Smarter, Faster, Better — Combating Illicit Economies Across The Americas


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David Luna, USA-IT partner and Executive Director of the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE), pens an op-ed highlighting ICAIE’s strategic regional dialogue on illegal trade, Free Trade Zones, and the need for public-private partnerships as part of the 2022 Concordia Americas Summit. “Similar to how criminals take advantage of stressed markets and susceptible consumers, they also take advantage of advancements in technology and gaps in law enforcement activity to gain access to the marketplace. Free Trade Zones (FTZs) are areas where goods and products can be moved, stored, and processed without the intervention of local customs authorities. FTZs are used around the world, including in the United States, to help move global commerce more efficiently and inexpensively, but they have also become vulnerable to exploitation by criminal and terrorist networks.”

“To better safeguard the open markets and security of our homeland and beyond, we must strengthen our own law enforcement capabilities, starting with a better, more cooperative approach. A unified strategy can be forged by public and private sector collaboration to share expertise, data and best practices. We must also strengthen our political will across every level of the government to create and enforce strong policies that will crack down on these global criminal networks here in the United States and abroad.”

“As policymakers, law enforcement and private companies work to share resources and intelligence, there are ways the public can protect themselves as well. Through self-education on illegal trade, its severe impacts on Florida’s communities, and how to avoid and report counterfeit and stolen products, we can mobilize others to work together and fight back. A good place to start is visiting and”

Read more here.