How online technologies are transforming transnational organised crime (Cyber-TNOC)

Principal Investigator

Professor Mike Levi

Cardiff Co-Investigators

Dr. Luca Giommoni, Professor Matthew Williams, Professor Pete Burnap.

Research Institution

Cardiff University, School of Social Sciences

Project Summary

The project will investigate the links between cybercrime and Transnational Organised Crime (TNOC). Traditionally, organised criminals would threaten violence and intimidation to extort or concentrate their markets. As societies are becoming increasingly more interconnected and digital, organised crime is adapting to this new landscape and integrating new technologies into their modus operandi. This interdisciplinary and international project will bring together experts in organised crime and cybercrime from the social and computer sciences across three countries (UK, Canada and Italy). It will use new forms of data collection (e.g. web scraping and crawling) and innovative research methods (such as Social Network Analysis and Machine Learning) to complement traditional research methods and deepen our understanding of how technological innovations are creating new opportunities for TNOC. The project will focus on modern slavery, the sale of illicit drugs, the propagation of malware and money laundering.


This proposal will add to the current understanding of and action against TNOC in four ways: (1) it will bridge the research gap between organised crime and cybercrime by conducting the first comprehensive analysis of the different ways TNOC can exploit online technologies; (2) it will develop a dynamic empirical basis for researching Cyber-TNOC by creating new datasets composed from online and offline data sources; (3) it will provide practical examples of how to apply innovative methods (e.g. machine learning) to the analysis of Cyber-TNOC; and (4) it will develop evidence-based recommendations for tailored interventions against Cyber-TNOC.

The research team will work closely with private and public sector bodies, including (but not restricted to) fraud prevention organisation CIFAS, professional services firm Deloitte, South Wales Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, and United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). Engagement with these user groups will help elucidate core principles for translation of this research into national and international good practice, and guide practitioners and policy makers in their interventions in these changing crime markets.

Contact Information

For further information, please email Prof Mike Levi at or Dr. Luca Giommoni at