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Over the recent decades, illicit trade has constantly increased in profitability for organized crime groups, subsequently causing significant financial loses for states’ revenue systems, especially those situated in the EU. As this illegal activity became more profitable in terms of financial benefits, it might risk the financial stability of EU and non EU markets.

At the same time, this illicit trade has become a threat for the public health systems, mostly due to counterfeit products sold by smugglers with the sole purpose of rapid enrichment.

Illicit trade cannot be seen as an independent crime, but in most of the cases it comes with additional criminal consequences i.e. organized crime, corruption and money laundering. It is well known that illicit trade is one of the most profitable compared to other offences, therefore a strong response is imperative from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) in order to tackle this threat.

The current project aims at increasing the operational capacity of SELEC and its Member States in order to create an efficient response in fighting against smuggling phenomena. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to establish an Operational Center Unit for coordinating and monitoring the actions in SELEC region. Besides the Operational Center Unit, ground actions have to be reinforced by proper capabilities: transportation means, technical equipment, training sessions addressed to the specialists acting on the field.

In the same time, the project intends to inform the main stakeholders (consumers, LEA, business companies) on the impact of these illegal activities on the health and financial public systems. In this respect, the project will support the preparation and development of task forces, meetings and conferences, and public awareness campaign.


  • Setting up state-of-the-art SELEC Operational Centre Unit (OCU) in order to increase the operational capacity of the LEAs against illegal trade
  • Training for 120 specialists on the latest technology, special techniques and special investigative methods for better results in the fight against smuggling of goods
  • Social-media awareness campaign against smuggling activities

Implementation period: 24 months (2018-2019)
Project financed by PMI IMPACT - a global grant initiative by Philip Morris International to support projects dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes.