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.



The global illicit trade in illegal narcotics

Narcotics have long been one of the most valuable illicit markets, and government efforts to stem both their supply and demand face on-going challenges. This chapter describes the global distribution of major illegal narcotics from source to destination with a focus on heroin and cocaine routes. It explains how traffickers seek out states with weak administrative structures, law enforcement and customs as it is less costly to move illegal wares through states that suffer from weak institutions and a significant informal economy. The links to such areas has grown with the spread of globalisation, and collaboration between criminal enterprises to terrorist organisation has become more prominent. The author concludes that State building and enhancement of good governance practices are key complements to punitive approaches and sanctions.


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