Global Organized Crime as Big as G20 Nation

An Australian government report said Tuesday that organized crime is so large globally that if it were a country, it would be a part of the G20 group of major economies, Fox News reports.

The Australian Crime Commission released their biennial report on the issue earlier this week. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said that the Internet age has aided in the growth of global organized crime.

This growth in organized crime is also related to the global financial crisis. Organized crime was quick to identify and capitalize on the business opportunities that the financial crisis afforded, as stated in the Crime Commission’s report.

Global organized crime rakes in more than $870 billion each year, reports The Jakarta Globe. “That’s bigger than the GDP of Indonesia,” said Clare.

Organized crime in Australia has taken $13.7 billion from the economy each year. It thrives on the online marketplaces, particularly for guns, drugs, identity documents, and child pornography.

People no longer have to seek their illegal drugs or weapons on the street because illicit material sales on the Internet can get them delivered right to the home. “This is a real threat that has the potential to grow exponentially,” Clare said.

Online fraud scams, credit card and account data theft, suburban drug labs, and public violence between rival groups are some of the main examples of organized crime in the country according to the Australian Crime Commission’s report. Illicit drug users have burdened the health system and money launderers have hurt the success of small businesses.

Organized crime has grown to such an extent that it is now one of the top seven national security risks to Australia. The ACC report states that criminal syndicates “have the capacity to inflict serious harm on [Australia’s] economy, businesses, and institutions.”

These are not just limited to syndicates within Australia’s borders. Organized crime groups have extended internationally and target Australia for criminal gain.