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Yarin Eski participates in research into subversive crime

30 June 2022
The research consortium COMCRIM has received an NWA-ORC award of 3.3 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). On behalf of VU Amsterdam, criminologist Yarin Eski is taking part in this consortium, which is focused on combatting crimes that undermine democratic societies.

The murders of a defence lawyer and investigative journalist in the Netherlands demonstrate how the rule of law is undermined by organized crime. Like legitimate businesses, organized crime requires persons, money and infrastructure. COMCRIM, therefore, focuses on human trafficking (persons), money laundering (money) and corruption (infrastructure).

With this funding, COMCRIM wants to design a model of crime prevention and deterrence to make the Netherlands more resilient to such undermining. The partnership comprises twelve scholars, three banks, three intelligence and criminal justice chain actors, three Ministries, three NGOs, one artificial intelligence norm-setting body, one National Rapporteur, and three network organizations.

Eski: "When I joined COMCRIM, I wanted to play the role of a thorn in the flesh, where I am able to constantly ask critical questions. I think it is very important that there are checks and balances in this research project, in which we work with Artificial Intelligence and algorithms and apply them to tackling subversive crime. For example, I also pay attention to how the AI used does not create new problems, how we handle the information and how we process and safeguard the knowledge obtained in the best possible way."

Yarin Eski is a criminologist and assistant professor of Public Administration at VU Amsterdam. Among other things, he conducts research into illegal drug trafficking, undermining, (maritime) security, arms trafficking and corruption.

NWA-ORC is a grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The science-encompassing funding instrument Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC) is aimed at making interdisciplinary research and innovation possible, so that scientific and societal breakthroughs come within reach.

The official secretary on behalf of the consortium is Jill Coster van Voorhout of the University of Amsterdam. The consortium consists of the University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tilburg University, Police Academy, VU Amsterdam, ABN AMRO, Knab, Inspectorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Inspectie SZW), Rabobank, CBS, CoMensha, Fairwork, FIU-Nederland, La Strada International, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ), Ministry of Justice and Security (J&V), Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW),  NEN - the Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute, National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children, Public Prosecution Service (OM), Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine, Harvard Kennedy School – Harvard University (USA).