Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) announced today a major new initiative — “PMI IMPACT ” — to help confront smuggling and related crimes.
The centerpiece of PMI IMPACT is a prestigious council of external independent experts whose seven members have impeccable credentials in the fields of law, anti-corruption and law enforcement. The experts will oversee grants to enable innovation in three key areas in the fight against smuggling and related crimes – research, education and awareness, and action.
PMI IMPACT will issue a request for funding proposals later this year. Proposals can come from private, public, or non-governmental organizations. PMI has pledged USD 100 million to fund the first three rounds of grants.
Illegal trade is an entrenched phenomenon that depends on and sustains extensive criminal activity. Estimates put the total retail value of illegally traded goods at USD 650 billion, with active black markets for countless products, ranging from pharmaceuticals, food, and tobacco to weapons and wildlife. The most atrocious of all illegal trade, human trafficking, is beyond any financial estimate. PMI IMPACT is one of several major programs that the company supports to promote sustainable business practices and address complex social problems. The company is also a signatory of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.