This module is a resource for lecturers


Article 1 of the Organized Crime Convention states its purpose in a single sentence: "The purpose of this Convention is to promote cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crime more effectively." The objective includes the prevention and response to transnational organized crime, so it is aimed at improving the effectiveness of existing interventions against transnational organized crime activities through cooperation.

Once appropriate laws on criminalization and other related measures are enacted, prohibiting activities related to and supportive of organized crime, a large responsibility falls to law enforcement agencies. The enforcement of laws is not an easy task. Some of the legal frameworks addressing organized crime are insufficient or so recent that more awareness and specialized knowledge seems to be necessary. Moreover, investigating inherently secretive and transnational criminal activities requires investigative tools suited to the purpose.

This Module discusses investigation tools available to law enforcement in the fight against organized crime. Some of these tools have been utilized for many years, and some have been developed more recently. Few were employed globally or shared transnationally prior to the adoption of the Organized Crime Convention.

Topics covered

  • Jurisdiction
  • Investigative techniques
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Undercover operations
  • Controlled delivery
  • Physical and electronic surveillance
  • Financial analysis
  • Informants

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the nature of special investigative techniques to combat organized crime.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each special investigative technique: controlled delivery, electronic and other surveillance methods, undercover operations, financial analysis, and informants.
  • Assess the arguments on balancing the right to privacy of citizens with the need for tools to investigate and prosecute transnational organized crime.

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