]

This example highlights how the KDF has collaborated with organised crime groups and of their involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates. This raises significant risks of penetration of organised crime although there have as of yet not been any cases of criminal elements being involved in the military.

Despite the publication of media reports, whose investigations were backed by UN monitoring group, suggesting the involvement of some defence officials in illicit trade of charcoal and sugar in Somalia, the Ministry of Defence has denied the existence of any criminal penetration, and made no initiatives to acknowledge or deal with the issue. [1]

Civil Society Organisations and the media have not reported whether organised crime has penetrated within the Ministry of Defence or the Kosovo Security Forces [1].

Senior Kosovo Government officials, including the acting Prime Minister, have stated that the executive would immediately take action in case organised crime or organised criminal activities and corruption were to take place within public institutions [1], namely in the Ministry of Defence of the Kosovo Security Forces. However, it is difficult to prove that the Government would really act when there is no evidence so far of organised crime [2].
The Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan for 2018-2022 was adopted by the Kosovo Government in March 2018 [3]. However, these documents were not submitted to the Kosovo Assembly until October 2018 and still need to be approved [3]. Bearing in mind that this Strategy and Action Plan document is not yet approved, it is difficult to confirm that the strategy will ensure anti-corruption measures within the defence institutions in Kosovo.

There is no evidence through media investigations or prosecution reports that suggest that organised crime has penetrated the security agencies in Kuwait. There is little crime in Kuwait as a country in the first place.

The United States’ travel advisory to Kuwait says to simply exercise normal caution. The country is not considered by regional security experts to be an important stop for the weapons or drug smuggling trade that is flourishing in nearby Iraq. Since 2015, the authorities have said that they have seized one large cache of explosives and weapons on a rural farm and a handful of shipments of illegal narcotics at its maritime ports (1).

That being said, Kuwait does have a stable blackmarket for alcohol, which is illegal in the conservative country, journalists and activists say. This blackmarket can’t exist in its current state without some collusion from figures inside the security agencies, analysts said (2).

Kuwait also had a growing hard drugs scene — a Government official told Al Rai Media in January that there may be up to 20,000 addicts in the country. But while some activists think that some Interior Ministry officials may be turning a blind eye, no solid evidence has emerged to back this up and the Government continues to say that it is cracking down on the matter (3).

There may be some reason to suspect that figures in the security agencies have a hand in the local gun smuggling business, but one cannot discount the fact that the authorities passed a law in 2016 that allows the police to search homes believed to have guns in them, according to the Persian gulf news outlet, Al Bayan (4), and activists (5 and 6).

The media does not follow the issue closely and the market appears to be too small to be of interest to many journalists and officials, so the public, as well as observers, lack a clear understanding of its depth and origin. Some activists believe that the security officials involved in the business are just front for powerful lawmakers, but they base this on unconfirmed political chatter.

The internal laws of the police and the military show that the Government is aware that organised criminal networks could penetrate its agencies (1 and 2). Each employee is evaluated each year by his superiors, according to article 53 of the police law and 56 of the military, and can anonymously approach the ACA to report any suspicious activity inside the institution to external auditors, who are concerned with performance as well as financial corruption.

(These yearly evaluations do not apply to officers whose rank is higher than colonels, but article 55 of the military law and 52 of the police law say that they keep assessment files on everyone.)

If an officer is believed to be breaking article 14 of the military law and 15 of the police, which forbids him from getting involved in any kind of commerce, legal or otherwise, and from giving away information or engaging in behavior that “does not befit the dignity of the military,” he would be investigated by military prosecutors and could be referred to a military trial, if the matter is too grave to be resolved by a disciplinary committee. However, there is no clear criteria that establishes what violations need to be addressed by a military court. Similar laws apply to the KNG (3).

There may be no doubt that these agencies would internally deal with such threats adequately, but one cannot overlook the fact that the military judiciary is not independent as it falls under the control of the Defence Minister, who appoints its leaders (4). Therefore, if the top of the Defence Ministry is penetrated, for example, the agency would be left without an internal solution to the problem.

This is less of a problem for the police, since the Interior Minister does not have control over the military judiciary.

Kuwait’s ACA laws also identify this issue as part of the problems its auditors are meant to tackle (5).

There have been no reports of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates. Therefore, this risk is very low. This was confirmed in the interview. [1]

The government is well aware of the risks posed by the organised crime. It has adopted a Plan for preventing and combating organised crime in for the period of 2018 until 2020. The plan contains provisions where one of the institutions involved is the Military police (MP,) along with multiple other institutions. [1] There is no reason to believe that the government would not be in a position to act if there were risks of penetration by organised crime in the defence and security sector.

No information was found on cases of the penetration of organized crime into the defence sector (1). An expert journalist denied any such cases occurring in the LAF (2). Furthermore, the LAF investigates applicants and newly enrolled cadets in the military academy. Candidates can be disqualified if they have a questionable background or criminal record (3).

No evidence was found of the government trying to tackle the issue of potential penetration of organized crime into the defence and security sector (1). The Military Police are responsible for investigating any crime or violations within the LAF (2). Furthermore, security and defence institutions have worked to fight terrorism and organized crime in the country (3). The GoL with the support of UNSCOL has set a “National Strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism” (4).

Through desk research, the Assessor did not find any evidence organised crime penetrating into the defence and security sector over the last few years. For instance, the media [1] and official government sources such as a report by the Financial Crime Investigation Service (providing a national overview of organised crime) refer to organised crime coming predominantly from drug trafficking, VAT fraud or money laundering. The report does not mention the military or defence sector [2].

In Lithuania’s National Security Strategy (updated in 2017), organised crime is mentioned as ‘a serious challenge to the unity of the European Union’ as well as a cause of regional and global instability which must be given particular attention by national security institutions. According to the strategy, ‘in order to reduce threats posed by organised crime and corruption to public security, economic and political life of the State, the Republic of Lithuania will strengthen prevention and control of the organised crime, with a particular focus on organised criminal groups with links to the intelligence services of other countries or terrorist organisations, as well as crimes that cause the most harm or pose the greatest threat to the society or the State. In order to do so effectively, the Republic of Lithuania aims to implement complex anti-corruption and corruption prevention measures focused on enhancing transparency and responsibility in the public sector; publicise the legislative process and decisions; eliminate unnecessary regulation; improve instruments for investigation of corruption crimes and impose sanctions’ [1]. In addition, the Public Prosecutor’s Office includes a department of organised crime and corruption investigation [2]. Pre-trial investigations about organised crime most often are carried out by the Criminal Police [3]. Recently Criminal Police established a partnership with Romania to tackle the “dark web”, together with Europol, Eurojust and a number of countries investigating organised crime in money laundering throughout Europe [4]. The General Prosecutor’s Office focuses on organised crime as one of its priority areas. For instance, it registered two cases of potential organised crime in 2017 and nine in 2018 [5]. Based on article 249 of the Criminal Code, the Prosecutor’s Office started one pre-trial investigation in 2017 and two in 2018 [5]. Courts analysed eight criminal cases of this kind in 2017 and five in 2018 [5].

There is no evidence of organised crime penetration in the defence and security sector. The government is continuously on high alert and is prepared for the risk of involvement in organised crime, as demonstrated in different conferences and international cooperations, [1] [2] as well as the establishment of the Special Task Force on Organised Crime, which saw to successful crackdown on several organised crime cases in Malaysia. [3] [4] The task force was disbanded in 2018 as part of the restructuring of the police force following the general election. [5] There was a report [6] by the Special Branch which highlighted that a staggering 80% of the national security personnel and law enforcement officers from the Immigration Department, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Anti-Smuggling Unit, and the police General Operations’ Force were corrupt or involved in organised crimes. However, these agencies do not operate under the Defence Ministry, operating instead under the Home Ministry or reporting directly to the Prime Minister’s Office. There has been no evidence or reports involving officials from the Defence Ministry, suggesting that there is a low likelihood that organised crime has penetrated the sector. Indeed, it was highlighted in the National Anti-Corruption Policy that the defence sector only records a 0.1% risk of corruption. [7]

While there is no evidence of organised crime penetration in the defence and security sector, it is evident that the government is aware of the possibility of organised crime in general, including in the defence sector. Several efforts have been taken to reduce the risk and respond in case of any organised crime related penetration, as outlined in the National Anti-Corruption Policy (1) and the establishment of numerous anti-corruption agencies such as the JKKMAR and the GIACC in cooperation with the existing national anti-corruption agency MACC.

