This week, IRMA joined with organizations from around the nation to launch a public education initiative in eight states, including Illinois, to combat illegal trade. These goods include goods stolen from retail stores as well as counterfeit items. Apparel, prescription medicine, tobacco, wild life, electronics such as phones and tvs, body organs, and so much more are illegally trafficked on a daily basis. The proceeds are used to fund criminal activities including drug trafficking, human trafficking, and trafficking of illegal weapons. This transnational crime is a $2.2 TRILLION industry. Unfortunately, Illinois is at the epicenter of this criminal activity due, primarily, to our central location. For example, Illinois ranks
- 7th in the nation in illegal cigarette smuggling
- 10th in human trafficking
- And 3rd in the nation in terms of smuggled currency
The coalition we have joined is United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade or USA-IT. It is a public-private partnership designed to combat this illegal trade by empowering local officials, law enforcement, policy groups, and other key stakeholders with information and training programs as well as raising consumer awareness.
Why does this matter to everyone? These products can find their way into your homes and businesses and can be dangerous to you and your loved ones. They also deprive governments of the tax revenues they need to fund the services they provide.
You are encouraged to learn more about USA-IT and our efforts to combat this illegal trade by visiting the website www.usait.org.