Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists

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FT Press, 2012 - Political Science - 316 pages

From piracy to counterfeiting to cargo theft, organized retail crime has exploded into a $38 billion industry. Synchronized global teams of thieves are pilfering immense volumes of high-value products, counterfeiting even more--and using the profits to support the world's most vicious terrorists and criminal gangs.

In this eye-opening piece of investigative journalism, top business reporter Hitha Prabhakar connects the dots and follows the money deep into the world's fastest-growing criminal industry. You'll learn how the Internet, social media, and disposable cell phones have opened the floodgates for a new generation of criminals--and how buying something as innocent as a counterfeit handbag or discounted cigarettes actually funds terrorist groups from Al-Qaeda to Central America's drug lords.

Black Market Billions draws on extensive first person interviews with law enforcement, industry, and the criminals themselves to reveal how retail crime rings impact the security in every country in which they operate. Prabhakar goes "inside" to reveal why the piracy economy has exploded...why preventive measures have failed...and what to expect next, as organized retail crime reaches a terrifying critical mass.


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BLACK MARKET BILLIONS: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists

User Review  - Kirkus

A labyrinthine study of how retail theft ripples down to fund international terrorism.An idea born from instant messages exchanged with a friend pushing knock-off handbags, Bloomberg Television ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Our organization paid several thousand dollars to Ms. Prabhakar to give our annual conference keynote on Black Market Billions. After just a few minutes on stage, it was clear to me that she had not prepared for her keynote, nor was she knowledgeable about the subject. I am highly suspect of the scholarship in this book, and doubt that Ms. Prabhakar even penned the content. Do not rely on this book nor the author for academic citation. 


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About the author (2012)

Hitha Prabhakar is a New York-based reporter for Bloomberg Television, covering business news and financial markets with a particular focus on retail. Before joining Bloomberg Television in 2011, Prabhakar was founder and principal of The Stylefile Group, a retail consulting firm based in New York City, where she served as an advisor to hedge funds and other clients with long-term holdings in retail companies. Prior to that, Prabhakar served as a retail reporter for Forbes Media, covering the luxury industry as well as men's fashion. She has written for Time, People,, ELLE India, and Metro newspapers, among other publications. Prabhakar was formerly a contributor on CNBC and has had numerous television appearances as a retail analyst on networks including CBS, CNN, Fox News, Sky News, and Bravo. She holds degrees in philosophy and economics from Smith College and a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She also studied at the London School of Economics.

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