The northern parts of Mali have been an important area of transit for smugglers for at least the past ten years following decades of underinvestment and poor governance in the regions [1, 2, 5, 8].¹ ² ⁵ ⁸ The smuggling of subsidised food, cigarettes, fuel, arms and human-beings has become embedded in the local economy, in a region which for centuries has served as an important trading route across the Sahara desert [1, 2, 5, 8, 9].¹ ² ⁵ ⁸ ⁹
Smuggling and the complicity of state officials reached its peak under the government of Amadou Toumani Touré, who was President between 2002 and 2012. As ICG notes “Under the ATT government, relations between the centre of power in Bamako and the periphery rested on a loose network of personal, clientelistic, even mafia-style alliances with regional elites with reversible loyalties rather than on robust democratic institutions.”² During this period, Mali even became a trafficking route for cocaine from Latin America. In 2009, a Boeing 727 carrying up to ten tonnes of cocaine crash-landed after taking off from an airstrip in Gao.³ In 2010, another plane carrying several tonnes of cocaine landed at an air-strip in Kayes, in the west of the country, where it was reportedly received by several local officials, including military officials.³
According to many observers, the military and many politicians were effectively embroiled in organised crime and “have bolstered their political and military positions of power using illegal income”.¹ A report by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime claimed that illicit trafficking “defined the nature of the political crisis in Mali,” has “entrenched itself into the Malian ethnography,” and has become “thoroughly integrated within political and military structures in northern Mali”.⁹
Since the collapse of the Malian state in 2012 and the election of IBK in 2013, reports of drug trafficking have dried up amid “some tangible efforts to reform the legal system and tentatively enforce some of the legal mechanisms that exist to tackle such problems”.⁶ Even so, there is still widespread evidence that security officials remain complicit in human trafficking. The Netherlands Institute for International Relations highlights that corruption is particularly visible in the police and security forces, where jobs are distributed as political favours and sold at a price.⁷ “A job in customs, for example, can allegedly be bought for 2 million CFA (3,023 EUR). According to a European expert with extensive knowledge of the Malian security and justice sector, some 80 percent of recruits join the security forces in this manner. At the dozens of roadblocks along the way to Bamako and Gao, migrants pay a toll of between 1,000 and 5,000 CFA (1.50–7.50 EUR) to the security forces that control them. According to key respondents from the region, the Gao gendarmeries also take migrants off the bus at the city entrance. Migrants reportedly have to pay a tax between 2,000 and 5,000 CFA (3–7.50 EUR) and are then handed over to the smugglers who take them under their wing. In other cases, migrants are arrested after entering Gao, and smugglers pick them up from the police station in exchange for a bribe.”⁷ Security officials are also reportedly implicated in the issuing of false passports.⁷

Since the collapse of the Malian state in 2012 and the election of IBK in 2013, reports of drug trafficking have dried up amid “some tangible efforts to reform the legal system and tentatively enforce some of the legal mechanisms that exist to tackle such problems”.⁶ In collaboration with EU partners, the government is also working to reform the army – to train, improve the capabilities and cohesion of the armed forces, as well as improve their resources and reduce corruption. But, in the view of The Netherlands Institute for International Relations, “addressing the issue of irregular migration” and thus official complicity within the trafficking industry, “remains one of the lowest priorities on the government’s agenda”.⁷ The Brookings Institute study agrees, saying that “Mali’s commitment remains largely rhetorical, and that few of the planned measures have been vigorously implemented”.⁶
The Malian Customs Directorate relies on a mere 2,000 men to watch more than 7,000 km of borders.⁷ Before the 2012 crisis only two border posts were operational in the region of Kidal, only one in Gao and none in Timbuktu. Today, none of the existent customs posts along the Malian borders are permanently operated, including the three border posts in the northern regions.⁷ “Controlling borders falls under the responsibility of no less than seven distinct security forces reporting to four different ministries. These forces are the Army, the National Guard, the Gendarmerie, the National Police, the Central Office Against Drugs (CNO), Customs, and the Forest Guards. In practice, these forces suffer from gaps in personnel, equipment, and infrastructure, as well as from a lack of inter-organizational coordination and training. While there is pressure from donors to engage in a structural reform of security forces and to develop a comprehensive border strategy to tackle human smuggling, the Malian government so far has not made this its priority.”

There is evidence of the penetration of organised crime in the defence and security sector. From 2006 to 2016, 1,025 members of the Secretaries of Public Security of the National Defense and the Navy were arrested for links to organized crime. [1] Two senior officials have also been prosecuted for providing protection to drug traffickers. In 2017, the Superior Military Court sentenced two Lieutenants, Marcos Augusto Pérez and Javier Rodríguez Aburto, for their collaboration with the criminal organization Los Zetas. [2]

The recent trial of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo, has also exposed the extensive corruption network of the Mexican cartels with Commanders, Military, federal police officers, and judicial authorities in states like Sinaloa, which received bribes in exchange of information and protection to avoid their capture and to allow them to operate freely. [3] [4] [5] “Yes, there have been cases where organised crime has penetrated defence institutions and the most documented case in the formation of the Zetas Cartel. This cartel was formed with former military personnel.” [7] [8] [9]

The government is aware of the possibility of organised crime penetrating the defence and security sector. The available information shows that the heads of the security and defence institutions recognise the deficiencies of the armed forces in matters of corruption and do so publicly. [1] [2]

More recently, actions aimed at professionalising the security forces, such as the National Guard, have been debated, emphasising the values necessary to guarantee peace. [3] [4] However, members of organised civil society point out that as such there are no measures or policies to address the magnitude of the problem and, therefore, the mechanisms of the National Anti-Corruption System have not been strengthened. [5] [6] [7]

There is a moderate likelihood of penetration by organised crime into the defence and security sector. There were at least two high level cases related to possible penetration of organised crime in the military and intelligence, [1][2][3][4][5][6] while various stakeholders repeatedly claimed that prominent members of the intelligence services are linked to organised crime. [1][7][8]

For example, Montenegrin military police seized around 50 kilograms of drugs on board a naval training ship, hours before it was scheduled to take students on a training cruise. [2]

Zoran Lazovic was allegedly forced into retirement from Montenegro’s National Security Agency in 2015 following years of media speculation about his alleged ties to organised crime groups, first triggered by a video that surfaced in 2010 and appeared to show Lazovic at the wedding of alleged Montenegrin drugs trafficker Safet Kalic.[2] Lazovic was recently appointed to a senior post in the police tasked with fighting organised crime and corruption [3].

Another official of the intelligence services, Vlatko Rakocevic, allegedly ordered a police officer to release Naser Kelmendi, a prominent organised crime figure. [5]

According to the MoD, however, there is very low likelihood of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates, because the Ministry of Defence has established an effective system for combating organized crime in the defence sector, by establishing the Intelligence and Security Directorate by the Law on Defence and the Rulebook on Internal Organization and Systematization of the Ministry of Defence, which continuously collects data on activities that could be qualified as criminal offenses with elements of organized crime when employees of the Ministry and persons serving in the Armed Forces appear as perpetrators of these offenses.

The government is not actively tackling the problem of possible penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector, but its officials claim these are only incidents. [1] Organised crime is not addressed in the Integrity Plans of defence [2][3] and security institutions. [4] Military and intelligence leaders fail to publicly address this issue. [5][6][7][8][9]

According to the MoD, however, the Government is aware of the fact that organized crime is always able to infiltrate the defence sector, and it is taking measures to prevent this phenomenon, as well as measures for an effective and rapid response if it occurs. The Ministry of Defence has established an effective system for combating organized crime in the defence sector, by establishing the Intelligence and Security Directorate by the Law on Defence and the Rulebook on Internal Organization and Systematization of the Ministry of Defence, which continuously collects data on activities that could be qualified as criminal offenses with elements of organized crime when employees of the Ministry and persons serving in the Armed Forces appear as perpetrators of these offenses.

