Luna Global Networks Bridging Partnerships and Strategic Alliances to Counter Illicit Trade and the Global Illegal Economy

Illicit trade is a serious threat that feeds a booming multi-trillion dollar global illegal economy and harms every market

PRESS RELEASE  OCT 8, 2018 08:00 EDT

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2018

( – In keynote remarks at an Oct. 3 international conference hosted by the Cámara Nacional de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo (CNC) and its Observatorio del Comercio Ilícito (Anti-Illicit Trade Observatory, OCI), Luna Global Networks’ President and CEO David M. Luna underscored the importance of strategic alliances and public-private partnerships in the global fight against illicit trade on all levels across security landscapes and through more holistic, multi-dimensional and coordinated courses of action.

Sophisticated criminal entrepreneurs are diversifying their portfolios in trafficking everything from narcotics, people, arms, gold and natural resources, and endangered wildlife to counterfeits including fake medicines, and illicit cigarettes and alcohol products. Hundreds of millions of USD every year enable criminals and other threat networks to corrupt regional economies and the global financial system.

“International cooperation and responsibility-focused partnerships are critical. We work too often in silos and can become myopic in examining market and security threats from looking at these only within one’s borders or a specific industry,” said Mr. Luna.

Without collaborative and coordinated responses, bad actors and illicit networks will continue to jump from weak spot to weak spot, seeking out and exploiting vulnerabilities, to the detriment of all market stakeholders.



“We must move towards more transnational approaches. We need to converge ourselves across borders, sectors and industries. More cross-border investigations, coordinated law enforcement operations and cross-industry partnerships are needed to not only target bad actors engaged in various illicit trade ecosystems, but also their enablers and facilitators who help to divert, smuggle and traffick an array of contraband across jurisdictions, markets and regions.”

Mr. Luna encouraged Chile to provide international leadership and to harness energies in the coming year to also partner with other governments in the region including Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Panama and many other countries, as well as with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and Pacific Alliance economies. Working with these partners and organizations will allow them to elevate the fight more regionally and globally, including in Free Trade Zones (FTZs) and other special economic zones (SEZs).

Illicit trafficking remains the lifeblood of today’s bad actors, criminal organizations and terrorist groups. Illegal trade and contraband are destabilizing threats that help fuel corruption, organized crime and terrorism and lead to greater insecurity and instability around the world.

Today, global illicit markets account for several trillion dollars every year including corruption and money laundering, and many experts predict that the value of counterfeit and pirated products alone will double within five years with online sales booming to expand the illegal economy and generating more illicit wealth for criminals.

“Without collaborative and coordinated responses, bad actors and illicit networks will continue to jump from weak spot to weak spot, seeking out and exploiting vulnerabilities, to the detriment of all market stakeholders,” said Mr. Luna in conclusion.

In the days leading up to the CNC event in Santiago de Chile, Mr. Luna had attended the INTERPOL 12th International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property Crime Conference in Dubai, UAE, and a joint meeting of the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on illicit trade and small parcels.

Bridging Net-Centric Partnerships: Luna Global Networks will also be participating at the upcoming Global Illicit Trade Summit: Into the Spotlight hosted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in Abu Dhabi Oct. 30 and presenting on the “Global Fight Against Illicit Trade and Organized Crime” at the Movement Against Smuggling & Counterfeit Trade (MASCRADE 2018), sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Nov. 1-2 in New Delhi, India. As a driving force of the LGN-led Anti-Illicit Trade Alliance (AITA), Mr. Luna will also chair the Brand Protection Summit and Exhibition, Global Trade Development Week (GTDW) Nov. 20-21 in Abu Dhabi; and the Second Brand Protection Congress, WORLDBI, Dec. 4-5 in Frankfurt, Germany. LGN will participate at the Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Dec. 6-7 in Brussels; and in 2019, the 7th Meeting of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TFCIT).

Mr. Luna is the new chair of the Anti-Illicit Trade Committee of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) and is currently a Senior Fellow for National Security at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. He was previously also the President (Chair) of the OECD TFCIT; Chair of the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group and APEC U.S. Coordinator for the ACT Pathfinder Initiative on Fighting Corruption and Illicit Trade; and Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council’s Illicit Trade and Organized Crime group.

Find Mr. Luna’s CNC Anti-Illicit Trade Observatory (OCI) Keynote from Santiago de Chile, “Illegal Trade and Contraband: Global Threats to Economies and Markets,” @

Learn more about Luna Global Networks at

A Strategic Advantage: Luna Global Networks is an international security consultancy, well-positioned to help businesses and NGOs tackle the most pressing illicit trade and governance challenges and related security threats across borders, markets and industries through convergence strategies and tactical plans that target an illicit threat environment more holistically. LGN works on developing net-centric partnerships (a network of networks) that harness collective action through strategic alliances, the designing of pragmatic training to counter illicit trade, leveraging of innovative net-centric capabilities and the harnessing of transformative technologies that help produce greater results and more enduring solutions.

Source: Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC


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