Vienna: Organised crime generates
revenues of more than USD 120 billion dollars globally every
year, with drug smuggling by far the most lucrative activity,
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said today.
"Organised crime has ballooned to global proportions,"
UNODC chief Yury Fedotov told a meeting here marking 10 years
since the adoption of the so-called Palermo Convention on
transnational organised crime.
Amid fears that globalisation was "extending the reach
of crime in unprecedented ways," the convention was a
"powerful but underutilised tool", Fedotov said at the start
of the meeting.
Some 157 states had ratified the convention, which
forms the global basis for extradition and mutual legal
assistance, but Fedotov said more awareness was needed of how
states could make more effective use of it, by coordinating
efforts by law enforcement agencies.
UNODC calculated that heroin and cocaine smuggling
generated annual revenues of USD 105 billion worldwide, which
was being invested in criminal businesses and fuelling
"To put it another way: cocaine and heroin traffickers
are earning almost USD 280 million every day, almost USD 12
million every hour, and almost USD 200,000 every minute," it
Human trafficking and smuggling of migrants accounted
for annual revenues of an estimated USd 10 billion; illicit
trade in fire arms for more than USD 53 million; trafficking
in natural resources for USD 3.5 billion; counterfeit
medicines for USD 1.6 billion and cybercrime for one billion
dollars, the UNODC estimated.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Saturday at a
conference on good governance in Morocco that "Organised crime
syndicates grow ever more powerful."
"In some places, police and armies are being
out-gunned. Our ability to deliver justice is not evolving as
quickly as the criminal`s skill at evading it," he said.