List of Successful PMI IMPACT Applicants

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Funding round Organisation Project description12
1 ADIT Development of a pan-European awareness platform, based on digital communication tools, to inform about the illegal trade of tobacco products and other mass consumption goods.
2 Apar, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Research to identify situations and problems of illegal trade of drugs, alcohol and counterfeit products at Thailand’s borders. Project will develop an action plan for ASEAN cooperation against illegal trade.
2 Bahcesehir University Analysis of illegal trade in alcohol, tobacco, fuel and mobile phones in Turkey to understand supply and demand factors. Project to develop proposals to fight these crimes through better utilisation of existing penal legislation and taxation rules.
2 Basel Institute on Governance Promote systematic, intelligence-led action against illegal wildlife trafficking networks across East Africa, Southeast Asia trading chain. Project focus on uncovering and targeting illicit financial flows, strengthening the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute transnational related crimes, and improving coordination across public, private and non-governmental sector actors.
1 Belbrand Sociological research and comparative analysis of legislation, combined with awareness activities and training programs on intellectual property protection, to combat illegal trade and counterfeiting, with a focus on Belarus, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the EU.
1 BOTEC Analysis Research on the interaction between illegal tobacco trade and e-cigarette policies in the EU.
1 California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation Research examining illegal tobacco trade on the dark net, and how the market is facilitated by both single vendor shops and crypto markets.
1 Center for the Study of Democracy Research into the drivers of illegal tobacco trade in Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, and Romania. Development of tools for performance evaluation and corruption risk assessment of law enforcement and revenue authorities with regards to illegal tobacco trade.
2 Center of Business Excellence of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana Research to identify key drivers of tobacco trafficking routes between Asia and Europe as part of existing organised crime networks. The findings will be used to identify best practice recommendations and train specialists in countries of the Balkan region.
2 Centre for Liberal Strategies EFN Development of a database with analytical capabilities to identify key trends and main drivers of illegal trade at a regional level, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
2 Centre for Policy and Governance Research on the shadow economy in the Western Balkans region focusing on informal labour and illegal trade of high-tariff goods.
1 Civitta Research exploring the size of and attitudes towards shadow economy generated in part by cigarette smuggling in border-towns within Eastern Europe. Development of policy recommendations to reduce the incentives for illegal trade by strengthening local economies.
1 Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) Research project to study the sourcing and supply chains of raw materials and secondhand production machinery used for the manufacturing of illicit cigarettes. The project will provide recommendations for a new joint monitoring system and improved enforcement mechanisms and tools.
2 Euromonitor International Develop cross-sectoral policies to counter illegal trade, and explore and assess the issue in up to 80 countries in Africa, Latin American and Asia. In 10 selected countries, quantify and qualify the market size, trends and drivers. The project will also assess the robustness and effectiveness of regulatory frameworks, and draw correlations across categories and regions.
2 Faculty of Business Economics and Entrepreneurship Research, modern education techniques and awareness activities to address illegal trade in the Balkans including Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Project to focus on the illegal trade of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, analysing the links between illegal trade, corruption and money laundering.
2 Fraunhofer FKIE Development of a digital platform to identify and track critical processes and produce intelligence in the context of illicit trade. The intelligence processes have been developed, tested and proven by governmental security services. The creation and development of the platform will take the knowledge about these processes to adjust them to private sector’s needs so that the project develops and makes available a platform intended to support companies affected by illegal trade.
2 Freeland USA Development of a data fusion and analytics hub that will harness insights from open source data regarding illicit trafficking in general to inform and improve laws, policies, training, enforcement strategies, and behaviour change campaigns, in Asia, with connectivity to Africa and Latin America.
2 Gendarmería Nacional Argentina Creation of a Center for the Analysis and Investigation, Command and Control in the fight against organised crime and illegal activities in the Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina Tri-Border Area. The focus will be on combating and investigating crimes, including human trafficking and exploitation, drug trafficking, organised crime, money laundering, and other economic crimes.
1 GLOBSEC Research into the links between criminality and terrorism among individuals arrested for terrorism-related offences in 11 EU Member States in 2015, and related information campaigns to raise awareness on the modalities of the crime-terror nexus.
2 Group-IB Research and in-depth analysis of the international online criminal community to deliver actionable information for the prevention of crimes. The research will examine the most dangerous types of hi tech crimes such as illegal trade in rare species of animals, counterfeiting of alcohol and tobacco, intellectual property infringements, and technology crimes.
1 GTD Development of a system to prevent, detect, and reveal illegal trafficking networks and street crimes, including the illegal tobacco trade, using smart city sensors data.
