Illinois Can’t Afford To Turn A Blind Eye On Illegal Trade


Illinois Can’t Afford To Turn A Blind Eye On Illegal Trade

By Rob Karr  | The Daily Line

Originally posted on
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Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and USA-IT partner, writes on why Illinois can’t turn a blind eye on illegal trade:

“But with crime on the rise, attention must be given to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors, and this includes addressing an age-old problem that has gained new prominence: illegal trade.”

“It’s especially a challenge here in Chicago, where illegal sales of products like tobacco continue to rise as criminal organizations take advantage of the high taxes and regulations that have been levied against these products. Furthermore, criminal organizations know that crimes like cigarette smuggling better their chances to fly below the radar. This only gives rise to additional nefarious activity, in which smugglers use the profits from low-risk and seemingly ‘victimless crimes’ to fund more vile activities such as drug smuggling and human trafficking.”

“This may contradict the visual one usually has when imagining illegal trade. The truth is it is much more than the sale of knockoff designer purses. These criminals will smuggle anything that will earn them a profit—like counterfeit apparel, prescription medication, and even service parts for household appliances. But they do not stop there.”

“As the third largest city in the nation, Chicago serves as a hub for traffickers looking to reach the rest of the Midwest, from which the profits support crimes like human trafficking, smuggled currency and controlled substances. Given these criminals’ immense reach, especially in the last several years, more attention and training must be implemented across the state to help find new, creative ways to stop illegal trade. Only then will we have taken real steps to protect Illinoisans.”

Read more here.