The Economist’s Global Anti-Illicit Trade Summit – Warsaw

OISTE.ORG will be presenting at The Economist Global Anti-Illicit Trade Summit, Central and Eastern Europe: commit, co-operate, combat

November 8th 2022 | Warsaw, Poland .


From e-commerce and social-media sites to encrypted chat platforms, blockchain and the metaverse, illicit trade has gone well beyond the dark web. The advancement of tech knows no bounds, and unfortunately, criminals are often among the first to exploit its power.

  • How can governments enhance their use of technology to beat criminals at their own game?
  • How can law enforcement become more digitally literate?
  • What will encourage governments to make more investments in technology?
  • What more could the private sector do? What is the next frontier of illicit trade on the web?

Positioned between the political forces of the East and West and on the edge of the European Union’s internal frontier, Central and Eastern Europe is a fertile ground for illicit trade. While consumer demand persists, porous borders, smuggling from third countries and increasing production within the EU’s borders helps provide a continued supply. The covid-19 pandemic may have disrupted trade, but criminals are nothing if not resourceful. E-commerce has provided abundant avenues for illicit goods and has changed the nature of the game.

The cost of illicit trade is not just financial, but human: it fuels organised crime groups and terrorist networks, threatens public health and undermines social, economic and environmental development. Because illicit trade does not respect borders, combating it is virtually impossible without cross-border cooperation.