Both interviewees stated the difficulty (bordering on the impossible) to investigate an organised crime among the Moroccan armed forces. Although they alluded to potential cases of organised crime, they did not provide tangible details (1)(2).

No evidence of organised crime among the Moroccan armed forces was found in recent media investigations or prosecution reports (3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)

Historical context shows a strong defiance of the current King (and his predecessor before him) towards the armed forces, based on a series of attempted coups in the 1970s. It is therefore likely that no wide-scale organised crime occurs within the armed forces, as the King is wary that they become an influential counter-power.

No evidence was found in the media or prosecution reports to suggest that the government is alert and prepared to address organised crime within the defence and security sector (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)

The latest public case of corruption resulted in the initial conviction of the culprit (whose sentence was subsequently overturned) and the conviction of the whistle-blower (13)(14).

Interviewees referred to the ‘fifth office’ (5e bureau), an internal body within the military tasked with preventing « influence of foreign forces » on the Moroccan armed forces. However its mission in relation to organised crime and corruption was unclear, as was its political independence and its effectiveness (15)(16).

In Myanmar, transnational organised crime groups partner with local militias and ethnic armed groups for drug manufacturing and trafficking [1]. According to the CRD Report for Congress, [2] there is collusion between transnational organised crime groups and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) government [3]. Military-owned business groups such as MEHL and MEC enjoyed privileges and engaged in illicit business activity under the military junta [4]. The production of illicit drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine, takes place in safe havens in the state of Shan, held by militias and other paramilitary units allied with the Myanmar military, as well as in enclaves controlled by non-state armed groups [5]. So there is a strong likelihood that organised crime has penetrated the sector.

Corruption is a major facilitator of the spread of organised crime. Crime syndicates bribe public agencies, especially at border areas to access routes [1]. Myanmar enacted its Anti-Corruption Law in 2013. One of the objectives of this law is to eradicate bribery as a national cause [2]. The law does not include a particular section covering organised crime. Moreover, the defence sector enjoys immunity from the Anti-Corruption Law because of the 2008 Constitution [3]. In addition, drugs manufacturing and trafficking is the most common form of organised crime in Myanmar. In response, the government and the UNODC have been working together to implement a new national drug policy. President U Win Myint encouraged the public to provide information about drugs and drug trafficking [4]. Military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said that the military has conducted operations against drug trafficking since 1975 and that the military seized drugs and weapons from the People’s Militia in Northern Shan State in March 2020 [5].

In most of the military there is little proof of organised crime being involved. One exception so far is the Marechaussee, who due to their responsibility for border controls and imports are a likely point at which organised crime (mainly drug trade) has a vested interest in influencing decisions. There have been some known occurrances of corruption here, although it is unclear how many cases may have been handled outside the public eye for safety reasons [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

All military personnel and most civilians working in defence must undergo security clearance processes administered by the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) prior to employment [1]. This screening searches for ‘data on membership in or provision of support to organisations that pose a threat to the democratic legal order’ [1]. New screenings are conducted every five years or when changes occur, such as the personnel having a new position or a new partner or if they receive a criminal conviction [1]. Additionally, the Code of Conduct for Defence advises personnel to avoid involvement with people who are known to be regularly breaking the law or people associated with prohibited associations, such as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs [2]. Should organised criminal activity take place, reports would be forwarded to the Royal Dutch Military Police (KMAR). The KMAR registers reports in the police systems and reports directly to the Secretary General and annually to the Central Defence Integrity Organisation (COID) [3].

According to the source interviewed, there is minimal likelihood of penetration of organised crime into the defence sector, and they were not aware of a concern, or an actual case, of organised crime penetrating the defence sector [1]. Questions are raised when reports of missing weapons and explosives are received from the NZDF. Although such reports are very intermittent, the pattern of reporting suggests items may have been stolen that could have been distributed in a manner indicating organised crime involvement. However no evidence in support of this has been found [1]. The NZDF also screens potential applicants for prior criminal convictions, which are assessed on a case by case basis [2]. Likewise, there is no evidence of the penetration of organised crime into the security sector. If there was evidence of any kind (such as media reports or complaints laid with the NZ Police, IGIS, or the Serious Fraud Office), the Office of the Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Committee would take appropriate action. As a further means to guard against such a scenario, all individuals employed within the Intelligence Community are required to hold a TOP SECRET SPECIAL security clearance. This includes highly detailed checks of 15 years of employees’ history, including financial history and personal connections. Employees are required to have the circumstances appraised for security concerns on an annual basis following the granting of their security clearance [3]. A recent case of a soldier charged with espionage does not indicate penetration of organised crime as under the Crimes Act 1961, Section 78, the charge of espionage links to a foreign country or organisation, which does not have to be a criminal organisation. Until more is known, this remains an espionage case rather than a case of organised crime [4].

Police do recognise that transnational organised crime is increasing in volume and sophistication and, while historically there has been few suspected instances of corruption, there is always a risk that Defence and Security sector personnel could be compromised by organised crime groups. The New Zealand Government has acknowledged the risk of corruption of public officials by organised crime groups in New Zealand’s Trans-national Organised Crime Strategy (See page 13 –“New Zealand consistently rates among the least corrupt countries in the world. However, we must be alert to the possibilities that our public officials and private-sector institutions and professionals will be exposed to corruption domestically and internationally.”

Aside from screening potential NZDF applicants for prior criminal convictions on a case by case basis, [2] the government appears to not consider the issue a priority.

The extent of penetration of organised crime into the Nigerien defence and security sector is difficult to evaluate. The likelihood of organised crime being involved with the defence and security sectors is moderate. The scale of trafficking implies a degree of cooperation with the defence/security sector to allow for illicit flows to take place, even if there are no specific cases of collusion. Source 1, the Small Arms Survey (March 2017), for example, describes how the Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN), police, gendarmerie, National Guard, and customs are responsible for seizing arms. Some of the seized arms/ammunition are reportedly added to their arsenals, which violates Article 17 of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (2006), to which Niger is a signatory nation. Such cases reveal instances in which legislation is not enforced. Niger’s geography and weak communications infrastructure also further exposes the country to organised crime.
Given the scale of trafficking that occurs, security and defence forces are likely to be complicit. The activity of networks engaged in smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, as well as arms (1) and drugs (2) towards Niger’s northern borders remains a significant challenge (3). The assessor found no media investigations covering the issue. However, some media coverage suggested that defence and security actors do have some level of involvement with trafficking (4).

There is evidence that the Nigerien government is aware of the possible involvement of some elements of the defence and security sector in organised crime, but its response is unclear and inconsistent.
For example, in May 2015 Niger adopted the law on unlawful trafficking of migrants that provides for a large variety of sanctions, including 10 years imprisonment for involvement in the illegal trafficking of migrants (1). According to the minister of the interior, under the 2015 law, several gendarmes were dismissed, around 200 persons arrested and 72 sentenced, while others are still awaiting trial (2). However, on a broader level, as the report of the ANLTP emphasises, the 2015 law has seriously undermined the local economy in the Agadez region, which relied heavily on income generated through trafficking (3). The Institute for Security Studies report underlined similar conclusions. It states that “interventions designed to reduce migration flows and enhance protection for the migrants must be predicated on a far more nuanced understanding of local dynamics and the non-state actors facilitating the trade, so as to avoid destabilising one of the few pockets of stability in an already volatile region” (4). Therefore, even though there is evidence that authorities are aware of possible collusion, the difficulties in investigating and in prosecuting are deeply connected to the complex social and economic context.
On a broader level, Niger has lately enforced institutions that contribute to fighting organised crime: High Authority for the Fight against Corruption and Assimilated Offences – HALCIA, Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism-SCLCT, National Financial Information Processing Unit-CENTIF (see question 20 for details). Provided with different mandates, these institutions do not seem to cooperate closely, while corruption and organised crime are closely interrelated. 
Regardless of these shortfalls, Niger has developed close cooperation with the UNODC. However, it did not ratify the Protocol against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (5). Despite government awareness of the threat of organised crime, its attempts to address the issue is inconsistent: the fight against organised crime is not sufficiently and explicitly connected to anti-corruption policy.

