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.
Governments need to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement to share information
across borders to keep pace with these changes, and they also need to take stock of
the policies that inadvertently create business opportunities for criminals.
Governments are less flexible and agile than the networks that traffic contraband
around the globe. Enforcement actions might stem one flow, but criminal entrepreneurs
can quickly change their trade routes.
A comprehensive approach to stemming illicit trade explores how to reduce consumer
demand for prohibited and illicit goods. It is premised on the willingness of leaders
to exercise their full power to levy sanctions with deterrent effect both on traffickers
and their cohorts.
at a glance
Illicit trade involves goods & services that are deemed illegal as they threaten communities and society as a whole. Illicit trade has a negative impact on economic stability, social welfare, public health, public safety & our environment - examples include:
Environment - endanger wildlife & rainforests through illegal environmental crimes.
Exploitation - forced human trafficking, prostitution and slavery.
Terrorism - financing criminality and terrorism.
Government - reduction of tax revenues & legitimate employment.
Globalisation has fundamentally changed the business opportunities for criminal entrepreneurs.
Geographic scope, volume & range of illegally traded goods have increased their negative, economic & political impacts.
Criminal networks have acquired a global outlook for new illicit markets.
Illicit networks have adapted to the latest technology to commit crimes such as cyber extortion.
Social media networks are used to identify new clients and make payments.
Globalisation of sporting events has led to an increase in unregulated sports betting.
Betting on sporting events is increasingly used for money laundering and is connected to corruption in sport.
Profits of international organised crime are as high as USD 870 billion - 1.5% of global GDP (UN).
Half of these profits laundered through global financial system (UN).
20.9 million people forced into slavery worldwide (ILO).
Counterfeit medicine worth USD 200 billion a year (OECD, 2010).
50% of the proceeds of crime come from drug trafficking, 40% from counterfeiting activities.
570 billion illicit cigarettes consumed in 2011.
25% of worldwide alcoholic consumption comes from illegal sources.
OECD TASK FORCE ON COUNTERING ILLICIT TRADE
To mitigate this global risk, public and private sector decision makers need a firmer understanding of the magnitude and nature of its impacts on economic activities, and a clearer understanding of the conditions that enable it.
The OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade focuses on evidence based research and coordinates international expertise in quantifying and mapping illicit markets.
Quantitative metrics better inform policy makers to:
drive criminal entrepreneurs out of business,
reduce incentives to enter illegal markets,
reduce the opportunities for organised crime to enter the financial system,
help governments sustain legitimate markets.
Mapping tools allow policy makers to address gaps in surveillance & monitoring systems to develop more effective early detection and warning systems.