Originally published in PRNewswire
Luna Global Networks joins coalition of private-sector partners in the launch of a new initiative to spotlight resources available to help combat the trade in fraudulent goods.
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Luna Global Networks today joined Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) in launching a new two-month advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of the trade of fraudulent personal protective equipment and resources available to combat the trade of these goods.
“We are proud to be partnering with PMI and other private industry brand protection leaders and long-time partners in fighting illicit trade,” said David M. Luna, President & CEO, Luna Global Networks.
To date, there have been nearly 1,000 COVID-19-related seizures of prohibited test kits and medicine, counterfeit masks, and other medical equipment in the U.S., which has accounted for $17.9 million in disrupted transactions and recovered funds.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, global illicit trade was already booming from an array of trafficking and smuggling crimes. In fact, today’s global illicit markets generate trillions of U.S. dollars every year for transnational criminal organizations, complicit corrupt facilitators, and other threat networks. These profitable criminal activities include the trafficking of narcotics, opioids, arms, and people, fake medicines, counterfeit and pirated goods, illegal tobacco and alcohol products, endangered wildlife, pillaged oil, diamonds, gold, natural resources and precious minerals, and other contraband or commodities. They are sold on our main streets, social media, online marketplaces, and the dark web every hour of every day.
From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, as the virus spread worldwide, numerous market and supply chain disruptions created new opportunities for criminals in vulnerable sectors. As police and security resources were re-directed, prosecuting the battle against illicit trade was attenuated. Bad actors and threat networks have further accelerated illicit trade in recent months and continue to exploit vulnerabilities in global supply chains to expand illicit economies and criminalized markets in areas such as the life science and healthcare sectors, excisable products, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), frauds, cybercrime and other profitable illicit enterprises.
“In fact, COVID-19 has mutated criminality to a higher level of danger as corrupt regimes and criminals enrich themselves through an illicit trade pandemic that puts the health and safety of all citizens and communities at risk, such as fake medicines and counterfeited medical equipment and supplies,” said Luna.
About Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC
David M. Luna is also a former U.S. diplomat and national security official. He is the current Chair of the Business at OECD Anti-Illicit Trade Experts Group (AITEG); Chair, Anti-Illicit Trade (AIT) Committee of the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB); co-Director, Anti-Illicit Trade Institute, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC), Schar School of Policy and Government, GMU.
Luna Global Networks is an international security consultancy well-positioned to help clients tackle the most pressing illicit trade and governance challenges and related security threats globally.