Stefano Betti
Criminal Justice and Policy Advisor

Stefano Betti is a senior expert on transnational criminal law and policy. He collaborates with several UN entities including the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate on the protection of Critical Infrastructure against terrorist acts, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). He is currently Deputy Director General of the Transnational Alliance against Illicit Trade (TRACIT) and Senior Advisor of the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights. From 2013 to 2016, he headed INTERPOL’s legal program against illicit trade. Before then, he held various positions at UNODC providing technical assistance and training to Governments worldwide on counter-terrorism and the prevention of corruption. He holds a Master degree in “EU Studies: EU Policy-Making” from the London School of Economics, an honor diploma in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier (France) and a Law Degree from the University of Milan (Italy). He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian and has contributed scholarly articles to several international journals.

Presentation: Critical Infrastructure and the Threat of Organized Crime

While critical infrastructures (CIs) are the backbone of our society, organized crime is one of society’s worst debilitating factors. So, where do the two intersect, and with what consequences?

Organized crime poses multi-faceted threats to CIs. While existing literature, national strategies, etc., concentrate on threats caused by terrorism as well as natural events, the organized crime angle is little explored, if not completely absent from the discussion. And yet, there are multiple ways in which organized crime has the potential to play a disruptive role.

It is not just about criminal groups interfering in the provision of cyber-dependent services and requesting the payment of a ransom in exchange for service restoration.

Another, less direct form of threat is the injection of fake and sub-standard items into the supply chains for key components of CIs.

Paradoxically, also, criminal groups may well seize certain CIs as part of their strategy to consolidate their “social acceptability” within vulnerable or worn-torn communities.

It is time for the threat posed by organized crime to form an integral part of risk and crisis management procedures for CI protection.