International organized crime generates nearly US$870,000,000,000 per year, six times more than the world spends in aid of development and the equivalent to 7% the world’s exports or 1.5% the world’s GDP. This is an estimate made by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), published in Vienna during a conference on the fight against organized crime.
The most profitable illegal businesses are drug traffic and counterfeit products, followed by other activities such as human traffic, illegal gun dealing and environmental crimes such as illegal elephant teeth and noble Wood trade.
If the product of organized crime were a nations’ GDP, that nation would be one of the world’s top 20 economies, equivalent to the wealth produced by Holland, said the executive director of UNODC.
These crimes generate activities such as money laundering and support violence, corruption and, in some cases, extremism. Organized crime is a serious problem for the stability and development of entire regions.