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Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

The Balkan Octopus


To share the findings of a multi-year research project and report on drug trafficking with a wider audience. 

While the old “Balkan route” known for trafficking heroin from Afghanistan to Western Europe via Turkey and the Western Balkans is still active, in the last two decades a maritime Balkan route has also opened up, bringing cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe as well as heroin from the east.


We took the topic and made a compelling documentary-style film. We worked closely with The GI-TOC team to  summarise the key findings of the report into a short, dynamic story. The film made use of the GI-TOC research, referencing news articles and bringing to life data and graphics from the report. The film matched the design and branding of the report, gently reminding viewers that there is more to explore.  We made the film on location in the Western Balkans and brought together a series of interviews with dynamic location footage and motion graphics.


“The realisation of how “Exploring the maritime Balkan routes of illicit economies” by Econ Films met our expectations and the preset objectives. 

The process of preparation with background information sharing, shooting in the region as well as working with the editors for the development of the final film has been an enriching experience.”

Ruggero Scaturro, Analyst

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