Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks
Criminal networks that illegally traffic in everything from people and drugs to human organs, natural resources and nuclear material pose grave threats to the health, prosperity and security of our Nation. As an important example, the opioid epidemic in the United States has largely been fueled by new synthetic opioids that are primarily produced in overseas facilities and distributed to the US through intermediate countries. These illicit supply chains flourish across national boundaries, both taking advantage of and contributing to regional instability. The profits generated through these activities finance ongoing conflicts across the globe. Making use of the same communications, logistics, transportation, and financial infrastructure that enable globally integrated commercial supply chains, illicit flows are now estimated to account for 4-6% of global GDP, or roughly $2 trillion annually. Moreover, these networks use exploitative labor, such as child labor, forced labor and huma...