Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Forbes: The World's Biggest Illicit Industries

Nathan Vardi reports in a June 4th edition of on the World’s Biggest Illicit Industries.

According to the seven illicit industries are:

· Counterfeiting
· Illicit Drugs
· Cargo Theft
· Cigarettes
· Oil Smuggling
· Human Trafficking
· Art Theft

Mr. Vardi states, “from drugs to oil smuggling, the dark side of globalization generates hundreds of billions in profits annually.”

Of the seven primary illicit industries, three of these (counterfeiting, illicit drugs and cargo theft) significantly impact the health care of consumers via fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit drugs within the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chains globally.

Here are some of the highlights from Mr. Vardi’s piece:

· “But it's not the only criminal enterprise raking in billions of dollars a year. The world's biggest illicit industries continue to grow by circumventing national laws and regulations, and taking advantage of new international networks and technologies. This dark side of globalization has generated huge profits and political instability. The exact size of these industries can be estimated only vaguely, but their scope and impact cannot be denied.”

· Counterfeiting - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2009 said the international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods increased to more than U.S. $250 billion, almost 2% of world trade, up from US$200 billion in 2007. The world is awash in fakes--from trademarks like Nike to copyrighted music and high-tech invention like pharmaceuticals or computer chips. The World Customs Organization guesses that counterfeiting accounts for 5% to 7% of global merchandise trade.

· Cargo Theft - Cargo theft is as much as a $30 billion problem annually, according the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which points out it can include anything moved by truck or plane--tailored suits, frozen shrimp, computer chips, toilet paper. These are often non-violent thefts of goods in transit, but they can include sophisticated methods that often involve surveillance. The U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, India and the U.K. are the countries most at risk for cargo theft globally, according to FreightWatch International.

· Still, while the size and reach of global illicit industries can seem overwhelming, there are signs of hope. Law enforcement groups from around the world are learning to cooperate in the battle against international crime. Just this week seven people were arrested in Liberia in connection with a conspiracy to distribute more than $100 million of South American cocaine in Europe after the son of the president of Liberia worked undercover with U.S. drug agents.

Secure Pharm Chain Blog has reported extensively on the growing threat of these illicit industries and the impact that it has on the health and welfare of consumers througout the globe.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog, endorses increased cooperation between countries through enhanced enforcement and in the various global supply chains (specifically pharmaceuticals) incorporating various technologies to protect their inventories and consumers from fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications.

To learn more about supply chain solutions, visit:

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