The Challenge

With the international trading of goods constantly evolving, so too are the deceptive tactics of illicit traders who continuously find new ways of evading detection to keep the authorities oblivious. The issue is further complicated when factoring in regional considerations and the limited access to insightful data.

The Story

Misdeclaration of Goods:

In 2022, a Central African country embarked on a strategy focusing on digitizing Customs inspection to better contend with fraud and lost revenues. With Publican’s AI-driven Digital Shipment Vetting Solution, they were able to increase seizure rates by identifying which shipments coming in may be fraudulent or misdeclared.

In one case, Publican flagged a Tilapia shipment with a high risk of misdeclaration coming in from China, unearthing insight about the shipper’s troubling past including previous customs violations.

How Publican Uncovered this?

Analyzing the Shipper’s History

By analyzing the shipper’s background and legal standing along with the goods being shipped, Publican’s system was able to discover the Chinese-based Tilapia exporter was caught by Chinese authorities attempting to ship an illicit amount of Tilapia in the past, which then led him to attempt exporting the exact same product from a different region to evade detection, subsequently fined by the Chinese authorities for submitting a false declaration.

detecting shipments
Findings & Conclusions

By utilizing real time online data including unique access to sources and proprietary data collected for over a decade, Publican’s system automatically flagged the shipment as high risk based on unearthing vital insight into the shipper’s legal history alongside a pattern of fraud when shipping Tilapia. Authorities investigated the shipment and discovered a clear misdeclaration.

For borders processing thousands of shipments every year, Publican’s solution enables customs agencies to take back control at scale and retrieve significant revenues lost through the misdeclaration of goods. For more information, visit