A senior United Nations official says that trans-national crime, and organized crime in particular, is among the most significant economic activities in the world today, accounting for trillions of dollars every year, the Associated Press reported.
Yury Fedotov, chief of the U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crime said at a U.N. conference that criminal activities rake in approximately $2.1 trillion dollars per year , amounting to about 7% of the world economy, making it one of the top twenty economic sectors.
U.S. convention delegate Brian Nichols noted that unlike the criminal organizations of yesteryear which were very hierarchical, most modern criminal outfits are loose networks which operate sporadically, making it much more difficult to prosecute the perpetrators. Smuggling drugs, guns, animals and other humans are among the illegal activities these groups engage in.
Fedotov noted that up to 2.4 million people living in the world today may be victims of human trafficking, referring to this statistic as a source of shame.