COVID 19 : Impact of Border Shutdowns on Transnational Crime


The COVID 19 Lockdown in several countries has resulted in closure of international and inter-state borders. This has led to proliferation of organized cross border crimes.

The present COVID 19 situation has ensued the suffering of stock markets across the globe. Subsequently, the rate of transnational crimes has escalated .The sealing of borders has put a stop on all kinds of illegitimate supply of goods across nations. With a serious checking being done all over, faces in connection to such crimes are also coming to light. An example worth mentioning is that of Sam Gor syndicate and its leader, Tse Chi Lop, who has been accused of running Asia’s biggest drug trafficking operation in Asian history. He is believed to be the one who is responsible for the recent Asia pacific synthetic drug surge that resulted in the ruining of countless lives.

Owing to the present circumstances, the online workload has increased a great deal, leading also to an enormous increase in the number of crimes in the digital space. Online loan sharking has seen much growth. Countries supplementing their citizens with economic relief may face problems, with online thieves pretending to be secure agencies. With lots of people getting bored and without access to street prostitution, prostitution sites have seen a rise in online trafficking.

At some places, hoarding of goods and selling them at higher prices are being practiced, adding greater distress in the lives of common people. The United States has already arrested several who are involved in such crimes. Mexico’s criminal group, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generaci`on has been reported of hoarding sanitizers.

Within nations, the situation is quite different. At places like Bosnia, where theft of vehicles is an alarming problem, the thieves are finding it hard to steal vehicles in quiet streets devoid of people, according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GIATOC). Mexican drug-trafficking organizations have reported a shortage of precursor agents, as traffic from China and India has been disrupted due to border closure. Nations are working around the clock with law enforcement agencies to tackle movement of illegal migrants.

In the UK, a man has been accused of making false ‘medical kits’ alleged to treat COVID 19. The kits contain harmful chemicals that were meant to rinse the mouth. To cater to the increasing needs and demands of sanitizers, gloves and masks, there has been an enormous rise in the number of fake brands who claim their products to be pure. The BBC has been able to identify several cyber scams like ‘click here for a cure’. Many are asking for donations to fight against the pandemic, and it is being increasingly difficult to avoid falling into such traps. In India, authorities have asked police to stay on high alert as the possibility of an attack on them is being claimed by sources, and it could be in the form of stabbing or firing. Situations are similar elsewhere as well. On 25th March, terrorists attacked a gurudwara in Afghanistan. Over 20 worshipers have been reported to be killed.

All in all, it can be said that criminals are trying to make the best out of this difficult time by spreading different types of trapping nets for common people. The growth in transnational crimes during a global pandemic is an additional distress for people and law enforcement strategies to tackle with.

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