How Criminal Entrepreneurs are Confiscating the Economic Potential of Communities and Corrupting Governments and the Integrity of Markets

From: US Department of State


David M. Luna, Senior Director for Anticrime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

UNICRI Impact of Organized Crime Workshop

Rome, Italy — June 16, 2014

Buon giorno!

On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank the Government of Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) for co-hosting this week’s workshop with the U.S. Department of State, and for our partnership on developing methodologies to identify strategies to measure and reduce the impact of transnational organized crime (TOC) on the legal economy.

The topics that we will be addressing are critically important to the international community as we work together to:

  • inform the public on the harms and impacts of organized crime;
  • strengthen cooperation to disrupt and dismantle illicit networks across borders, including through tracking illicit financial flows and identifying, freezing or seizing, and confiscating illicit assets;
  • ensure that the global illegal economy does not continue to expand at the expense of the legal one; and
  • safeguard tomorrow’s growth markets and investment frontiers so that they do not become corrupted by criminal entrepreneurs determined to further diversify their illicit portfolios and perpetuate criminal acivity.

The focus of this workshop is timely. Today’s reality across the global threat environment is one of convergence: where criminals and illicit traders are networked across borders and are continuously expanding their tentacles to all parts of the world, infiltrating public and market-based institutions alike.


As we are keenly aware, another profitable area for criminals these days is counterfeiting and pirated goods, including wine and liquor, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, computers and electronics, and other products. Trafficking in counterfeit luxury and designer goods and accessories has become more profitable to organized crime than narcotics trafficking.

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