TraCCC is very active in approaching the topic of illicit trade and its interconnection to other transnational crimes through research, publications and events. In 2012, TraCCC published its most recent addition to their Routledge series, “Labour Migration, Human Trafficking and Multinational Corporations: The Commodification of Illicit Flows”, discusses how migrant workers frequently are threatened or coerced into entering debt bondage arrangements and end up working in forced labour situations producing goods for illicit markets. Mahmut Cengiz, a former PhD student under Dr. Louise Shelley, also published his first book Turkish Organized Crime: From Local to Global. Drawing on an impressive body of academic research, including reports, field work, and interviews for the last twelve years in Turkey and Europe, Dr. Cengiz concludes that Turkish organized crime will remain active regionally and globally due to a number of factors including: Turkey’s geographical location, increasing demand for illicitly traded goods and services, continuing flows of immigrants from developing countries to Turkey, extensive Turkish Diaspora communities, as well as numerous obstacles to effective law enforcement cooperation.
Dr. Louise Shelley has also been quoted in several articles discussing illicit trade. In June, 2009, she was quoted in the Public Integrity article titled, Tobacco, Terrorism, and Illicit Trade, which discusses the undermining of cigarette smuggling worldwide by law enforcement. In March of 2012 she was again quoted on the topic of illicit cigarette smuggling in the Malaya Business Insight online article titled, “Illicit cigarettes fund terrorism.” In March of 2007, TraCCC also hosted a guest speaker, Bruno Schild of Brand Integrity LA&C, Philip Morris International to lecture on “Fighting Illegal Trade: A Multinational Corporation’s Perspective.” Mr. Schild’s presentation included: global issues of illicit cigarette trade; strategies and action; government cooperation; private investigation; communication programs for trade and consumers, and case studies from around the world.
TraCCC has also hosted events on the topic of Illicit Trade focused around Central Asia. In October of 2009, TraCCC hosted a the conference entitled, “Drug Flows Out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”TraCCC’s scholars from countries along the drug route commented on the conditions that facilitate the trade from the point of origin to Western European Countries. A year later in 2010, TraCCC held another event entitled, “Instability in Central Asia:Scale, Scope and regional Consequences.” The conference addressed demographic trends, religious extremism, political instability and ethnic violence in Central Asia, their impact on vulnerable populations and their contribution to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, organized crime, illicit trade and political stability in the region. In February 2011, TraCCC hosted another conference entitled, “The Nature, State and Capacity to Address Illicit Trade in Tajikistan and its Effect on (In)Security in Central Asia.” The two panels discussed Actors and the Stage: The State of Tajikistan Today and Terror and Crime: A Nexus or Just Convergences of Opportunity?.