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Stefano Betti

The chapter highlights some challenges and constraints that the law enforcement community faces when addressing illicit trade as a distinctive phenomenon, framing the discussion within the paradigm of organized crime today and current perceptions of illicit trade among practitioners. Notably, the discussion centers on advocating a change in cultural attitudes as a pre-requisite for effective law enforcement action. In addition, a detailed overview of the four major paths that could be followed to create useful deterrents against illicit trade is provided. Those paths include: legislative reform, notably to ensure that appropriate penalties are applied; the use of organized crime legislation in illicit trade related investigations; systematic resort to criminal justice treaties as global legal tools to facilitate the international exchange of evidence, in particular the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; and using more resources on intelligence-driven investigations and preventive criminal proceedings for the purpose of disrupting illicit trade operations “in the making”. Each path is considered as an integral part of a coordinated policy and law enforcement based strategy.