There are credible reports of collusion between the security agencies and organised crime such as oil bunkering. There is evidence of the existence of a mutually beneficial relationship as security agencies are slow to respond and deal with criminality in the oil sector. A new report detailing the complexities of ongoing massive oil theft in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta says there is extensive evidence that some corrupt members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) actively participate and profit from oil theft and illegal oil refining (1), (2).
The report, published by Stakeholder Democracy Network, SDN, in October this year, says the entire oil theft is carried out under the watch and protection of the JTF. The report is the first that explains the complexities of the oil theft business in the Niger Delta region. The activities of the oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism for-profit suggests that there is a degree of collusion between some military personnel and the individuals engaged in oil theft and bunkering activities. This does not suggest that criminal gangs have penetrated the military establishment. However, it does indicate a degree of collusion or cooperation between individuals engaged in criminal activities and members of the armed forces. Senior officials have consistently maintained that any service personnel caught engaging in such activities will be prosecuted.

The response of the government has been unclear and inconsistent. While several high ranking officials have been on trial for corruption, allegations against other high ranking officials have not been investigated. “More senior officers in the army, navy, and mobile police thus also benefit from the theft of oil” (1), (2). Following the 2015 elections, special committees were created to investigate some of the allegations against senior military officers. However, allegations against senior officers such as General Buratai were not fully pursued and resulted in inconclusive outcomes.

The Buhari administration has investigated and prosecuted some high ranking defence officials for a range of offences including corruption and embezzlement of public funds (1), (3). However, allegations against some officials such as the Chief of General Staff General Buratai have not been investigated. This has contributed to allegations of bias against the Buhari administration (4). “The laissez-faire attitude of the Buhari administration to these substantial allegations of corruption against these senior public officials is telling. These allegations are in addition to substantial allegations of corruption against other senior officials of the Buhari administration – Chief Rotimi Amaechi [Minister of Transport], Mr. Babatunde Fashola [Minister of Power, Works & Housing], Major General Tukur Buratai [Chief of Army Staff] and Alhaji Abba Kyari [Chief of Staff to the President]” (2), (4) “None of the allegations against any of these officials have been thoroughly investigated neither have any of them faced sanctions of any sort. The Buhari administration has been very dismissive of the allegations and has treated calls for thorough investigations with disdain” (5).

Military leaders have addressed such issues publicly and reiterated a zero-tolerance for corruption (6).

Prior to 2015, a number of high-profile corruption cases within the Ministry of Defence suggested the spread of organised crime. In 2007, the ex-Minister of Defence Ljuben Paunovski was prosecuted on allegations of embezzlement of food procurement for the Army [1]. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. His successor, Vlado Buckovski, also Prime Minister between 2004-2006, was charged in 2007 with embezzlement. Together with the former Army Chief of Staff General Metodi Stamboliski, he was suspected for being involved in an arms procurement deal costing the country 2.5 million euros. They were both sentenced to three and a half years in jail but the Supreme court annulled Buckovski’s verdict and the case was reverted to the primary court [2]. In 2014, the Head of the Ministry of Defence Logistics Department and eight other people were prosecuted on the allegations of corrupt activities relating to the maintenance and repair of the Army helicopters.They were charged for embezzlement and money laundering costing the country about 2,7 million USD [3]. Following 2015, there are no sources that point to illegal behavior within the MoD and the Army conected with penetration of organosed crime. The 2018 Strategic Defence Review recognizes corruption and organized crime as threats to national security. [4]

The Ministry of Defence clearly always condemns acts of crime within its own staff and offers support for investigations. The Ministry also highlights its integrity and that of the Army’s employees, underlining the unacceptability of any criminal acts [1]. However, prior to 2015, there was no evidence of any clear strategy or policy for fighting organised crime. Given the repeated nature of all these acts prior to 2015, it seems that there was little to no political action to fight organised crime within the Ministry of Defence. But the he enactment of the Integrity Plan by the Ministry of Defence in 2016 has laid the foundations for better addressing and fighting corruption of organised crime [2]. In this Plan, the Ministry of Defence explicitly and publicly established an internal legal and political framework and strategy for fighting corruption and organised crime. Moreover, the 2018 Strategic Defence Review recognizes corruption and organized crime as threats to national security. [3]

There is a very low likelihood of a penetration of organised crime into the core of the defence and security sector [1]. The most recent report on crime trends in Norway, published by the Oslo Police District in 2018, does not identify penetration of organised crime into the defence sector [2]. However, in 2014 the national daily newspaper, Aftenposten, reported that a company contracted by the Ministry of Defence to repaint its central office used 5 subcontractors either suspected or convicted of serious economic crimes, 2 of which were linked to an Albanian criminal network believed to have laundered 40 million NOK [3]. The challenge related to use of subcontractors practising social dumping and money-laundering has been by no means unique to the defence sector, but concerns the entire public sector in Norway. Despite no new revelations about similar cases in the defence sector in recent years, the head of the investigation unit in the National Criminal Investigation Service KRIPOS, in interviews in 2018 and 2019, expressed his growing concern for organised crime penetrating the Norwegian labour market [4, 5]. He stressed that construction, transport, cleaning and restaurants are the sectors most liable for social dumping and money-laundering.

Following mass media revelations in 2014 on the use of subcontractors linked to criminal networks, the director of the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency urged for closer collaboration with the National Criminal Investigation Service, labour unions and construction entrepreneurs [1]. As the biggest real estate agency in Norway, the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency then contributed to publishing best practice guidance on how to make sure that pay and working conditions in public contracts are acted on [2, 3]. The guidance was one of the measures in the government’s strategy for combating work-related crime. Despite these measures, in 2018 the head of investigation unit in the National Criminal Investigation Service expressed alarm that growing organised crime received lower priority due to police reform and focus on other types of serious crime [4, 5]. It is therefore not entirely clear if the responsible authorities have all necessary resources to prevent and react quickly should organised criminal activity in the defence and security sector take place. According to the Armed Forces’ annual report 2019, the Special Forces will be given a leading role in anti-corruption work. The goal is apparently to make them share their experience with handling corruption in complex and dangerous situations with other units, thus improving the Armed Forces’ general work on anti-corruption [6]. There is not any evidence that organised crime is addressed in defence anti-corruption policy, however [7, 8].

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18, published by the World Forum, Oman is ranked 3rd in the world for a lack of organized crime (scoring 6.6/7), maintaining the same ranking since the GI 2015 report and third to Norway and Finland (1). Six years ago, the sultan signed the Arab Convention against Organised Transnational Crime which was ratified by Royal Decree 6/2015 (2). The convention sets out legislation to combat, money laundering, corruption, crimes of private sector and fraud on financial and banking institutes to name a relevant few sections (2). According to Expat Focus, “there is no organized crime in the country” which is attributed to the strength of the police force (3). Likewise, the Global Competitiveness Index ranks the reliability of the police service at 11 in the world (1). According to our sources, there has never been a case where police or a military personals part of organized crime for the last ten years (4). Due to reports of the lack of organized crime in Oman, the likelihood of the military being involved in organized crimes, or organized crime has penetrated the military, is very low.

Oman has numerous pieces of legislation against organized crime including the Cyber Law Crime (12/2011); Arab Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime (6/2015); Royal Decree against Human Trafficking (126/2008); and the UN Convention against Transnational Crime signed in May 2005. These pieces of legislation reflect efforts made by the Omani authorities to prevent organized crime; however, no reference is made to the defence or security sectors. There is no evidence of organized crimes having penetrated the defence and security sector, but Oman is one of the top three countries in the world with the lowest rates for organized crime generally. Therefore, there is a substantial governmental response to organized crimes. According to our sources, the government and army are making huge efforts to tackle any possible or potential threats to security through organized crimes (3).

In many cases, there are unsubstantiated allegations that security/ armed apparatus are involved in crimes to cover instances of corruption(1). The social media contains loads of such rumors and speculations; however, none of them are taken seriously or proven either in journalistic ways or others(2).

According to our sources, “as there is no organized crime within the national forces, the government do not act or aware of such crimes/ groups”. (1) However, there are influential groups within the security apparatuses which are affiliated with the ruling party. The government is ineffective in facing them. They do not react as the security agencies’ commanders are well connected to the ruling party -Fatah- and president Abbas(2).

