VIENNA — The UN’s drugs and crime office launched a new media awareness campaign Monday to highlight the threat posed by the multi-billion dollar operations run by organized crime groups worldwide.
International crime rackets pull in an estimated annual turnover of $870 billion (710 billion euros), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a statement issued early Monday.
That sum was the equivalent of 1.5 percent of global GDP – or six times the amount spent officially spent on development aid around the world, it added.
“Transnational organized crime reaches into every region and every country across the world,” said Yury Fedotov, executive director of UNODC, which is based in Vienna. “Stopping this transnational threat represents one of the international community’s greatest global challenges,” he added.
UNODC’S multimedia campaign will underline the huge sums of money involved in organized crime, which covers everything from drug and arms trafficking to cyber crime to the smuggling of migrants.
And it will stress that these are anything but victimless crimes.
“Crime groups can destabilize countries and entire regions, undermining development assistance in those areas and increasing domestic corruption, extortion, racketeering and violence,” said UNODC’s statement.
The agency identified drug trafficking as by far the most lucrative trade for criminals: they estimated it brings in $320 billion per year. — AFP