1 Hellenic Coast Guard Procurement of high-speed boats to patrol the national waters of Greece to prevent illegal trade.
2 InSight Crime Map and analyse criminal dynamics in the border provinces of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. The project will look at relationships between different types of transnational organised crime, violence, corruption and criminal actors.
1 Intelligence Culture and Strategic Analysis Foundation (ICSA) A combination of research, educational, and dissemination activities exploring the connection between cigarette smuggling, related crimes, and the financing of international terrorism. The aim is to increase public awareness on global security risks associated with illicit trade.
1 Information Technologies Application (INTA) Image analysis and threat objects recognition training program for the operators of x-ray cargo scanners to enable a faster and more efficient screening process and the identification of a range of potential threats.
1 Institute for Market Economics (IME) Analysis of the institutional framework in Bulgaria and its effects on the illegal market in order to explore the links between economic issues and the legal and institutional framework, such as criminal prosecution and the performance of investigative bodies.
1 Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences An academic institute based in Warsaw. This organisation received PMI Impact funding to research illicit trade in the EU.3 In 2019, the Institute of Law Studies organised a conference entitled “Combatting Illegal Tobacco Trade in the Era of Fast Change”. According to conference documents, the event was “organized by the ILS PAS presenting the outcome of research supported under the PMI Impact”.4
In a statement the organisation said: “The Institute has been established over 60 years ago, we value our academic freedom and we would never allow or endorse any publications which do not comply with the standards commonly accepted in the academic world.”5
2 International Organisation of Employers Enhancing the dialogue between the public and private sectors on how to strengthen regular frameworks for migration. The project will examine the barriers to recruit foreign workforce, and also look at the existing legal pathways that need to be carefully crafted to prevent the risks related to irregular migration.
2 JHM Pesquisa e Consultoria em Seguranca Development of public platform to analyse illegal trade and related crimes around the Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina Tri-Border Area and the main regions of consumption up to the metropolitan region of São Paulo, using socioeconomic data to support the formulation and assessment of public policies.
1 Kazazi Consulting Research on illegal tobacco trade in Albania and bordering countries, exploring the correlation between tax policies, penal legislation against illicit trade, and state policies. Monitoring of the growing, processing, and trade of raw tobacco, as well as the illicit tobacco trade and corruption.
1 Kiel University Research on asset recovery as a legal instrument to discourage illegal tobacco trade in Germany and other jurisdictions.
1 KPMG Research project to collate intelligence related to tobacco products seizures within the EU, Norway, and Switzerland. The collated intelligence will be used to identify key trends in illicit tobacco trade activity across the countries within the study, presented in a way that helps law enforcement to act on trends identified and reduce illicit tobacco trade.
1 Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) Research and awareness activities, exploring the scope and drivers of illegal trade in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, and Czech Republic.
2 Mykolas Romeris University Research into the impact of illegal tobacco trade in Ukraine, Armenia, Serbia, Georgia, Moldova, and Albania. The project will explore aspects related to corruption, money laundering, and organised crime, and aims to strengthen cooperation between the public and private sectors, and academic communities.
2 National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary Procurement of X-ray scanners and training of staff at the crossing points of the Ukrainian and Serbian borders for passengers’ baggage to prevent smuggling.
2 No Peace Without Justice Expose and address the impact of illegal trade on current and future human rights. The project aims to increase awareness, understanding and commitment among relevant stakeholders, including policy and decision-makers, as well as to secure potential new allies within the human rights community.
1 Oxford Economics Research and analysis of the motivations of consumers to buy illegal goods, and the anti-illicit trade strategies of businesses and policy makers.
1 Panta Rhei Research Limited Company A combination of research, education and training to map illicit trade activities in Europe and investigate evidence of the terrorism-crime nexus, explain its nature and dynamics, and spell out its implications to create the framework for continued, sustainable, and effective collaboration both across and within sectors and countries.
1 Personeels- en Management Opleidingen voor Retail (PMO CVBA) Campaign in Belgium to raise awareness among local business owners, policy makers, and consumers about the negative consequences of illegal trade and counterfeiting.
2 Portcullis International Business Consulting (S) Pte. Ltd. Identify the gaps, misconducts and failures in supporting and protecting intellectual property rights for pharmaceutical consumer products in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The study will focus on the causes of illicit trade, the impact of corruption and the success factors for effective enforcement.
2 Rangsit University Research to identify, map out, describe and analyse the illegal network of activities closely related to the illegal trade of cigarettes in selected countries of continental Southeast Asia. Findings will be used to propose solutions to taming and mitigating such activities, while raising public awareness.
1 Research Centre of Security and Crime (RISSC) Research combined with educational and awareness activities focused on the illegal trafficking of drugs, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and tobacco products, both offline and online – particularly on the dark net.