Repeated reports have surfaced about links between the Philippine military and organised syndicates both within the country and abroad [1, 2]. One report indicated that couriers of dirty money from abroad were able to escape detection because they were escorted by the military or the police at the airport [1]. Another reported the discovery of ammunition found inside boxes issued for the AFP during a buy-bust operation on alleged arms suppliers of rebel groups [2].

Awareness of the problem is evident but, beyond occassional remarks regarding the overall state of the problem or periodic crackdowns of individual cases, there is no sustained attention to addressing it [1, 2]. As part of his anti-corruption drive, the executive has fired several officials only to rehire some of them [3]. The executive has also supported the Ombudsman’s decision to stop lifestyle checks on government officials, including military senior officials, and to restrict the public from accessing Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) [4, 5].

The likelihood of the penetration of the defence and security sector by organised crime is low to moderate. There are several reports in the media about the activity of Police or Central Anticorruption Bureau in this field, but they are mostly related to the development of internal criminal groups rather than to the penetration of external criminal groups into the defence sector [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

MoD leaders have not highlighted the risk publicly in the last few years, probably because the risk level is low to moderate. The MoD has a detailed scope of operations in place for the Military Police and it indicates the fight against organised crime and corruption as one of its tasks [1]. There are several examples of investigative activities undertaken by state institutions [2, 3, 4].

While the Tancos storehouse case generated discussion around organised crime [1] and the Attorney General’s Office clearly stated that organised crime and terrorism were suspected in the case itself [2], there is little indication that organised crime has penetrated the defence sector.

The Tancos storehouse case resulted in multiple resignations [1], including the former minister of defence [2], who was, as of May 2020, a defendant in the ensuing criminal investigation [3]. There is evidence of inconsistency across the defence sector in tackling arms security. This strongly indicates a lack of organisational preparedness against such activities [4].

There is no evidence that there has been any sign of organized crime in the military and defence sector. According to our research, there is not organised crime within the armed forces or the security agencies in Qatar [1,2].

The Government and armed forces take crimes very seriously. As the country is waiting for the 2022 World Cup, security and safety is a priority. Therefore, if it were to become aware of organised crime, the Government would tackle it in an unprecedented manner [1,2].

There are regular media investigations and prosecution reports about cases with individual MoD officials being caught participating in organised crime. Cases are related to GOZ implementation [1], land management [2,3], large scale fraud [4], or personal connections with the criminal leaders [5].

The fight against organised crime is generally regulated under Article 210 of the Criminal Code [1]. There are three major agencies that are responsible for handling organised crime in the defence sector. The Chief Military Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia deals with organised crime specifically in the defence and security sector [2,3]. The Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office under the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation is charged with overseeing the compliance with the law in the military [4]. Also, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is primarily tasked with fighting organised crime in all sectors and territories of Russia [5]. That suggests the government is aware of risks, although there have been no public declarations on the subject.

Russia is also a member of the Bureau for the Coordination of the Fight Against Organised Crime in the CIS states [6].

According to several of our sources, there has not been any case of organized crime within the armed forces of Saudi Araba in the last five years (1). The defence sector has a very low likelihood of being engaged in criminal acts, including borders and trafficking (1), (2). Organisations such as Human Rights Watch have reported that in the past, Saudi border officials were complicit in trafficking operations, as well as the abuse of migrants (3). Increased controls on the borders between Yemen and Saudi Arabia have reportedly made smuggling migrants into the country increasingly difficult following the onset of the war between the two countries (4).

According to a researcher on migrant smuggling who has done fieldwork in the region:

“It is generally believed among those on the ground that there had to be some degree of complicity between Saudi security forces and smugglers, as there are serious risks of trying to evade detection altogether, due to concern that Saudi security forces might mistake migrants attempting to cross the border for rebels. According to some Ethiopians who had arrived in Saudi Arabia within the last two years, while they weren’t sure if their smugglers worked with Saudi security, they thought they did, given that they were able to cross the border without incident” (5).

The Saudi government does not tolerate organized crime, especially as it is prone to terrorist attacks, and it hosts the annual Hajj, which hosts millions of people. Therefore, the government takes all possible actions to fight any possibility of organized crime effectively (1), (2). Saudi Arabia has also stepped up its coordination with international bodies, including INTERPOL, to discuss and address its security concerns. The Ministry of Interior recently inaugurated a long-term workshop for Saudi border guards in collaboration with the International Migration Organisation in March 2018 (3). The workshop’s stated aims were to help improve mechanisms of fighting trans-border crime and strengthen networks of coordination and exchange of information (4).

The risk of organised crime penetration in the defence sector is fairly low. In the past three years, there was only one case, which raised suspicion on existing connections between military personnel and people from criminal structures. In February 2016, the Military Union filed a criminal complaint about the abuse of official position against two military officials claiming they have enabled persons from the criminal milieu (accused of drug smuggling and murder) to use the SAF shooting range. However, due to the alleged lack of evidence, an investigation was never initiated [1, 2].
Prosecutor’s office for organised crime has not received any criminal complaints neither from the Military Security Agency nor the Military Police from January 2016 until June 2018. Moreover, no criminal charges directed against the MoD and the SAF representatives were filed in the designated period [3].

MoD and SAF officials publicly acknowledge and commit to tackling organised crime, though only superficially, along with other risks and challenges to security, such as terrorism, extremism, migration etc. [1]. It is difficult to evaluate the government response since the likelihood of organised criminal activity in the defence sector is very low. However, even though an individual development cannot be representative of the entire system, the lack of response to the “shooting range” case is concerning.

Although there is sporadic evidence of involvement of military officers in criminal activities such as bribery and prostitution, there is no evidence of penetration by criminal organisations – such as local secret societies or transnational mafia networks – into the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). There is evidence that there a clear zero-tolerance policy to a crime of any sort in uniformed service, and this imperative extends to all levels within the armed forces [1, 2].

The Singapore government has recognised that organised crime has grave implications for the country’s security writ large, and put in place specific legislation in 2015 to curb its occurrence [1]. The SAF’s Military Police Command maintains a dedicated unit called the Military Police Enforcement Unit which is trained and equipped to deal with a wide range of contingencies [2]. Elsewhere, the Singapore Police also maintains significant capabilities to respond to organised crime threats [3].

There is a very low to moderate likelihood of penetration by organised crime in the defence and security sector. The nature of security measures applied to military personnel makes organised criminal activity more susceptible to detection than in civilian sectors. In effect, the risk to reward calculus is less enticing with regards to the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) activities. Neither media investigations nor prosecution reports present instances of organised criminal groups operating within the military.

However, it should be noted that military personnel have been circumstantially implicated in activities that may directly connect with organised criminal groups. For instance, the loss of SANDF equipment (particularly firearms and ammunition) has been identified as a possible source of arms for criminal organisations, although there are no indications that organised criminal groups have motivated for the theft of firearms by military personnel. Curiously, in 2017, a group of armed men (colloquially referred to as a gang) stole six service rifles (type R4)and an unspecified quantity of ammunition from the 9 South African Infantry Battalion Base in Khayelitsha, Western Cape, after holding up soldiers at gunpoint [1].

An opposition political leader reported that “From 1 April 2016 up to (April 2019), 58 weapons, including 30 dangerous weapons like assault rifles, have either been lost or stolen. Nearly 8000 rounds of ammunition have been stolen, mainly for assault rifles, as well as 36 hand grenades” [2]. In June 2018, the Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, reported to Parliament that stolen SANDF firearms had been found to have been used in some ‘cash in transit’ robberies [3].

Moreover, the SANDF personnel are engaged in operations, or deployed to areas that encounter organised criminal groups – particularly in border security operations wherein they act against transnational criminal groups, engaged in, for instance, poaching, and transport of stolen vehicles (particularly into Mozambique). This geographic and operational proximity presents the possibility of bribery or other forms of criminal penetration.

It can be reasonably expected that the South African government and SANDF command structures are aware of the possibility of organised criminal activity within the military; and that the anti-corruption and general crime prevention policies that are part of codes of conduct and standard regulations and are applicable to the defence force and defence sector institutions are relevant indications of a response to that threat [1]. However, it should be noted that the Prevention and Combating Corrupt Activities Act only superficially addresses the issue of organised crime, mentioning it just 3 times including twice in the preamble.

