illicit networks

Hello, Shadowlands – Organized Crime in Southeast Asia

In this episode, we speak with journalist Patrick Winn about his book, Hello, Shadowlands. Our conversation explores the various organized criminal groups, terrorist organizations, and even vigilante groups operating within Southeast Asian countries. Patrick provides insights into some of the causes of violence and drug trade in the region, describes the struggles of individuals caught up in the “shadowlands” world, and offers his perspective on what to expect in the future.

Afghanistan, Poppy, and Saffron

Afghanistan is the world’s largest supplier of heroin and opium. The Afghan government, United Nations, and other international stakeholders have tried endlessly to prevent Afghan farmers from growing poppy, the plant used to produce heroin, but farmers often find themselves in a situation where they are threatened with violence, or left with little means for income. Read More

Sand Mafias

Organized criminal groups that deal in sand are perpetrating violence and undermining governments around the world.
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Unorthodox Illicit Financing

The global illicit trade and financing market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, with smugglers and financiers engaging in unorthodox illicit dealings with goods like cigarettes and medicine. Several global initiatives have tried to stem the growing trend of illicit trade and financing to protect legitimate businesses and customers. Listen as we analyze a few case studies of illicit trade and discuss international efforts to combat these practices. Read More

Al-Qaeda’s Global Network

Al-Qaeda has pervaded international headlines for years, but how much do you really know about the Islamist militant group? In this episode, we explore how the group is organized, how it is decentralized across many countries, and  how it is funded. Read More

Organized Crime & New Technology

Organized crime groups are using new technology to stay steps ahead of authorities. In this episode, we discuss how criminal groups have used technology like cell towers, and how they may soon use technology like 3D printing.

Wildlife Trafficking

Did you ever think that animals (and other lifeforms for that matter) could be trafficked like they were illegal drugs? In fact, some of the same people, networks, routes and tactics are involved in this massive illicit trade. Join us as we discuss the motivations, methods, and consequences of wildlife trafficking in this week’s episode.

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Illicit Oil Networks, ISIL, and the World

Most of us are familiar with ISIL’s use of oil smuggling, but how do they do it? Who facilitates and who buys the oil? What other regions around the world are also seeing oil smuggling. Some of them are closer to home than you might have imagined. Join us as we invite our good friend Siree Allers to discuss these questions and more.

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Mexico’s Drug Cartels

We’ve heard a lot about the drug wars in Mexico. We’ve even become familiar with the cartels that wage them- their names, territories and sagas given ample play in US media. But how much do we know about what drives the violence and keeps it aflame? In what ways are the cartels able to innovate in order to keep ahead of law enforcement on both sides of the US-Mexican border? Can law enforcement keep up with these ever-evolving organizations? If drug demand in the US were to vanish, how would the cartels cope? How much does corruption dilute successful cooperation between the United States and Mexico? Come join us for a chat about the ins and outs of Mexico’s Drug Cartels. Read More