Covid-19 is reshaping and challenging governments, societies and economies in previously unimaginable ways--but gangsters and profiteers have adapted. They have found new routes for illegal commodities, from narcotics to people.
Shortages, lockdowns and public attitudes have brought the underworld and upperworld closer together, as criminals strive to meet needs, maximise opportunities and fill governance vacuums. Unscrupulous fraudsters are touting fake remedies to desperate people: counterfeit drugs, and trafficked wildlife used in traditional medicine. Social distancing and restrictions have seen online transactions and cyber-ops replacing or supplementing physical shipments, opening opportunities for scammers and hackers. Heavy-handed state responses have created new illicit markets by prohibiting the sale of particular goods and services, while some elites have capitalised on the pandemic for personal or political gain.
Covid has cast a long shadow over the rule of law. Criminal Contagion uncovers its extraordinary impacts on the global illicit economy, and their long-term implications.