The Illicit Economy Platform is a digital repository of data and information on the presence and functioning of illicit markets in Brazil and on models for controlling this complex phenomenon around the world. Our goal is to spread technical knowledge to promote the retreat and control of the Illicit Economy in Brazil and in South America.

Illicit Economy is a phenomenon formed by markets of illicit products a priori such as drugs and people, and illicit products diverted or subtracted from the legal market, such as tobacco, electronics and cable TV. In common, they generate high profitability for criminals and serious negative externalities to society, such as crime epidemics, corruption, work similar to slavery, damage to health and the environment, increased losses and risk in the productive sector. Obviously, the illicit economy has an impact on the public security indexes and on the economic capacity of the countries where it is installed.

Complex problems require equally complex solutions, so our focus is to produce and gather scientific knowledge to support public policies and private strategies for controlling illicit markets, which depends on diagnoses capable of answering questions such as:

  • How to monitor illicit markets and the economic and social impacts caused by them?
  • Is there cooperation or integration between these illicit markets? At what level?
  • How to weaken the illicit economy? Act on criminal networks, on a specific illicit market or on segments of this economy? How to evaluate these actions?
  • How to minimize the negative externalities such as the crime epidemic and increased business losses?
  • Does our public security and criminal justice system have resources, such as adequate legislation, to tackle criminal networks effectively? If not, what needs to be changed?
  • How does the illicit economy infiltrate public institutions and legal companies?

We developed the platform to support society in the search for technical answers to these and other questions through resources such as:

  • THE CENSUS OF ILLICIT MARKET, a database of microdata of crimes related to illicit markets, made available as a service of public interest, through a geostatistical digital portal, called CENSUS MAP, and a dashboard with graphic information, called CENSUS PANEL. Indicators built based on Census data by partner users (such as universities), about specific markets or illegal activities will be made available in the INDICATORS field of the portal.
  • Conceptual videos that explain quickly and didactically technical and scientific concepts about the formation of the phenomenon of illicit economy, the operation of criminal networks and the possibilities of control.
  • evidence-based analysis and research repositories, divided into four areas: (1) PROBLEM, with information on the expansion of illicit markets; (2) CAUSE, which presents the concept of the cost of crime as a mechanism of criminal incentive; (3) CONSEQUENCE, on the cause and effect of the relationship between illicit markets and criminal problems; and (4) SOLUTION, on how restructuring the cost of crime in Brazil can contain the problem. As a development of this sector, we will organize a program of translation of technical bibliography on illicit economy, which we call ilicitoteca, a virtual library of references on the theme, which will be produced through partnerships.

The platform also includes the Schedule field, where we will inform you about the anti-illicit markets events taking place in the country and in the world, according to the development of our activities.

The Illicit Economy Platform is part of the project “Census of Illicit Markets – Platform for spatial data on illicit trade, related crimes and socioeconomic data for the formulation and evaluation of public policies on the triple Brazil-Paraguay-Argentina border”. The project is funded by PMI IMPACT, a global initiative by Philip Morris International (PMI) to support projects dedicated to combating illegal trade and related crimes.