Illicit Trafficking

A Reference Handbook

by Robert J. Kelly, Jess Maghan, and Joseph D. Serio


Nuclear materials, sex slaves, intellectual property, human organs, children, and practically everything else. Welcome to the fastest growing business in the new millennium—smuggling. Despite its vast global scope and increasingly sophisticated methods of concealment and delivery, illicit trafficking is an enterprise as old as history itself.

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Cover image for Illicit Trafficking

June 2005


Pages 260
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Crime/General
  • Hardcover



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A detailed survey of a growing scourge of the global economy—the smuggling of people, materials, and money.

Smuggling used to be a family business. Today it is big business. Illicit Trafficking: A Reference Handbook offers a thorough introduction to the problems of illegal trafficking that have emerged from and been intensified by globalization. This title provides an examination of how criminal enterprises have exploited opportunities to enrich themselves and broadened their involvement in many areas of illegal trafficking while compromising or evading legal authorities.

The coverage includes a brief history of illicit trafficking, analyzes current problems, and examines local and global containment policies such as Presidential Decision Directive 42. It also explores key international agreements on money laundering, bank secrecy laws, extradition treaties, and technologies that have exploited legitimate business opportunities to enrich their profits while compromising or evading legal authorities.


  • Entries include transnational organized criminal groups involved in illicit trafficking activities, including profiles of prominent figures engaged in money laundering, drug smuggling, and arms trafficking
  • Annotated chronology of key events concerning international agreements on fighting illegal trafficking


  • Analyzes the key factors that encourage illegal trafficking across national borders
  • Assesses the immediacy of the Internet and cellular telecommunications to illicit trafficking strategies
  • Examines the responses to the problem by governments, international agencies, and the United Nations
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Robert J. Kelly, PhD, is professor emeritus in the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of Sociology at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, and the Graduate School of the City University of New York, New York, NY. His published works include Hate Crime: The Global Politics of Polarization, coedited with Jess Maghan.

Jess Maghan, PhD, is professor and director at the Forum for Comparative Correction, Chester, CT. His published works include Hate Crime: The Global Politics of Polarization, coedited with Robert J. Kelly, and "Terrorist Mentality" published in Psychology and Criminal Justice.

Joseph D. Serio is editor-in-chief of Crime and Justice International, a bimonthly magazine published by the Office of International Criminal Justice and a third-year doctoral student in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX.. He was the Moscow-based director of operations for the corporate investigation firm Kroll Associates from 1997–1999.



"The book [is] appropriate for academic libraries, general public libraries, government libraries, and libraries that serve a variety of nonprofit organizations and causes."American Reference Books Annual

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