The exponential growth of counterfeit PPE and other counterfeits during the COVID pandemic: Illicit trade in the open and dark web

A Talk by Layla Hashemi, Edward Huang, Damon McCoy and Dr Louise Shelley
TraCCC, George Mason University, New York University Tandon School of Engineering and George Mason University

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About this talk

Panelists will share findings from the first year of a five-year NSF grant titled Collaborative Research: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding, Modeling, and Disrupting Drug and Counterfeit Illicit Supply Chains. Global illicit supply chains in both the open and dark web are analyzed using rich corporate data focusing on counterfeit PPE, opioids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and other products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research reveals a rise in counterfeit products globally during a surge in e-commerce and the convergence of these operations with transnational crimes including trade in counterfeit opioids, medical equipment and vaccines. Advanced data analytics are used to map the global illicit supply chains. This effort has already contributed to the seizure of over 55 million counterfeit masks worldwide and has been awarded a prize for saving lives and improving health during the pandemic.

Damon McCoy

Associate Processor, New York University.

Dr Louise Shelley

Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair and a University Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University.

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