The Center for the Study of Democracy presented an innovative approach to assessing the illicit cigarette market and the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in counteracting the illicit market, as well as an instrument for identifying anomalies in the levels of seizures of illicit products, during an international conference that took place in Sofia on October 18, 2019.
Dr. Ognian Shentov welcomed the guests, spoke briefly about the work of the Center in the fight against organized crime and the prevention of corruption, and emphasized on the need for closer cooperation with institutional partners in this regard.
Among the guests at the event were Prof. Ernesto Savona from Transcrime, Prof. Dina Siegel of the William Pompe Institute, Dr. Adamo Uboldi of the Joint Research Institute of the European Commission, representatives of law enforcement agencies from Italy, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria, as well as representatives of other non-governmental organizations and the industry.
The conference provided a forum for discussion on the analytical and policy frameworks pertaining to the illicit trade in tobacco products and sharing insights into the contemporary views on the subject. The event aimed at giving a perspective on the institutional response to illicit trade and encouraging broader cooperation between law enforcement agencies in the neighboring countries. The conference concluded with a discussion on the scope and drivers of illicit trade and put forward specific ideas on the potential for overcoming governance gaps with the help of enhanced diagnostic instruments.
The conference is was held under the initiative “The ITTP Along the Balkan Route: Addressing Institutional Gaps and Corruption” and is funded by PMI IMPACT, a grant award initiative of Philip Morris International.