Posted by cadsmith on October 21, 2007
Reviewed Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy, Moisés Naím, 2006. Globalization has attracted smuggling on the grand scale. The profit motive from the distribution of contraband drives an international industry estimated to value in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Significant sources are “geopolitical black holes” where trafficking flourishes without sufficient constraint. The market is anywhere on the globe. National prevention efforts, e.g. by protection of borders, has actually increased the profitability to stateless organizations who sometimes collude with governments or business. Sectors include at least arms, drugs, humans, IP, counterfeiting, money laundering and organs. The fastest growing segment is human trafficking; drugs are the most profitable. International legal standards have begun to form this decade to control the threat and this has economic and political effects. Tech solutions discussed are RFIDs, package tags, biometrics, detection devices, surveillance, software, tracking and biotech. Real solutions will require reducing the profitability and adding new ideas about globalization.
This book illustrates a high-level cross-section of global trade sectors. Details about particular efforts and specialists, or current statistics would require additional sources.
http://www.thetruecosts.org has a video interview with the author and announces an upcoming documentary series from National Geographic.