Grace Farms Foundation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection brought together 250 federal law enforcement officials in New Canaan, Conn., on Wednesday to discuss established and emerging transnational threats in an effort to share information and best practices. Executives from federal, state and local agencies who partner with CBP to keep the nation safe attended the summit.
“In an increasingly interconnected world that has been widely impacted by the effects of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever that we convene law enforcement officials and external partners to face emerging threats,” said Grace Farms Foundation Chief Accountability Officer and Justice Initiative Director Rod Khattabi. “Through this Summit, we have increased an understanding of transnational crimes including forced labor, terrorism, the drug trade, and the dark web, their impact across borders, and how we can work together to disrupt criminal networks.”
“U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extremely proud to have provided our partners with this networking opportunity today and would like to thank the Grace Farms Foundation for hosting us.” said Frank Russo, Director, New York Field Office. “It is through collaborative engagements such as this event that law enforcement agencies can develop proactive approaches to dismantle transnational criminal organizations.”
With regard to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, AnnMarie Highsmith, CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner, said, “Since the enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, CBP has taken a proactive approach to prepare for the implementation of the rebuttable presumption. We have been leading communications to our stakeholders at a national level. We have held webinars and industry meetings. We have gotten our web site and guidance materials posted. And we are ready to begin enforcement on June 21st.”
Sessions focused on critical issues including:
- Terrorism Post Afghanistan: exploring emerging global terror threats in the wake of the pandemic and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan
- New Drug and Money Trends Post Pandemic: identifying trends that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is monitoring regarding the movement of narcotics and illicit gains from narcotics trafficking worldwide
- Recent inter-agency operations: highlighting those that shut down organized crime and money laundering networks in Asia
- International Mail and the Emerging Dark Web: discussing how the dark web can be used for the purchase of illegal narcotics and how international mail can be used to disrupt these transactions
- Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”): identifying how this law prevents the importation of goods made with forced labor originating in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. June 21, 2022 is the date of the implementation of this new law. Under the UFPLA, all goods produced wholly or in part in Xinjiang, China or by entities named by the U.S. as having participated in or facilitated forced labor activities in Xinjiang will be presumed to have been made with forced labor and will be barred from entry into the United States.
- Gun violence: exploring how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives New York Crime Gun Intelligence Center’s (ATF CGIC) jointly partners with New York City Police Department and how the crime gun intelligence dashboard Gun Track can be used to track locations of gun violence and illegal firearms
- New law enforcement technologies: emphasizing new technology and innovative programs being tested by the CBP Innovation Team to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative and disruptive commercial technology solutions that makes frontline personnel safer and more effective
The Summit on Transnational Threats in an Increasingly Interconnected World was the latest program of Grace Farms Foundation aimed at addressing and disrupting modern slavery and gender-based violence by empowering local, national, and global justice systems, non-governmental agencies, and the public. Leveraging law enforcement expertise and a unique multidisciplinary approach, Grace Farm Foundation’s Justice Initiative implements policy, capacity building, and awareness programs focused on eradicating these injustices.