Organised Crime in European Businesses: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Organised Crime in European Businesses

1st Edition

Edited by Ernesto U. Savona, Michele Riccardi, Giulia Berlusconi


222 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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The infiltration of organised crime in the legitimate economy has emerged as a transnational phenomenon. This book constitutes an unprecedented study of the involvement of criminal groups in the legitimate economy and their infiltration in legal businesses, and is the first to bridge the research gap between money laundering and organised crime. It analyses the main drivers of this process, explaining why, how and where infiltration happens.

Building on empirical evidence from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Italy, France and Finland, Organised Crime in European Businesses is divided into four parts. Part I explores the infiltration of legitimate businesses to conceal and facilitate illicit trafficking. Part II examines the infiltration of legitimate businesses to develop fraud schemes. Part III focuses on the infiltration of legitimate businesses to control the territory and influence policy makers. Part IV concludes by considering the research and policy implications in light of these findings.

Bringing together leading experts and detailed case studies, this book considers the infiltration of organised crime in legitimate business around Europe. It is an ideal resource for students and academics in the fields of criminology, economics and sociology, as well as private sector practitioners, public officials and policy makers.


"This book reflects the important findings of cutting-edge research. It demonstrates the frightening scale of organised crime investment in the legitimate economy, and the negative effects of this phenomenon. Tracing and recovering the proceeds of crime remains a major strategic challenge for law enforcement agencies across Europe, so this publication is as timely as it is important."

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol

"This timely book is a must-read for academics and practitioners who want to know more about criminal infiltration and the various ways in which criminal activities and the legitimate economy are intertwined in a wide array of European countries."

Edward R. Kleemans, Full Professor and Chair of Serious and Organized Crime and Criminal Justice, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

"New criminals have moved away from the Dickensian den of thieves and now reside in posh city centre offices. With the aid of accountants, lawyers and financial experts they devise new extortion rackets and malpractices that are threatening the fabric of state and society. This interdisciplinary book presents meticulously researched case studies to show how the criminal elites operate under the guise of business and professionalism. It is a must read for students, scholars and policymakers."

Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting, Essex Business School, University of Essex, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction (Ernesto U. Savona)

1. Organised criminals and the legal economy (Giulia Berlusconi)

2. Measuring organised crime infiltration in legal businesses (Michele Riccardi and Giulia Berlusconi)

Part I: Infiltrating legitimate businesses to conceal and facilitate illicit trafficking

3. Transportation companies to hide transit crimes. Organised crime infiltration in the Netherlands (Joras Ferwerda and Brigitte Unger)

4. The sex market, bars and nightclubs. Criminal infiltration in Slovenia (Boštjan Slak, Maja Modic, Katja Eman and Branko Ažman)

5. From drug trafficking to wholesale trade business. Organised crime infiltration in Spain (Jesús Palomo, Jerónimo Márquez and Pilar Laguna)

Part II: Infiltrating legitimate businesses to develop fraud schemes

6. Social welfare fraud and criminal infiltration in Sweden (Johanna Skinnari, Lars Korsell and Helena Rönnblom)

7. Crash-for-cash and VAT carousels. Organised crime infiltration in the United Kingdom (David Wall, Yulia Chistyakova and Stefano Bonino)

Part III: Infiltrating legitimate businesses to control the territory and influence policy makers

8. Mafia infiltration in legitimate companies in Italy. From traditional sectors to emerging businesses (Michele Riccardi, Cristina Soriani and Valentina Giampietri)

9. Grand banditisme traditionnel and foreign groups. Organised crime infiltration in France (Michele Riccardi and Diana Camerini)

10. From bikers to entrepreneurs. Motorcycle gangs infiltration in Finland (Sarianna Petrell and Jarmo Houtsonen)

Part IV: Research and policy implications

11. The impact of organised crime infiltration on the European legitimate economy (John Walker)

12. From the analysis of criminal infiltration to the assessment of its risk (Lorella Garofalo)

Conclusions (Ernesto U. Savona)

About the Editors

Ernesto U. Savona is Professor of Criminology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy. He is also Director of Transcrime, the Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Michele Riccardi is Adjunct Professor of Business Economics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy, and senior researcher at Transcrime.

Giulia Berlusconi is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy, and researcher at Transcrime.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Crime and Society

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology