Article: Groundbreaking research provides insight into operations of Italian mafias across Europe

Article - Media, Publications

Groundbreaking research provides insight into operations of Italian mafias across Europe

Michael Steward, 24 May 2021

A groundbreaking new report by researchers in Essex has provided the first analysis into the expansion of Italian mafias across Europe. The report, published by the University of Essex, highlights how criminal groups embed themselves in countries and operate across borders, and the challenges of policing mafia-type crime.

Using Italy as a starting point, the research focused on seven countries – the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Romania, and Switzerland. For mafia groups, territories outside Italy are places where they can consolidate certain business or venture into new ones. The report revealed how mafia groups operate very differently in each country. Continue reading “Article: Groundbreaking research provides insight into operations of Italian mafias across Europe”

Article: From Smurfs to Mules: 21st Century Money Laundering

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From Smurfs to Mules: 21st Century Money Laundering

Remember those lovable blue cartoon characters, the Smurfs? First created and introduced as a comic strip series of characters by the Belgian artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, the Smurfs were brought to Belgian television in the early 1970s and then introduced to countries outside Belgium through the full-length feature the Magic Flute soon afterward.

Interestingly, the word “Smurf” is the original Dutch translation of the French “Schtroumpf” which, according to Peyo, is a word invented during a meal with fellow cartoonist André Franquin, when he could not remember the word “salt.”

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