Cross-border criminals make $870 billion a year: U.N.

VIENNA Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:38am EDT

A soldier stands guard next to packages containing marijuana found in a tunnel under the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

A soldier stands guard next to packages containing marijuana found in a tunnel under the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana November 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jorge Duenes

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Turnover of cross-border organized crime is about $870 billion a year, more than six times the total of official development aid, and stopping this "threat to peace" is one of the greatest global challenges, a U.N. agency said on Monday.

The most lucrative businesses for criminals are drug trafficking and counterfeiting, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said, launching an awareness-raising campaign about the size and cost of cross-border criminal networks.

"Millions of victims are affected each year as a result of the activities of organized crime groups with human trafficking victims alone numbering 2.4 million at any one time," UNODC said in a statement.

The total estimated figure of $870 billion is equivalent to 1.5 percent of the world's gross domestic product, it said, warning that crime groups can destabilize entire regions.

"Stopping this transnational threat represents one of the international community's greatest global challenges," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said.

A spokesman said it was the first time the agency had compiled an estimate for transnational organized crime, using internal UNODC and external sources, so there were no comparative figures to show any trend.

The report drew on International Labour Organisation (ILO) data on the cost of human trafficking as well as information about counterfeit goods compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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Comments (3)
AlfredReaud wrote:
Did the sum include the banksters take?

Jul 16, 2012 8:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
InlandTaipan wrote:
But remember people of america.
Our useless, worthless, corrupt butt wipes in congress would rather give billions of our dollars away every year to nations that hate us, harbor terrorists like osama bin laden for years, knowing full well the usa has been hunting this piece of trash for decades, yet our corrupt congress continues to give pakistan about 3 billion dollars each and every year so we can continue to war monger in their country and make the cronies of our corrupt congress very rich.
Instead of repairing our infrastructure system, our very crooked congress would rather give karzai billions of our dollars every year so he can continue to steal the money from us by the palet loades and spend it on terrorists in his country.

Jul 16, 2012 8:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CountryPride wrote:
Just look at the US government and how they welcome corrupt Chinese government officials, businessmen and their families and their criminal money to our country to degrade our society even more through EB-5 visa’s.

Jul 16, 2012 10:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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