1 Romanian Police Procurement of patrolling and tobacco detection equipment, coupled with training and coordination activities in Romania to disrupt criminal smuggling networks in the country and at the borders with Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia.
1 & 2 Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) 1) Research exploring key components of contemporary terrorist financing, in particular illegal trade and transnational organized crime, in order to identify inconsistences and implementation shortcomings in counter-terror finance. 2) Bridge the gap between general recognition that Free Trade Zones (FTZs) pose a range of criminal risks and limited understanding of the scale and nature of those risks to date. The project will provide a mechanism to enable authorities and business partners to assess overall risk levels in individual FTZs.
2 São Paulo University Support Foundation The Institute of International Relations from this university will develop a course for police officers from the Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina Tri-Border Area incorporating different analytical models to explore issues such as the organisation of crime, transnationalisation of illicit markets and crime, and operational structure of the main illicit markets.
1 Siracusa International Institute (SII) Comprehensive national and regional assessment of practical challenges for the fight against illicit trade in South Eastern Europe, in order to: identify innovative cross-sectoral solutions; strengthen the capacity of national judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and customs officers; and promote regional harmonisation.
1 Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) Increasing the operational capacity of SELEC and its Member States through training programs, procurement of equipment, infrastructure improvements, and awareness activities to efficiently respond to smuggling into EU via the SELEC region.
2 The Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST) Raise awareness and help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Southeast Asia. Project to examine the issue and its commonly associated crimes such as illegal trade and human rights abuses.
1 The Institute of Economics, Zagreb Academic research and awareness activities focused on the attitudes and experiences of citizens in the Balkan countries related to illegal tobacco trade.
2 The Mekong Club Engage the banking, manufacturing, retail and hospitality sectors in tackling the issue of modern slavery by developing tools, data collection techniques, and training.
2 The Soufan Group LLC Research to explore how terrorist organisations and organised criminal groups use transnational smuggling networks in North Africa. The project will explore linkages between terrorism, organised crime and the illegal trade, and highlight the transnational crimes of human smuggling, drugs and arms trafficking.
1 & 2 Transcrime 1) Research project to identify the flows of illegal cigarette trade through the EU and selected EEMA countries, focusing on how these are connected to the social, political, and legislative frameworks. Assessment of the related risk factors and development of preventive measures to tackle the issue. 2) Research on the displacement and convergence of human smuggling and drug trafficking in North Africa. The project will enhance the knowledge among policy makers, experts in the field, regulators, students, civil society and the public.
2 Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade Development of a Global Illicit Trade Business Report, drawing upon private sector experiences and identifying solutions to supply chain vulnerabilities common to all forms of illicit trade. It examines transportations modalities, customs, FTZs, human trafficking, criminal activity, financial fraud, and regulatory gaps. Findings will be shared with stakeholders in response to their calls to significantly upgrade the availability and exchange of information.
2 Transparency International Turkey Strengthen integrity systems and raise awareness to tackle illegal trade and the ‘informal economy’ in Turkey. Project will focus on research, advocacy, awareness raising and capacity building activities.
1 Turtle Group Consulting Research into the complex dynamics of criminal activities related to narcotics, weapons, people smuggling, cigarette smuggling, and terrorism inside Italian ports.
2 Ukrainian Institute for the Future Combating smuggling and illegal trade in Ukraine through monitoring (including the state border), sociological research, advocacy and raising public awareness.
2 Université de Montréal Research to assess offline and online law enforcement interventions and their impact on dark net offenders. Based on online data collection and interviews with law enforcement officers, the project aims to better understand their perceptions of the interventions. Research findings will be broadcasted at an international workshop.
1 University of National and World Economy A combination of research, training programs, and awareness activities focused on the modus operandi of illegal tobacco trade and its links to organized crime, corruption, and drug trafficking.
1 University of Palermo Research and educational activities with a cross-sectoral approach to explore the extent to which the smuggling of goods and the trafficking of human beings are being committed by the same criminal organizations and realized through the same Mediterranean routes.
2 West Sands Advisory Ltd Address the involvement of state-affiliated actors in illegal trade by developing a typology and testable models, covering different types of involvement, from complacency to complicity. The project seeks to better inform and engage policy makers and the public through media engagement, events and public initiatives.

TobaccoTactics Resources


  1. Philip Morris International, Selected Projects: First Funding Round, PMI IMPACT website, undated, accessed January 2019
  2. Philip Morris International, Selected Projects: Second Funding Round, PMI IMPACT website, undated, accessed March 2019
  3. First Round of Funding, 2016, accessed January 2020
  4. ILPAS, ILPAS_agenda, December 12, 2019, accessed February 2020
  5. Correspondence with lead researcher, 3 February 2020
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