Illicit Trade

Converging Criminal Networks

image of Illicit Trade

This report assesses the magnitude, flows and drivers of illicit trade and the illegal economy including: narcotics, human trafficking, wildlife, sports betting, counterfeit medicines, alcohol and tobacco. The negative socio-economic impacts that these markets have in consumer countries are as worrisome as the goverance gaps that are exploited in source countries. This report examines each illicit sector in terms of the geographic sources, destinations and key trade routes, the current trend of infiltration by organized crime networks, and good practices or future policy solutions with which to combat illicit trade within the various sectors.



Sport manipulation as economic crime

Global sporting events and the revenues of their immediate derivative products, such as televised events and sports betting, have been growing at an exponential rate. A negative side effect of the globalisation of sports has been an increase in abuse of the betting market as a mechanism for money laundering. This chapter argues that a patchwork of policies against illegal betting and frameworks for sports governance is currently exploited to fuel the criminal economy by providing a means to launder massive amounts of illicit revenues. Criminal individuals and groups have been known to penetrate leagues and teams through ownership or contractual arrangements, which positions them to manipulate results. The authors argue that the cases of manipulation could be far more numerous than is currently reported or acknowledged due to a lack of sufficient fraud detection resources and weak surveillance. They conclude with a call for the adoption of more effective preventive measures, and for enhanced means to detect and/or report incidents through an internationally co-ordinated, pro-active response.


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