Last Sunday, a Swiss diplomat, Thomas Greminger, in an interview with the Austrian media representatives said that OSCE countries should be ready for a significant increase in corruption schemes, associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Since July 18, 2017, Greminger has started working as the OSCE Secretary General. The organization, as we know, includes 57 countries, located in North America, Europe and Central Asia.
The head of the OSCE believes that the reason for the growth of corruption is the financing, allocated to help combat the consequences of the pandemic in a state of emergency. The criminals, as the experts believe, will find the ways to fraudulently gain access to the sources of such a financial support.
One of these types of “weaknesses” is the human trafficking and other types of smuggling. In particular, the expert drew attention to the border control, which was introduced in the countries of the Schengen area since March. The free movement area between 26 states, in which live more than 419 million people, was temporarily blocked because of the threat of spread of the infection. Law enforcement agencies and human resources have been diverted to solving the border problems, which creates new opportunities for criminal elements.
Previously, the international organized crime surveillance group had already paid attention to the possibility of the increase in crime due to the pandemic. The experts believe that the authorities' policy, aimed at the migration tightening, can lead to additional risks. The migrants, unable to legally cross the borders of the states, can ask criminals and smugglers for help.
Earlier, Ineta Cirule, the representative of the Latvian specialized bureau, mentioned the risks of corruption, connected with the changes in the public procurement system during the emergency regime. She pointed out that the free access of the officials and authorities to the use of financial resources, allocated to the fight against coronavirus, can lead to the fact that a significant part of the funds will be spent on other purposes.