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Transnational Crime Developing World

Transnational Crime and the Developing World

  • by EB 03 Jan, 2021
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Publication typeReport
Publication date27.03.2017
Number of pages166

Transnational Crime and the Developing World a report published by Channing Mavrellis, Global Financial Integrity.

Transnational crime is a business, and business is very good. Money is the primary motivation for these illegal activities. The revenues generated from the 11 crimes covered in this report—estimated to range between US$1.6 trillion and $2.2 trillion per year—not only line the pockets of the perpetrators but also finance violence, corruption, and other abuses. These crimes undermine local and national economies, destroy the environment, and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of the public. Transnational crime will continue to grow until the paradigm of high profits and low risks is challenged. This report calls on governments, experts, the private sector, and civil society groups to seek to address the global shadow financial system by promoting greater financial transparency.

Transnational CrimeEstimated Annual Value (USD $)
Drug Trafficking$426 billion to $652 billion
Small Arms & Light Weapons Trafficking$1.7 billion to $3.5 billion
Human Trafficking$150.2 billion
Organ Trafficking$840 million to $1.7 billion
Trafficking in Cultural Property $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion
Counterfeiting $923 billion to $1.13 trillion
Illegal Wildlife Trade $5 billion to $23 billion
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing $15.5 billion to $36.4 billion
Illegal Logging $52 billion to $157 billion
Illegal Mining $12 billion to $48 billion
Crude Oil Theft $5.2 billion to $11.9 billion
Total $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion

Greater financial transparency has the potential to simultaneously curtail every transnational crime in every part of the world. The networks involved in these illicit markets are akin to major global corporations, and they need access to finance and banking in order to be profitable and continue operating. Countries need to require that corporations registering and doing business within their borders declare the name(s) of the entity’s true, ultimate beneficial owner(s). Customs and central bank authorities should flag financial and trade transactions involving individuals and corporations in “secrecy jurisdictions” as high-risk and require extra documentation to try to ensure there is no illegal activity involved.

Customs officers should scrutinize import and export invoices for signs of misinvoicing, which may indicate technical and/or physical smuggling. Customs agencies can use world market price databases such as GFTrade(TM) to estimate the risk of misinvoicing for the declared values and investigate suspicious transactions. Government agencies and departments in each country also need to share more information on the illicit markets and actors that exist within their borders. Sharing this data and this knowledge will help to avoid gaps, bolster investigations into possible abuses, and support stronger enforcement of the country’s laws. Criminals cannot afford to face this level of risk of their money or goods being detected.

Read the „Transnational Crime and the Developing World”

See also the Transnational Organized Crime UNODC e-learning

Channing Mavrellis, Global Financial Integrity, Transnational Crime and the Developing World (27.03.2017)

Photo by Jamie Morris on Unsplash

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