For many years, no type of organised crime involving military personnel reported/ identified througfh media investigations or prosecution reports in South Korea. [1] [2] According to the recently published news report, 66 drug-related crimes have occurred in the military for the last five years. The risk of organised crime has been attributed to the management of military hospitals that handle narcotics, rather than troops.[3]

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), organised crime refers to “a group of three or more persons that was not randomly formed; existing for a period of time; acting in concert with the aim of committing at least one crime punishable by at least four years’ incarceration; in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” [1] Based on this definition, the South Korean government has focused on tackling corruption related to collusion between military personnel and defence firms, which has been widely reported, rather than addressing the issues of organised crime. [2] [3] [4]
An official of the Ministry of National Defense, commenting drug case said, “Compared to the number of illegal gambling cases in general society, it is not a serious concern, but it is not easy to preventt.”[5].

A review of illicit activity in South Sudan as outlined in various investigative reports in recent years by Global Witness, The Sentry, and the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan does not indicate the penetration of organised crime into the military. [1] [2] [3] However, organised crime groups are reportedly on the rise, capitalising on South Sudan’s political security challenges. Gangs are increasingly acting with impunity and many enjoy high-level political patronage and protection. [4] Whilst the links between organised crime and the military are yet to be fully understood, organised crime is active in cross-border activities such as trafficking, smuggling and animal rustling, where defence forces have an important role to play, raising the risk of penetration or collusion. [5]

The government is not trying to respond to organised crime penetrating the defence sector nor has the government provided any response to defence sector involvement in organised crime groups and related activity as outlined in 19A [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

There is no clear evidence of connections between defence and security sector and organised crime related activities. Nevertheless the existence of isolated cases of drug trafficking into the Spanish Army is a fact and indicates a certain level of involvement between military personnel and organised crime [1]. However, these cases are prosecuted and condemned [2, 3, 4].

Organised crime is identified as a threat and risk in recent official documents about national security [1]. Additionally, the creation of the Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) in 2014 [2] shows a prioritisation of the fight against organised crime in Spain [3], including the Intelligence Center Against Organised Crime (CICO). Moreover, a special prosecutor against corruption and organised crime exists, with powers throughout the national territory, which investigates and is aware of processes of special importance, related to economic crimes or other crimes committed by public officials in the capacity of their positions related to the phenomenon of corruption [4] and several examples show its efficiency [5].

The January 2020 Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Sudan indicated that organised crime has penetrated the security sector. It stated: ‘The Panel has been informed that, besides being mercenary fighters for the various Libyan factions, Darfurian armed groups are also engaged in the provision of protection and safe passage to migrant traffickers, the kidnapping of migrants for ransom and the smuggling of arms, drugs and cars. These activities are often carried out in association with the local criminal groups operating in Chad and Libya’ [1]. Sudan Democracy First Group has also documented the ‘smuggling of goods, including drugs, arms and trafficking in human beings, and human organs, in which the Sudanese government security services and militias have significant roles’ [2,3].

The government is not actively trying to tackle some important systems of organised crime because some of the security and defence entities that are involved in these networks – or even part of the networks – bring benefits to the patronage networks that keep powerholders in power [1,2]. For example, when the RSF took control of Sudan’s most lucrative gold mines (in Darfur) in 2017, it ‘overnight became the country’s biggest gold trader and – by controlling the border with Chad and Libya – its biggest border guard’, meaning that it had the authority and resources to police the border and control trafficking routes [3]. With then-President Bashir’s blessing and the freedom to enable his family’s conglomerate (which includes mining, transport, car rental, iron and steel, in addition to gold-related work) to operate and export without oversight or taxes, the RSF Commander’s (who is now also the deputy head of the transitional government) forces grew in number and capacity to become capable of contending with other state forces that Bashir worried could become strong enough to challenge his power. An expert on Sudan’s defence sector, who was interviewed for this report, said that the RSF’s capacity grew so much that it has now streamlined what used to be dispersed smuggling operations throughout the country, which had previously necessitated facilitation payments to many different groups [4]. Notably, this consolidation of power over key trafficking routes is widely criticised as being a direct outcome of the European Union’s (EU) engagement of Sudan’s government to ‘solve’ border control issues that had been allowing the relatively unfettered migration of sub-Saharan Africans north to Europe. Thus, while the transitional government is ostensibly tackling the issue of migrant trafficking in the country, by organising itself to do so (especially via RSF border control), it has also strengthened its ability to control and benefit from the trafficking of other items.

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) [1] have noted no cases of military involvement in organised crime during the studied time period, and there should thus be a very low likelihood of this occuring.

The government and Armed Forces are aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector. The Military Police seems to regularly carry out ‘scenario’-based training exercises to prohibit crimes within the SAF [1], and on the national level, two inter-agency councils were established in 2009 to improve cooperation in preventing organised crime, involving agencies like the Swedish Security Services (SÄPO) and the coast guard [2]. Beyond these examples, however, the government’s actions are somewhat unclear or unconsistent. No overarching anti-corruption policy has been formulated which addresses the issue of organised crime in the defence sector, and the government and military leadership have not acknowledged the problem in any explicit, proactive, or substantial manner during the studied time period.

There are only two potential sectors where the Swiss military’s activity might intersect directly with organized crime. One is the real estate property owned by the military, and the other is the production of ammunition by the state-owned RUAG AG Holding (specifically RUAG International Ltd., the other weapons systems produced by the firm are not for the civilian market). The main risks for involvement with organized crime in Switzerland would be money laundering, corruption in the context of procurements or the issues related to the illicit proliferation of ammunition. For both, a search of media reports in the last five years have not yielded any results [1].

Due to the mainly non-professional nature of the Swiss military, there seems to be minimal risk of involvement organized crime in the Swiss defence sector. At best there is a risk of unwittingly having dealings with organized crime. This risk also does not seem very big as organized crime is likely to choose sectors with less public scrutiny and auditing processes. The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) specifically mentions the defence sector and covers armament firms like RUAG when defining “domestic politically exposed persons” as people fulfilling “functions at national level in Switzerland in politics, government, the armed forces or the judiciary, or who are or have been senior executives of state-owned corporations of national significance” (Article 2.a.1.b) and includes “family members and close associates” of those persons (Article 2.a.2) [1]. The military’s penal code contains corruption specific rules on active and passive bribery and unfaithful business management (Section 9). [2] However, there is also no indication that beyond the general legislation on money laundering, corruption or the criminal code there is much awareness in the Swiss defence sector about the involvement of organized crime.

The likelihood of Taiwan’s military being involved with sectors in which organised crime operates is very low since there are strong and strict mechanisms devised as early-warning systems to prevent and monitor organised crime in Taiwan’s armed forces [1]. However, there are still small organised crimes amongst low-ranking officers or NCO for bribery and corruption. Military personnel involved in organised crime are subject to prosecution according to the Criminal Code and are to receive severe penalties [2]. The government’s response to organised crimes in Taiwan’s armed forces is strong and swift [3].

The MND is aware of the possibility of organised crime in Taiwan’s armed forces and has established a strict mechanism to prevent and monitor the risks of organised crimes by the joint effort of the Political Warfare Bureau, the Military Police Command, the Inspector General’s Office, and the Department of Legal Affairs [1]. Corruption through organised crimes is regarded as more serious violation of the law [2]. The MND and Executive Yuan’s Ministry of Justice take constant and strong measures jointly to prevent organised crimes in Taiwan’s military [3]. Violation of the Organised Crime Prevention Act in Taiwan’s armed forces is subject to imprisonment for no less than three years but no more than ten years; further, a fine of no more than TWD 100,000,000 may be imposed [3].

Prior to the reporting period, there had been credible allegations of the involvement of the military, or elements with the military, in organised crime. One example revolved around the Meremeta company. This was a South African company in which the Tanzania People’s Defence Force had an interest that was established to buy gold from artisanal miners in order to fund the military. [1] There were also signs that there was involvement of the military or elements within it in poaching for ivory. [2] However, the successful campaining against poaching suggests this is less of an issue. [3]

The current anti-corruption framework, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan III, only mentiones ‘organised crime’ once, in its introduction. [1] Access is not available to specific anti-corruption plans in the Ministry of Defence, or particular elements of the security forces. However, we can assume that it is not explicitly addressed given its effective absence from the national plan. It is, however, addressed through other legislation. There is a divide in responsibilities between the police force, which has the mandate to address organised crime, and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), which investigates corruption. [2]

In Thailand, there is a strong likelihood of human trafficking and arms smuggling in the defence sector. In 2017, an army general was sentenced to 27 years in jail for human trafficking offences relating to migrant trafficking from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Malaysia via Thailand. Manas Kongpan, a lieutenant general of the Thai army, was convicted alongside other officials [1]. One year later, the Thai court convicted two military officers and sentenced each of them to 27 years in prison for smuggling Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar [2]. These two cases demonstrate the high possibility of human trafficking organisation within the armed forces.

