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Illicit: The Dark Trade—A Call to Action

In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day coming up 26 April 2018, the United State Embassy (Nigeria, Abuja FCT) organized a film show on 23 April 2018, titled Illicit: The Dark Trade.

The film show provided a disturbing, engaging, and enlightening insight into the dark world of illegal trade, counterfeit goods and products, piracy, political corruption, money laundering, and the subversion of an entire government.

Illegal trade in counterfeit and pirated products are estimated to be somewhere between $600 and $800 billion a year. The magnitude and effects of counterfeiting and piracy are so powerful and widespread that it undermines good governance and inflicts economic loss on legitimate business, endangering the lives of unsuspecting end buyers or users. Counterfeiting generates lucrative income for criminal networks.

At the film show, one thing was clear—illegal trade is something that isn’t going to disappear anytime soon if we ignore it. Combating illegal trade will require increased co-operation between governments, consumers, and  law-enforcement agencies. Government also needs to demonstrate political will while stakeholders must also be sincere and be willing to collaborate with government and relevant agencies. This is the only way we can efficiently and effectively tackle the menace in our society. Viewers of the film show shared the same view.

One of our associates, Malan Faya, who attended the film show didn’t only find it enlightening but also intriguing. In Mr Faya’s words, ‘The film show was not only enlightening for me but also intriguing. Nigeria really needs to tackle this illicit dark trade. I believe it’s a serious call for concern. Laws won’t be enough. We all need to work together to tackle it as a society.’’

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