The DNT Project is financed by the PMI IMPACT program (first round), a global initiative from PMI to support projects against illegal trade and related crimes

Improving Knowledge on the Trafficking
in Drugs, NPS and Tobacco

Dnt Project is a joint research and education/awareness initiative dealing with the illegal trafficking in and the interdependencies among:

  • Traditional illicit drugs
  • New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)
  • Tobacco products

with specific regards to the Internet Darknet’s illegal markets.


Categories and typologies of substances/products and connections among them.


Criminal human factors involved and their relationships.


Modi operandi used respectively in the Deep Web, in Internet Surface and offline, and their interdependencies.


Online trafficking routes and the analogies/differences with traditional/new offline trafficking routes/flows of products.


Most relevant criminogenic factors, namely those factors that are likely to determine direct or indirect opportunities for crime.

illicit drugs and NOVEL PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES are increasingly present in the anonymous marketplaces active in the Dark Web


The overall objective of the DNT Project is to contribute at developing a strategic operational knowledge base and expertise on the trafficking in and the interdependencies among illegal drugs, NPS and tobacco products, with specific regards to the Internet role.

To empower key stakeholders, by providing them with offline and online seminars/courses and operational updated materials.

To improve strategic knowledge on the main rationales of the phenomena.

To improve strategic knowledge on how to track criminal business networks by testing diverse methodologies.

To ensure the continuous monitoring of the phenomena and the accessibility/sustainability of the results achieved, by developing an online Platform.

The DNT Project is expected to impact on the generation of a knowledge base on the online illegal tobacco trade, especially in the Internet Dark Web. It is a pioneering issue, not yet addressed by academics and researchers, who are mostly focused on the “real world”. In fact, although still marginally with respect to other drugs, tobacco products are present also in the cryptomarkets.


The Dnt Project approach it can be summarised in five words: scientific, interdisciplinary, empirical, operational and proactive.

  • Assess, defragment, systemize and further enhance the knowledge generation process on drugs/NPS/tobacco illicit criminal markets
  • Deal with the complexity of these phenomena
  • Develop concrete results, thus attaining the proposed results.

The methodology adopted combines an inter-disciplinary, qualitative/quantitative approach with IT solutions/automatic tools. This approach allows to integrate the skills/know-how of the research team (mostly composed by senior researchers), the exploitation of the results achieved also by other previous/ongoing projects, with the possibility given by IT to collect/process a large amount of data.