Similarly, many Thai military officers are allegedly involved in weapons trafficking. For instance, in 2017, an Air Force officer was arrested on the charge of arms trafficking. Most worryingly, it is believed the arms might have been intended for anti-government militants in Myanmar [2]. Arms smuggling along the Thai-Cambodia border is also a big concern. The Thai military’s involvement in organised crime has been suspected since a large number of arrests suggests that Thai military officials were also very much embroiled in the smuggling of weapons from Cambodia to Myanmar. Of the 19 arrested, 12 were Thai military servicemen. Sgt Thanakorn Boonkarn of the 1st Engineer Battalion King’s Guard was among those arrested. He also allegedly used his military status and connections to sell ammunition via social media [4].

Regarding the aforementioned cases, the Thai government did not take any serious action. This was illustrated when, in response to Thailand’s largest human trafficking case involving a lieutenant general and a dozen officials, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who has ruled the military government since the 2014 coup, denied military responsibility for the issue as he told reporters ‘Don’t group all soldiers in the country as one’ [1]. Regarding the arms smuggling case along the Thai-Cambodia border, even though General Prayut has vowed to crack down on illegal weapons smuggling in the country, his words are considered meaningless unless the Cambodian government is on board, since the Cambodian Defence Ministry is believed to be directly involved in this weapons smuggling trade [2].

According to our sources, there is very little organised crime within the armed forces. The army and the MoD initiate and tackle any suspicion of possible crimes committed by a member of the armed forces(1,2). The review of media reports didn’t show mentions of penetration of organised crime in the defence sector (3).

Although there is a very low likelihood of organised crime, the MoD and the armed forces work effectively to tackle any possible practices of it (1,2). The review of media reports didn’t show mentions of Government measures to tackle organised crime in the defence sector, as there are no known cases of organised crime within the military (3).

There is little evidence of the penetration of organised crime in Turkey’s military. However, there are some open-source reports of military personnel involvement in the fields of human trafficking, smuggling and bribery, however these are mostly marginal cases in which largely lower-rank personnel are involved [1,2,3].According to Interviewees 4, 5 and 6, there is a very low level of likelihood that an organised crime network could penetrate the Turkish military and operate in its own interest [4,5,6]. Interviewee 5 noted that, as in the case of the infiltration of the Islamist cult group ‘Fethullah Gulen’, some Islamic sects (tariqas) may be active within the military in order to impose their distinct understanding of religion on military personnel [5]. However, these are not organised crime groups and not a single report could be reached in open source research claiming about the existence of deep penetration of the organized crime elements within the military in the past two years.

Interviewees 4, 5 and 6 all unanimously agreed that both the government and the public institutions would be in a position to take action quickly should organised criminal activity take place within the defence/security sector [1,2,3]. It should be noted that, according to the Security Investigation Regulation issued in 2000, all military personnel should undergo a security investigation of their criminal records and those of their first-degree relatives [4]. In this security investigation, both the police and intelligence officials check the criminal records and public reputation of the soon-to-be military personnel and deliver a security report to the admission committee. Therefore, a person known to be a gang member or have mafia links is highly unlikely to pass this security investigation. However, aside from this, military leaders have not explicitly addressed this issue in public, and government action is not always clear.

There is moderate likelihood of a penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector. There are no clear or reported cases where the military has been penetrated by the wrong elements. In June 2021, there was an assasination attempt on Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Tranport, and Former Commander of Land Forces, and Inspector General of Police, which left his daughter and driver dead. It was not clear who was behind such daring attack becuase no suspect was arrested. During the vigil for slain police spokesman Kaweesi in March 2018, President Museveni revealed that criminals had infiltrated the Force and directed Gen Kayihura (then IGP), who was then in-charge, to weed them out.“All these murders, I have followed myself. There are always clues leading to the criminals but the criminals have infiltrated the police,” the President said[1]. According to the Daily Monitor, these questions have bothered Ugandans since the surge in insecurity marked by violent killing of Muslims clerics and government officials, unexplained rape and mysterious killings of women, kidnaps for ransom and or murder and burglaries. The latest incident was the June 8 2018 assassination in Kawanda, Wakiso District, of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother Saidi Kongo, a UPDF soldier who doubled as his bodyguard. This followed similar day-time killing in March 2017 of the then police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi and, before him, Maj Mohammed Kiggundu, principal state prosecutor Joan Kagezi and nearly a dozen Muslim clerics. In all cases, the gunmen trailed their targets for days, cornered each in what President Museveni described in the wake of Abiriga’s elimination as a “choke point”, and fled on motorcycles. Their clinical missions suggest the handiwork of trained assassins. According to the Sunday Vision, the former Buyende District Police Commander, Muhammad Kirumira, who was assassinated on September 8, 2018 had a dossier he wanted to take to the President. Kirumira, in his dossier, notes that crime in the country had been facilitated by that group and their associates for very many years while under protection. “Criminals in the Police were the untouchable ones using the Police Standards Unit (PSU) to witch-hunt those whom they hated and protecting those whom they loved,”It is said the document implicated senior Police officers, whom he accused of corruption and engaging in criminal activities. Kirumira, who described himself as a cop with reason and patriotism, had promised to bring the ‘thieving officers to book’, but that did not happen. He was gunned down together with a female companion in Bulenga, Wakiso district. According to the Sunday Vision, Kirimura described many issues of corruption and nepotism in the police from the extracts of the purported dossier in which Kirumira documented issues about the senior officers, which he intended to pass on to the head of State. “Imagine how security could recruit criminals and arm them, give them offices, cars and other official equipment like handcuffs, uniforms, batons, radio calls, among others” [1]. Brig Gen. Felix Kulayigye [3] , the outgoing Member of Parliament representing Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has revealed that that the drone cars allegedly used to abduct Ugandans do not belong to the army. While appearing on NBS TV , Brig-Gen Kulayigye said that as the national army they are not aware of the drones used to abduct people. He however said that he has heard many people speaking about people being abducted, a matter he said that is driving Uganda back in the period of Panda gari in 1980s[3].

The president, his government ad military leaders have admitted that they are aware of the problems of organised crime in defence institutions. They have taken action on their own, but also sometimes due to public outcry. For instance, due to increased cases of crimes, an investigation by the ISO and CMI led to the arrest of several Police officers, including the former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura. Others who were arrested included Faisal Katende, Magada, Joel Aguma and Good Mwesigwa, who was the head of PSU and are both commissioners of police. Agasiirwe Nixon, the former commander Special Operations Unit; Muhangi Herbert, former Flying Squad commander; Richard Ndaboine, former commander of the cyber-crime unit; Abel Kitagenda, former regional Flying Squad commander at Kawempe; assistant Inspector General of Police; Nduhura Atwooki, former crime intelligence director, among others. Jonathan Baroza, a former Aide-De-Camp to General Kayihura, is currently on the run [1]. Another criminal gang that was enjoying the protection of the police was the ”boda boda 2010”. According to Sunday Vision, on the issue of theft of motorbikes, Kirumira (former DPC) had noted that bodaboda thefts reduced with the collapse of bodaboda 2010, a group led by Ibrahim Kitatta and company, who faced charges of unlawful possession of firearms in the Army Court Martial and was sentenced to over eight years in prison [2]. Kitatta was found guilty of unlawful possession of firearms by a general court-martial. The case was being presided over by a seven-member panel led by Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti. In January 2021, a Ugandan government soldier shot six innocent people, an army official confirmed. “One of our soldiers killed people before he was also shot dead,” Deo Akiki, an Uganda People’s Defence Force deputy spokesman said in a statement [3].

