The objectives of project ARIEL
Project Assessing the Risk of the Infiltration of Organized Crime in EU MSs Legitimate Economies: a Pilot Project in 5 EU Countries (ARIEL) (HOME/2012/ISEC/FP/C1/4000003801) aims to identify the vulnerabilities of legitimate businesses to infiltration by organized crime (OC) groups.
In particular, the project has two objectives:
- To identify the methods used by different OC groups to infiltrate, control, and manage legitimate businesses in 5 selected EU Member States (IT, UK, NL, SE, SI), which have been chosen in order to maximise the coverage of the EU territory;
- To identify risk factors of OC infiltration for the development of a common risk-assessment model (CRAM) to detect the infiltration of legitimate businesses by criminal groups. The CRAM could be further updated and tested in other EU MS and international countries.
The project will serve as a support tool for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA), in that it will help them:
- Identify the vulnerabilities of legitimate economies to OC infiltration
- Develop common investigative prevention techniques
- Increase the coordination and the effectiveness in the action against OC
Project ARIEL meets the objectives of the Stockholm Programme and the Council Decision 2007/125/JHA, which promotes the Prevention of and Fight against Crime (ISEC) Programme, carried out by the European Commission with the purpose of preventing and combating crime.
The Issues Addressed by Project ARIEL
- The need to protect EU MS legitimate economies from OC infiltration
The international criminological literature and official reports have consistently acknowledged the risks of infiltration of OC into legitimate economies for different purposes. The negative consequences the presence of OC could have on legal markets have also been highlighted. The project addresses the problem of protecting EU MS legitimate economies by identifying their vulnerabilities to OC infiltration and the methods used by OC to infiltrate them.
- 2. The need to improve prevention and enforcement by LEA
On many occasions the European Commission has emphasised the need to strengthen the cooperation and mutual understanding among EU LEA (EC COM (2010) 673, Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA), and develop common investigative and prevention techniques, in order to enhance the capacity of financial investigations (Stockholm Programme 2010-2014). The project addresses the problem of improving prevention and enforcement by identifying the factors facilitating/promoting OC infiltration in legitimate businesses in selected EU MS and developing the methodology for a common risk-assessment model to help LEA detect OC infiltration and enhance the prevention of and the fight against OC.
How Project ARIEL Addresses the Issues
Project ARIEL will address the issue to protect EU MS legitimate economies from OC infiltration and to improve prevention and enforcement by LEA with:
- An unprecedented cross-national comparative analysis of OC infiltration into legitimate businesses in 5 EU MS, with a focus on the vulnerabilities of economic sectors, OC modus operandi, and the characteristics of infiltrated companies;
- An analysis of the factors facilitating/promoting OC infiltration into legitimate businesses in the 5 selected EU MS;
- The development of the methodology for an innovative common risk-assessment model (CRAM) to detect OC infiltration into legitimate businesses.
What is the Added Value of Project ARIEL
Project ARIEL will adopt an innovative methodology to provide a cross-national comparative analysis of OC infiltration in legitimate businesses in 5 selected EU MS. The project integrates data of different types, gathered from different sources and countries, and it combines analyses of different type (script analysis, financial and accounting analysis, and statistical analysis).
The project will be not only crucial for increasing the knowledge of OC infiltration in the 5 EU MS involved, but it will also have an impact at a larger EU scale, strengthening the EU dimension of the fight against OC infiltration in legitimate economies.
In particular, the common risk-assessment model developed under Project ARIEL will help strategically prevent and fight OC by enhancing coordination among LEA and increasing the effectiveness of their action against OC. In addition, being a pilot study, Project ARIEL could be extended to other EU MS or the whole European Union.
Finally, the project complements the objectives of Project Organized Crime Portfolio (OCP, www.ocportfolio.eu), and Project Gli Investimenti delle Mafie (Mafia Investments, www.investimentioc.it), also coordinated by Transcrime-UCSC. The former, funded by the European Commission, aims to assess which data are available at country level for studying OC investments and provides an assessment of the investments of OC in 7 EU MS. The latter, funded by the Italian Ministry of Interior, presents an analysis of the investments of Italian mafia groups.
“Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union”