Criminal networks in a digitised world: on the nexus of borderless opportunities and local embeddedness

E. Rutger Leukfeldt*, Edward R. Kleemans, Edwin W. Kruisbergen, Robert A. Roks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This article presents the results of empirical analyses of the use of information technology (IT) by organized crime groups. In particular, it explores how the use of IT affects the processes of origin and growth of criminal networks. The empirical data presented in this article consist of 30 large scale criminal investigations into organized crime, including traditional organized crime, traditional organized crime in which IT is an innovative element, low tech cybercrimes and high tech cybercrimes. Networks involved in cybercrimes or traditional crimes with an innovative IT element can be characterized as a mixture of old school criminals that have a long criminal career, and a limited number of technically skilled members. Furthermore, almost all cases have a local dimension. Also the cybercrime cases. Dutch sellers of drugs on online marketplace, for example, mainly work for customers in the Netherlands and surrounding countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324–345
Number of pages22
JournalTrends in Organized Crime
Issue number3
Early online date4 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2019


  • Criminal network
  • Cryptomarket
  • Cybercrime
  • Organised crime


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