According to 2015 data, the most common violations amongst servicemen was unauthorized retirement or service – 63.3% [1]. The Military Law-Enforcement Service stated there was a drop in the number of offences in 2017 [2]. At the same time, there is strong evidence that individual servicemen or groups of servicemen are involved in illegal trade with the NGCA across the frontline in the east of Ukraine [3, 4]. In some instances, activities related to illegal trade with the NGCA can have the characteristics of organized crime [5].

The government is aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence sector [1] and declares its will to take corresponding actions [2]. At the same time, those actions tend to aim at combatting manifestations of offences and not the root causes [3]. Additionally, neither organised criminal actions nor risks of AFU individual servicemen being involved in the illegal trade are included in the anti-corruption policy [4, 5].

The UAE, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017/2018, has ranked the seventh globally for the absence of organised crime in general (1). According to our multiple sources, there is a total absence of the organized crime within the army (2), (3), (4), (5).

The UAE is one of the top 7 countries in the world with the lowest rates for organised crime generally, thus assessing governmental response to organised crimes is irrelevant in this context. However, it is important to highlight that the UAE has taken many measures and demonstrated a strong commitment to preventing organised crime in the country, and has apparently succeeded in doing so (1), (2), (3), (4). There is no evidence at all of these efforts extending to the defence sector.

Although the threat of organised crime has been at record levels in 2019, there is no evidence to suggest that organised crime has penetrated the defence and security sector or the governmental sector in general, and the likelihood for this happening is low [1, 2].

Although the likelihood of the penetration of organised crime in the defence and security sector is low, the government is aware of this possibility and is in a position to take action should organised criminal activity take place. The issues is included in both the Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022 and the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 [1, 2].

There is very little evidence that organised crime has penetrated the defence sector. In 2011, the FBI reported that gang members have been identified in every branch of the US armed forces [1]. However, this did not indicate that there was organised gang activity within the military. Very few reports on this topic have been published since. The closest incident to organised crime is the case of ‘Fat Leonard’, in which over 440 active-duty and retired sailors came under scrutiny for corruption-related charges and violating ethics rules [2,3,4].

The ‘Fat Leonard’ case was investigated by the NCIS as well as the Justice Department [1]. Beyond this, there is no explicit evidence of the government trying to tackle the issue of organised crime. Organised crime is not mentioned within the mission of the DCIS. One case of organised crime was investigated by the DCIS in 2010 [2]. Given that there is no government-wide or defence-specific anti-corruption policy, organised crime is not discussed within that realm.

Studies by different organisations have condemned the penetration of organised crime into the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) and the police forces. Organisations from other countries have likewise pointed out the growing problem posed by the existence of criminal groups with links to the Venezuelan armed forces.

Criminal activities in which the FANB involvement has been reported include drug trafficking [1], the smuggling of food and medicine [2], and criminal mining [3], among others. Participation in drug trafficking is an activity not only reported by social organisations, but which investigations by international governments have also confirmed [4].

The participation of the defence sector in these activities is aggravated by coexistence with illegal armed groups which – according to social organisations and press reports – have been allowed by security forces. This takes place as a national level with the so-called “armed collectives” [5] as well as with groups from other countries such as the Colombian ELN guerrillas and other drug cartels [6].

In speeches by the president and the Minister of Defence, although the issue of drug trafficking and smuggling is discussed, the involvement of the defence sector is not recognised; on the contrary, this problem is associated with interference by “paramilitary” groups from Colombia [1]. Regarding accusations made by the governments of Colombia, the United States, and some European Union members, the official discourse has called these an attack seeking to destabilise the regime and discredit the FANB [2]. Moreover, within the current context of the deteriorating political crisis, the regime has framed these accusations as part of attempts to legitimise foreign interventions.

The anti-corruption plans announced in 2014 and 2018 do not address measures to purge the security forces or punish officials involved in criminal activities [3].

Given that the involvement of the security forces in organised criminal activities has formed part of problems with border security, there have historically been problems of coordination and communication in the border area with Colombia. Although there have been historical moments in which governments have sought joint action, the Venezuelan government has currently blocked communication on security policy and the corruption of security forces at the border [4].

There are several reported cases of organised crime by the military and Central Intelligence Organisation operatives in Zimbabwe. They primarily involve the use of firearms in armed robberies and sometimes poaching escapades in Zimbabwe [1, 2]. These may as well continue, considering the state of welfare of junior soldiers in Zimbabwe, and taking into account a recent speech in Parliament by the minister of defence who confirmed that soldiers were poorly renumerated and hungry [3].

Apart from arrests of the soldiers and intelligence operatives for varying acts of armed robbery and supply of weapons for criminal purposes and their subsequent arraignment for prosecution, there is no detailed plan to deal with organised crime, the minister of defence’s plea to address resource issues in the military could be part of a solution [1, 2, 3, 4]. However, there remain no explicit measures or policies to address the threat of organised crime to the defence and security forces.

Country Sort by Country 19a. Penetration of organised crime Sort By Subindicator 19b. Government response Sort By Subindicator
Albania 25 / 100 0 / 100
Algeria 50 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 50 / 100
Argentina 50 / 100 75 / 100
Armenia 75 / 100 50 / 100
Australia 100 / 100 75 / 100
Azerbaijan 0 / 100 50 / 100
Bahrain 100 / 100 75 / 100
Bangladesh 0 / 100 0 / 100
Belgium 100 / 100 50 / 100
Bosnia and Herzegovina 50 / 100 0 / 100
Botswana 100 / 100 50 / 100
Brazil 25 / 100 50 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 50 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 50 / 100
Canada 100 / 100 50 / 100
Chile 50 / 100 75 / 100
China 50 / 100 50 / 100
Colombia 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 50 / 100 50 / 100
Denmark 100 / 100 100 / 100
Egypt 50 / 100 50 / 100
Estonia 100 / 100 75 / 100
Finland 100 / 100 50 / 100
France 100 / 100 50 / 100
Germany 75 / 100 50 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 0 / 100
Greece 100 / 100 NEI
Hungary 75 / 100 50 / 100
India 75 / 100 0 / 100
Indonesia 50 / 100 75 / 100
Iran 0 / 100 50 / 100
Iraq 0 / 100 0 / 100
Israel 75 / 100 50 / 100
Italy 25 / 100 75 / 100
Japan 100 / 100 100 / 100
Jordan 50 / 100 0 / 100
Kenya 25 / 100 0 / 100
Kosovo 100 / 100 50 / 100
Kuwait 100 / 100 75 / 100
Latvia 100 / 100 100 / 100
Lebanon 100 / 100 50 / 100
Lithuania 100 / 100 75 / 100
Malaysia 75 / 100 100 / 100
Mali 0 / 100 50 / 100
Mexico 0 / 100 25 / 100
Montenegro 50 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco 50 / 100 0 / 100
Myanmar 0 / 100 50 / 100
Netherlands 75 / 100 100 / 100
New Zealand 100 / 100 100 / 100
Niger 50 / 100 50 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 50 / 100
North Macedonia 50 / 100 75 / 100
Norway 75 / 100 75 / 100
Oman 100 / 100 50 / 100
Palestine 100 / 100 0 / 100
Philippines 0 / 100 0 / 100
Poland 75 / 100 50 / 100
Portugal 100 / 100 50 / 100
Qatar 100 / 100 100 / 100
Russia 0 / 100 25 / 100
Saudi Arabia 50 / 100 100 / 100
Serbia 75 / 100 50 / 100
Singapore 100 / 100 100 / 100
South Africa 75 / 100 50 / 100
South Korea 75 / 100 50 / 100
South Sudan 25 / 100 0 / 100
Spain 75 / 100 100 / 100
Sudan 0 / 100 0 / 100
Sweden 100 / 100 50 / 100
Switzerland 100 / 100 50 / 100
Taiwan 100 / 100 75 / 100
Tanzania 75 / 100 75 / 100
Thailand 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 100 / 100 100 / 100
Turkey 75 / 100 50 / 100
Uganda 50 / 100 50 / 100
Ukraine 50 / 100 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 100 / 100 75 / 100
United Kingdom 100 / 100 100 / 100
United States 100 / 100 0 / 100
Venezuela 0 / 100 0 / 100
Zimbabwe 0 / 100 25 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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