Crime does pay — and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. According to a new report from Global Financial Integrity, transnational crime groups currently rake in an estimated $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion in annual revenue.
Fear of the drug trade and other forms of cross-border crime have long been a focus for American lawmakers. “The international community has been aggressively combating drug trafficking for more than 40 years, yet supplies of drugs are undiminished and prices have not risen,” GFI noted in its March 27, 2017 report. “Often utilizing the same channels, human trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation has exploded.”
Drug traffickers alone earn between $426 billion to $652 billion annually. But they’re not even the most profitable criminal enterprise. Counterfeiting brings in an estimated $923 billion to $1.13 trillion each year.
Counterfeiting and pirating of pharmaceuticals, consumables, luxury goods, and intellectual property is the biggest single transnational criminal activity, likely exceeding US$1 trillion in retail value.
Illegal logging, mining, fishing, wildlife trade, oil theft, and trafficking in cultural property withdraw
hundreds of billions of dollars of resources from developing countries. The illegal organ trade preys upon
the poor, while arms trafficking protects the criminals.
Looking at crime and gambling from the Godfather perspective
Quote from the Godfather – Tom Hagen: Now we have the unions, we have the gambling; and they’re the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. And if we don’t get a piece of that action, we risk everything we have. I mean not now, but, ah, ten years from now.
The Worldwide Gambling Market is expected to grow at 5.7% per year during the period 2016-2022 to aggregate $635.00 billion by 2022. The global gambling industry generated $385 billion in profit in 2016, data provided by betting and gaming market intelligence firm H2 Gambling Capital and cited by The Economist showed. This is the legal gambling industry. About $88 billion in illegal football bets were placed in the USA in 2016.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club estimates the global share of the illegal betting market, including racing and other sports, at $500 billion annually, with $350 billion of that coming from Asia. The problem in Hong Kong is acute, with an estimated $12.8 billion bet illegally on Hong Kong racing in the region. That’s approaches the $13.8 billion bet on Hong Kong racing legally.