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Fast Facts: 4 Hubs of Illicit Trade

When goods are stolen, where do they go?

Possibly to a hub of illicit trade—“geographic areas with a high concentration of illicit flows of commodities and services, with a strong presence of criminal actors and a wide range of enablers, often from the legitimate economy, who provide supportive activities for illicit transactions,” according to Internationalizing the Fight Against Hubs of Illicit Trade & Criminalized Markets.

The report was published in May 2023 by the Hubs of Illicit Trade Project from the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University.

Below is a summary of where hubs of illicit trade are located and some of the key characteristics that allow them to flourish.