A surge of illegal weaponry into Europe and beyond from the Ukraine-Russia war is looming, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock told AAPA members on June 1. “This is inevitable,” Stock said, adding that the high availability of weapons “will result in a proliferation of arms in the post-conflict phase, empowering organized crime groups in the region.” The European Union and Scandinavia will likely be choice markets for illegal weapons, he said, and not just small arms. Organized criminals already have designs on the masses of military grade weapons that are sure to come onto the black market, urging countries to access Interpol’s database of missing weapons. “No country can deal with it in isolation,” he went on.
At the meeting that was kindly hosted by Bloomberg, Mr. Stock reviewed the crime-fighting issues that Interpol’s member governments are grappling with today. He answered questions about the Lyon-based organisation’s governance, stressing that Interpol is strictly neutral, can’t be used as a political tool and its role is to share information among members. He touched on efforts to clamp down on cybercrime, noting that criminals are quick to take advantage of special situations to make money illegally. He noted that organized crime groups with deep pockets have been profiting from the covid pandemic by funding struggling small and medium-sized companies, and have been exploiting sectors such as agro-food, medical products, transportation and waste disposal.