Event Details

03 Jul


03 Jul 2023 - 07 Jul 2023

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Catania, Sicily, Italy


Contact for questions: illicittrade@rug.nl – Please indicate “Illicit Trade Summer School” in the subject of the email

Tel: +31 50 363 3666

Money laundering. Terrorist financing. Drug trafficking. Arms smuggling. Tax havens. Human smuggling and the modern-day slave trade. These are not just abstract terms, but billion-dollar industries forming part of the world’s ever-globalized economy and which overlap with and fuel terrorism, organized crime, conflicts, corruption, authoritarianism, environmental degradation and other security threats.

With such industries often being cast in a veil of secrecy, the University of Groningen, in association with the University of Catania, announce the 2023 Summer School on Illicit Trade, aiming to shed light on the dark side of globalization.

The fourth edition of our Summer School will take place in Catania, Sicily, a region that has been historically linked to mafia activity, including the smuggling of contraband, human trafficking, and money laundering, as well as widespread corruption. Hence, participants will learn from local practitioners in the area with a unique perspective on illicit trade, in addition to internationally renowned experts in the field.

This exciting course is the first of its kind in teaching illicit trade in a holistic and practical manner; combining both essential theoretical knowledge with contemporary investigation skills. Participants will learn how criminals set up offshore companies and bank accounts; how they obscure the beneficial ownership of assets; how they exploit the loop-holes of dual-use goods legal systems, and identify vulnerabilities in particular jurisdictions. The program will also include a field trip to local institutions, providing participants with firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities associated with combating illicit trade.