Report on Organised Crime and Economic Crime in 2022

June 9, 2023

Minister of the Interior Thomas Strobl: “The Baden-Württemberg police force is investigating organised crime and white-collar crime consistently, meticulously and successfully”

“The Baden-Württemberg police are fighting organised crime and white-collar crime successfully, consistently and with great commitment. Also with a view to the year 2022, we can record considerable successes here. Organised crime groups often have a widely ramified network in various countries. That is why international cooperation is crucial: in close cooperation with the security authorities of other countries, Europol and also the FBI, we fight international organised crime beyond national borders. The successes of our investigators show that they cannot be stopped even by complex challenges, such as encrypted means of communication and delivery routes across several countries,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Thomas Strobl on the occasion of the presentation of the Organised Crime and Economic Crime Report for 2022.

Numbers, data, facts

In 2022, the Baden-Württemberg police conducted a total of 36 preliminary proceedings against members of organised crime. This number is slightly below the previous year’s level (2021: 37). The majority of these proceedings (21) were based on offences in the area of narcotics crime. Five of the proceedings concerned the area of white-collar crime and two property crime. Three proceedings are to be assigned to the area of cybercrime.

“Perseverance, diligence and criminalistic flair are the key to successful police work. The best proof of this was a sensational investigation in Heilbronn last year. After a lengthy investigation, police officers were able to put an end to a group of drug traffickers. The criminal gang was proven to have imported and trafficked more than two tonnes of marijuana as well as cocaine and amphetamine from Spain,” said Interior Minister Thomas Strobl in appreciation.

In 2022, a total of 167 so-called OC pre-trial proceedings (qualified gang proceedings in the run-up to organised crime) were also conducted. The number of preliminary OC proceedings is thus at the same level as the previous year (163). This area is dominated by narcotics, property and economic crime. Almost 40 % of the preliminary OC proceedings concerned narcotics crime (66). About 32% of the proceedings were in the area of property crime (54) and almost 13% were in the area of economic crime (22).

Economic crime

In the area of white-collar crime, the total number of offences registered by the police decreased by -29.1% to 3,545 cases compared to the previous year. This is more than 50 % below the five-year average of 7,632 cases. However, high number of cases with several hundreds or thousands of individual cases can quickly turn the statistics in the area of white-collar crime into the opposite. The total loss in the area of white-collar crime decreased by 20.8% to about 219.3 million euros. This corresponds to about one third of the approximately 591.2 million euros in total damage caused by crime in Baden-Württemberg in 2022.

The number of cases in subsidy fraud fell by -16.3% to 385 cases in 2022 (previous year 460 cases). This area of crime is thus gradually returning to its pre-pandemic level (43 cases). Nevertheless, the damage caused rose from around 7.65 million euros to around 11.16 million euros. One reason for this were the fraud charges in connection with Corona emergency aid. The number of cases of violations of the Infection Protection Act remained at the previous year’s level (89) with a slight increase of +4.9% and 93 cases compared to 2021.

For the phenomena “false police officer, grandchild trick and shock call”, a strong increase in the number of cases by +62.0 % to 18,549 cases (previous year 11,449 cases) was observed. The financial loss increased by +36.1 % to 20.65 million euros (previous year 15.17 million euros) in the same period. The majority of the offences that became known remained at the attempted stage with 94.6 % (previous year 96.3 %). However, this also means: In 2022, the perpetrators were successful in 1,006 cases (previous year 441 cases). This corresponds to a very strong increase in completions by +128.1 % compared to the previous year. “The police have a special eye on this particularly perfidious method of fraud. It must not be allowed that especially elderly people, who have often saved all their lives, become victims of unscrupulous fraudsters,” emphasised Interior Minister Thomas Strobl. The Baden-Württemberg police are therefore very active in prevention in order to provide regular information about fraud schemes throughout the state. Thus, the police informs and sensitises the population through intensive press work and also increasingly through the public channels as well as through the social media channels of the police Baden-Württemberg about crime phenomena as well as different ways of committing crimes. In addition, bank employees are sensitised on how to recognise call crimes against their customers, what preventive advice they can give their elderly customers and how they can react adequately in suspicious cases.

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